My Library - Magazine Articles By Category: Layout Design
04/08/2014

5 Hot Micro-Layout Ideas

Magazine:
Page:
33
Author:
Description:
This article covers five small switching layouts. They are: loading beer at the Coors warehouse (uses a traverser table just like the prototype), the mighty micro helix (three-turn helix with a 6-inch radius), the 3-D sector plate (a movable piece of track that can be moved between three levels of layout), the audience-participation layout (allow them to create a part of the scenery of your layout), and the wall-mounted, flat-panel layout (a 3-D view of a small mining operation where cars are moved between levels).

A Modular Switchback Trackplan

Magazine:
Page:
47
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
A trackplan designed for HO-scale, could be built onto three two to two-and-a-half foot wide tables measuring no more than eight-and-a-half feet in length. It represents steep grades that run up into a mountain from a town below. Great for shays.

An HO Track Plan For A Home Office

Magazine:
Page:
60
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
This 9' x 11' home office layout features two return loops, yet allows for easy access into the room's features and to the computer that is stored under the layout. The track plan includes a some yard and several sidings and spurs.

Come-and-go Layout Design

Magazine:
Page:
118
Author:
Description:
The idea is rather than modeling the entire layout, only show a portion of the layout and have staging or loops hidden from view. It is more of a theatrical experience to have trains appear and disappear. Although less scenery is necessary, still a fair amount of space is needed to implement these designs. Various track plan ideas are presented.

Design a Better Layout

Magazine:
Page:
86
Author:
Description:
Article covers studying the prototype, preventing the spaghetti bowl layout, developing scenes, operations, providing people space, backdrops, staging, track interaction with roadways, viewing height, and sticking to your design criteria.

Dinner in Dime Box?

Magazine:
Page:
122
Author:
Description:
A switching puzzle. Might be a good idea for adding to a layout.

Easements for the Learning Curve

Magazine:
Page:
11
Author:
Description:
The author had people over to his layout to review layout-presentation ideas he has implemented. He learned to just watch what his visitors did to help improve his layout. Operating may be a way to extend the owner's enjoyment of his layout when the layout's projects are complete.

Evolution of a Trackplan

Magazine:
Page:
67
Author:
Description:
Tom discusses how his design for his layout evolved and what lessons he learned.

Finding That Perfect Track Plan

Magazine:
Page:
10
Author:
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes unfolding some basic rectangular track plans to create walk-in layouts.

Folding Layouts

Magazine:
Page:
41
Author:
Description:
A layout with fall-down hinged sections of track that are out of the way when the railroad is not actively running.

Grand Dreams in 50 Square Feet

Magazine:
Page:
97
Author:
Scale:
O
Description:
Includes prototype narrow gauge photo from 1909.

How to Plan Your Layout

Magazine:
Page:
70
Author:
Description:
Making a case for the linear, segmental layout design. Includes information about what prototype you want to follow, what type of operations do you want, and what kind of commitment do you want to make toward the layout.

Interchange At RO Tower

Magazine:
Page:
44
Author:
Description:
Designing a large and small railroad interchange. Includes layout photos, and trackplans for the Lancaster, Ohio OM&SS - V&O interchange, and a small interchange.

Introducing the Allegheny Midland Part 1

Magazine:
Page:
88
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
Tony describes his now famous AM, how he was inspired by Allen McClelland, the rational for the layout, and the track plan.

Layout Plan for a Santa Fe Branch Line

Magazine:
Page:
56
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
The late author discusses how he developed a track plan for a client, Jared Harper, to model the ATSF Alma District in a 13' by 19' space.

Layout Planning Fundamentals

Magazine:
Page:
66
Author:
Description:
This introductory article covers how to design your own trackplan. It discusses dealing with curve minimums, turnouts, track centers, grades, clearance, and using templates.

Logging Modeling

Magazine:
Page:
110
Author:
Description:
The author discusses options for modeling a logging railroad in several scales.

Mainline Through the Mountains

Magazine:
Page:
61
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
The master of track design discusses how he met his client's requirements for modeling a portion of the Southern Pacific's Shasta Route. The article includes diagrams for the mushroom-style, 22' x 45' layout.

Meet the Mushroom

Magazine:
Page:
80
Author:
Description:
This article introduces the now famous mushroom design where both levels on a double-deck layout are at an ideal height simply by having a step-up platform for the higher elevation. The solution is embedded in an article about how he designed a large layout for one of his clients.

Modeling the Reading's Bethlehem Branch

Magazine:
Page:
75
Author:
Description:
This article discusses this branchline. The author presents two track plan designs (one 22' x 22' and the other 11'' x 22'). Included are prototype photos and prototype track diagrams.

Modeling the Western Pacific Railroad

Magazine:
Page:
48
Author:
Description:
This article covers how the author came up with a track plan based on the prototype. The plan is for a 16' by 20' HO-scale layout. Includes prototype and model photos.

Modeltopia

Magazine:
Page:
110
Author:
Description:
What about modeling something that isn't possible in real life?

Mount Gilead, a Town on the Move

Magazine:
Page:
106
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
Designs for various custom modules that allow the author to build a layout that can be moved.

New England in a (Big) Bedroom

Magazine:
Page:
88
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
A large bedroom track plan modeling the Housatonic's Canaan to Pittsfield line.

New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal

Magazine:
Page:
72
Author:
Scale:
HO

Norfolk & Western's Washington Extension

Magazine:
Page:
82
Author:
Description:
This article proposes a 12' by 12' N-scale layout for modeling the N&W mainline in eastern Virginia in the early 1950's. Includes the double-deck trackplan, and a schematic map of the prototype area.

