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Re: Random Z questions

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  • jmac_han <jmac_han@yahoo.com>
    Hi Leon, Here are a few thoughts concerning some of your questions. ... Thinking ... You can read my series of 4 layout construction articles (originally
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 27, 2003
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      Hi Leon,

      Here are a few thoughts concerning some of your questions.

      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "leon_hurst2001
      > 1. Can anyone recommend a good book for layout construction.
      > to planning, ballasting track, stations, buildings, landscaping etc.

      You can read my series of 4 layout construction articles (originally
      published in Ztrack Mag) on the Val Ease Central website. Members
      have access to my published articles.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VECRR See the Files-Articles-Ztrack

      > 6. Is there a place here where one can share layout plans and
      > especially get comments on the layouts. Some short words from wiser
      > people often help us new guys save lots of time, money and
      > frustration :-)

      Concerning your layout plan:

      My first thought is that you might consider reducing the amount of
      trackage that is parallel to the sides of your layout board. You
      have several elevated sections that are also parallel to the sides
      and to the lower level. Try to envisage the topography of your
      central area (on the diagonal) and have your lower level tracks
      follow natural landforms that would be consistant with the rest of
      the layout.

      You also have a couple of long straight leads or spurs on the upper
      portion that might be more interesting if they had some bends in
      them. Your planning software uses set track components. This is a
      reasonable starting point but you will get much greater satisfaction
      both from a design and running perspective if you used flex track
      wherever possible. Flex should be used as you enter curves to ease
      the transition from straight to the final radius of the curve. You
      can also use it to good advantage on your long sections where you can
      add gentle curves to avoid geographical barriers.

      Designing a layout is a rewarding and enjoyable endeavour. My advice
      is to take your time and try to imagine the landscape first, then lay
      tracks from the point of view of a surveyor who doesn't have the
      luxury of blasting a straight line through the terrain. The finished
      product should look like it is a natural fit in the landscape and
      scenery rather than a tangle of tracks. This is often the difference
      between a model railway and a toy train layout.

      I noticed that your plan offers lots of operating possibilities. If
      you are interested in operations then you should also consider the
      types of trains you will be running (passenger, commuter, local way
      freight, scheduled or extra) and why they run. What industries are
      being served (also a function of the geography and historical
      economic development of your miniature world) and where the goods /
      people are coming from and going to (on and off the layout).

      No matter what I or others may say, the number one goal in layout
      building is to have FUN. If your trains run well and you like what
      you see, then your fun will continue for a long, long time. You're
      the boss, after all.

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