Quinntopia: The ReBoot!

The reboot is almost here. After several attempts to plan the layout with RRTrack, and essentially designing a layout that looks an awfully lot like old Quinntopia Version 2, I've decided to throw caution to the wind and start putting together a layout based on a few simple principles.  I can only move things around on the computer before too long, so I'm just going to be practical about it (I sort of have an idea of what I want anyway, the software is good for getting estimates on how much stuff I need to buy, and approximate ideas of space and so on).  Here's the main ideas:
  • I have to limit the scope. I liked the urban aspects of the old layout (and I think was one of the things that was most popular with viewers as well) so the idea of having any sort of natural landscape will be minimal.  
  • Since its going to be a very urban layout, Its going to be a city surrounded by several 'main lines'.  The question is...three, or an overwhelming four? I'm still not sure.  Four track main line means an 8 track total, which limits the city space, and can look a lot like a racetrack and not a city/train layout!
  • These lines split into several tracks for a large urban station and to provide some minimal storage (mostly for those annoying to assemble and disassemble TGV, ICE's and the like).  Again, I have to be realistic and probably reduce the main lines to three.
  • The rest? It will be City, City, and more city.
Still up for question is whether or not I try and run an elevated 'transit' line within the city it itself. This could be problematic.  My approach is to determine approximately how much space within the large oval of tracks I will have for the 'city' (the tracks will of course run around the perimeter, but will have a few gradual curves so it's not just straight tangents) and then works with various city block/building layouts to determine if a smaller, elevated, double-track line can be worked into the city.

Here's my (formerly yellow!) supports for the layout benchwork - now in a fresh color of neutral grey!
The dimensions will be around 42" by 14.5' feet long, or 1066 x 4419 long if we use the metric!

I've decided to invest decent money and have some professionally, pre-built benchwork made by an outfit called ModelRailroadBenchwork.com. It will be modular as well, so I can re-use these if a future move happens! I ordered my modules a week ago, so I'm already anxious to get them and set up the future layout!  No more hollow-core doors for me!

Of course, the real fun will be pulling out the structures from storage! Whoopee!
 That's it for now! I'm looking forward to a very fun, N scale focused winter!


  1. Outstanding! Glad to see that you are ready to get back in the saddle. Look forward to seeing the track plan. I agree, four rails seems quite busy for the space. What about splitting the difference and having four lanes just in one high traffic district?

  2. Sounds like a great plan, can't wait to see how creative you will get this time!

  3. Great news, always "inspired" by your work

  4. Thanks for all the encouragement! And...for your patience for the long absence! Now I'm trying not to get too impatient waiting for my benchwork to arrive!

  5. I am looking forward to it Jerry. Really need some motivation to get my own urban layout going :)

  6. Jerry,

    Great to hear you're back. A couple of things I think you should consider if you want to aviod some of the things that caused you to disassemble the old Quinntopia:

    1. Try to avoid the old circle. At least have multiple stops along your mainline(s), so that trains have some passengers to take from A to B to C, etc. Layouts are most realistic looking and fun to play with if there is a persuasive reason for the train to be going where it's going, i.e. it has a job to do/is being "a useful engine". ;-) Otherwise going around in circles gets dull quickly.

    2. Create an underground that can function as "the rest of the world". You have a wonderfully varied fleet of rolling stock. If you can make them disappear and come back from the rest of the world, you can pretend like they are going places even if the limitations of your layout do not allow for multiple stops (above). That could also solve your need for a storage yard, since it wouldn't have to be visible and wouldn't take up precious city space.

    3. Don't forget about your freight trains! They need work to do as well.


  7. Good news.Don't forget your pleasure ;)

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  9. Hello Jerry,
    Happy to see your new porject .I will looking to your work.

  10. Good to you see you're back in the game!