Planning a "Walk-in Island"

Magazine:
Page:
64
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
The author describes why he designed his layout the way he did featuring the PRR's Shamokin branch. It is an island design with several peninsulas.

Planning the Columbia Valley & Great Northern Part Two

Magazine:
Page:
20
Author:
Scale:
N
Description:
Prototype photos of BNSF trains. This is a huge, half of a two-car garage, with four levels. The layout is operations oriented. Shows track plans. Includes photos of cardboard mockups created.

Railroading in 3-D

Magazine:
Page:
16
Author:

Railroading in 3-D... More of the Story

Magazine:
Page:
53
Author:
Scale:
HO

Railroading in 3-D... Putting it Together

Magazine:
Page:
20
Author:

Railroading in 3-D... Putting it Together

Magazine:
Page:
53
Author:

Rails Through Lake Country

Magazine:
Page:
82
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
The author discusses the trackplan he developed for the Northern Pacific in Minnesota layout.

S Track Planning Part 1

Magazine:
Page:
8
Author:
Scale:
S
Description:
Various rough sketches are provided to give ideas on general track designs one could use in a bedroom, garage, or basement.

S Track Planning Part VI

Magazine:
Page:
19
Author:
Description:
The author presents an S-scale version of an O-scale track plan originally published by Model Railroader magazine in the 1940's.

S Track Planning Part VII

Magazine:
Page:
21
Author:
Scale:
S
Description:
Jeff took an O-scale layout built by Frank Smith of New Jersey in the 1930's, updated the design, and scaled it to fit a 15' by 33' S-scale layout. It is an around-the-walls design intended for a basement. It looks like a point-to-point design, but a single hidden track connects the two ends to allow for continuous running.

S Track Planning Part VIII

Magazine:
Page:
12
Author:
Scale:
S
Description:
The author revisits a design published in 2007 that is currently being implemented with some minor modifications. It is a twice-around loop with yard facilities spread out across two peninsulas.

Short Line with an Interurban Heritage

Magazine:
Page:
104
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
Valley City Street & Interurban Railway as an HO switching layout. Has some interesting track arrangements.

The Appalachian Southern

Magazine:
Page:
93
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
A double-deck HO-scale layout for a medium-sized room.

The Central Vermont in N-scale

Magazine:
Page:
117
Author:
Scale:
N

The Delaware & Lehigh RR

Magazine:
Page:
82
Author:
Description:
This design of a point-to-point layout features light bridge traffic and is set in the Delaware River Valley between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To simulate bridge traffic the author designed interchange boards to hold up to three 50-foot cars

The Hazzard County Short Line

Magazine:
Page:
90
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
A track plan and operational scheme for a 4x8 layout.

The Ideal Workbench

Magazine:
Page:
134
Author:
Description:
Items to think about as you design space in your layout for your modeling construction.

The Road to Enchantment

Magazine:
Page:
90
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
This article describes a potential track plan based on the Enchantment branch of the ATSF.

The Sierra Silverton RR

Magazine:
Page:
98
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
An almost-around-the-room point-to-point layout with some interesting switching track.

The Story Behind the Bear Creek & South Jackson

Magazine:
Page:
14
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
Chip interviews Charlie Comstock about his three versions of the Bear Creek & South Jackson, including how he set up some of his famous photo shots. The article is accompanied by track plans for his version 1 and version 3 layouts. A special diagram shows the space-saving wye.

The Third Street Industrial District

Magazine:
Page:
116
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
A hypothetical 2 x 10 foot switching layout is described here. There are 15 buildings, many of which are served by the railroad. The track plan was designed to allow for future expansion.

The Virginia & Truckee in N Scale

Magazine:
Page:
92
Author:
Scale:
N
Description:
Model Railroader magazine invited people to submit their track plans for an N-scale layout that was no larger than 5- square feet and fit in a 12' by 16' area. This article is by the person who won the contest. The layout design is set in 1876 and models the shipping of gold and silver found in Nevada.

The Virginian in HO and N

Magazine:
Page:
97
Author:
Description:
The author provides suggestions for how to build a layout that does justice to the Virginian Ry in both N- and HO-scale. Includes a trackplan for both scales and prototype photos

The Yard is a Railroad Sorting Machine

Magazine:
Page:
24
Author:
Description:
Two of John Armstrong's model railroad yard designs are shown, while the author discusses the various functions that take place in a yard.

Total Layout Design

Magazine:
Page:
90
Author:
Description:
This article discusses some basics for designing satisfying model railroads. Topics covered are design decisions that affect operating and scenery.

Towards a New Penn Creek Valley Part II

Magazine:
Page:
10
Author:
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes the thoughts he went through developing a design, track plan, and realistic integration of his layout into this available space (he had several options). Includes a sketch of the track plan.

Track Planning with a Computer

Magazine:
Page:
80
Author:
Description:
The author discusses how he used a CAD program to create the track plan for the current layout construction series of the BN N-scale layout. Two different layout ideas are discussed.

Two Track Plans for an L-shaped Space

Magazine:
Page:
88
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
Two track plans are described for building a switching layout in an L-shaped corner.

Urban Switching in HO

Magazine:
Page:
66
Author:
Scale:
HO
Description:
A track plan of a 12 by 16 feet layout is presented that can be used for inner-city modern switching operations. It is a G-shaped design with a swing gate bridge.