2014-08.4: TMTV August 2014 Edition - Act IV

30 Aug 2014

Average: 4.6 (27 votes)
16:16 - August 2014 Act IV - Back to the basement - episode 2 (2014)

In Back to the Basement, Miles Hale is building a layout from the ground up.  In part two, he discusses track planning.

Topics include:

What is the purpose of the layout?
Deciding what features the plan will include
Benchwork Blobs
Human Blobs
Fitting more into a room
Keeping it "Accomplishable"
Yard design
Yard capacity
Yard facilities
Staging yards
Helpful resources

Even seasoned layout builders will find useful information in this segment.

Layout-builders questionnaire is attached below.



This was a very good segment, I am just now thinking through the design phase myself.  I had not considered several of the topics here.

Additional more in depth segments of this crucial first stage would be very much appreciated.  Perhaps TMTV could come up with additional segments like this for different indiustries and operations.  If you can come up with 4 important aspects, in 16 minutes that were not considered, imagine how many regrets you could help to prevent for those of us starting out or those re-making their layouts; with several more of this type of segment.

I will watch this again during the paper phase of the design.  Thanks also for the helpful references!

Keep up the magnificent work!

Excellent video. Always something new learn. Video production and scripting is excellent. 

Miles does an excellent job making points for guys like me who are returning to the hobby after decades. I have dreamt the dream but I have a 10x 10  space and I've been designing and redesigning my pike for almost a year. I think if I had twice the space designing would be easier because I wouldn't have to make tough decisions as to model and what to leave out! Even with compression, and design elements there is only so much railroad you can put in 100 square feet. I also want to build in phases so that I'm not stuck balasting track for a year instead of running trains. Miles is a great teacher and really helps cut to the chase and helps focus me on what is practical and what may need to remain a dream for now. I am a big fan of Any Rail design software and with it design #62.a1 is becoming a reality as I type this. Acceptable compromises have been made and I know I will be happy with less (higher quality) than burried under to much railroad that is stuffed back to back. Whats the point of having the engineer reach the first depot down the line when the conductor has barely left the yard! Keep up what I see as a very useful and well produced series. Thanks!

I've seen Miles in other videos and I really think he brings a level of sincerity to the table. If I recall correctly Miles is a 'Master Model Railroader' a title given to individuals by the NMRA for completing and achieving various certificate projects. Miles is very unasuming and doesn't profess to be an "expert", but what he does do is offer his experience by example and he has always mentioned that doing things his way is often not the only way, but the way that works for him. I'm looking forward to this new series and any video which Miles has a part in.

Todd Walton

This was a very interesting video on planning.  I just shoot from the hip and also used info from the mags suggested.  I just dismantled my yard and a friend showed me how to cut the benchwork at an angle to give operators more room to work without losing yard capacity.  Another set of eyes really helps at times.  Also, when we are younger, we are sometimes thinner!!


Another source of sage layout planning and  ownership advice is Iain Rice's book "Mid-sized  & Mamageable Track Plans". In the first 3 chapters he outlines what it takes to design, construct and maintain a layout making many points it's easy for us to overlook especially as newcomers.Miles does good and pracatical service to those of us in the design (or redesign) stage.,thank you..

Ernie C