My layout is still in progress, but here's my take on this after quite
a bit of deliberation on this very subject...
>1. What do most of you have? Why?
Continuous. Running mainline trains unattended while working the yard
was a priority. My layout is designed to be operated by 1-3 people,
and I wanted to have the "background noise" of mainline trains running
around while I work in one area or another.
I also have children who want to be able to run the trains in a big
circle without having to worry about anything.
OK, *I* want to run the trains in a big circle without having to worry
about anything too, which is why I chose double track.
>2. How many of you have a turntable?
I do, for the simple reason that there was no way to work any kind of
reversing arrangement into my layout. It's the only way I can turn a
westbound loco into an eastbound loco without resorting to the Hand of
God approach. (Turntable is too small for my 4-8-4 so I will still
have to use HOG to turn it...)
>3. How large is your train yard? General shape/style?
About 13', give or take a bit. Six tracks, single-ended, straight.
Mainline is double track and there's an inner, parallel track about
18' long that serves as a combination switch lead and
arrival/departure track. Engine facilities are reached via the lowest
body track by way of a switchback that shoots backwards off the
>4. Is your train yard powered by a separate transformer?
I haven't hashed out the details of power yet, but it will definitely
be powered by at least one separate transformer, and perhaps two. My
overall plan is for three cabs, but I might go for four. Two mainline
cabs and two yard/local cabs.
I still haven't really sat down and figured out how to block
everything out. It's going to be a real chore, and I'm pretty much
putting all of that off until the last minute... :)
>Any regrets concerning the decisions you made regarding the list above?
Even though I don't have it up yet, yes... I wanted loop-to-loop
rather than a continuous circle. That way I could have point-to-point
realism and continuous running all rolled into one. Unfortunately, I
didn't have enough real estate for the loops, even stacked on top of
each other. Also, this creates a reversing situation along the entire
mainline (double track), and I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with that.
Mostly it was just space though. My maximum depth is 36" and it takes
at least 48" to do a loop.
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