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I can help you plan a layout for that space.   I've designed and helped build several OGR member layouts.  Whoever helps will need the following info:

  • sketch or diagram of room (length/width, obstacles like supports, electrical panels) doors/entrances, windows.
  • Desired track system (Fastrack, Gargraves, Atlas, etc) - effects design choice of curves, switches
  • Desired operation: loop runner, point to point, single line, double or triple main line, industries
  • Flat or grades, tunnels, bridges (where do you want to model?) Mountains or flats

Check out the South Fork layout I helped design and build:


Ok thanks that is workable space no doors to worry about or windows no obstacles.

Will be using atlas track

something different than ovals

triple mainline with industries would be awesome if I could make that work

open to anything on the grades 

would like to have a tunnel and bridge of space allows

I dislike ovals as well.   Most of my layouts are twisted folded dogbones.   Triple main in your space, not oval may not be possible.   Do you mind if some track is out of reach?   Really could use a basic room diagram.   Sketch on paper with a straight edge and then take a pic with your phone and post.   Check out my youtube channel and let me know what you see that you like.   Then I'll draft a basic plan for your review.




Before you commit to a plan, ask yourself how you plan to operate.  If you just want a plan to make up a few trains in a yard and run them around a loop (a folded dogbone is just a loop in disguise with an up-and-over), then this plan may be perfect for you after modification to fit your room space.

But, if you really want to "operate," then this plan needs modifications.  As far as I can tell, there is only one industry track where "full" cars can be dropped off and "empties" picked up, or vice versa.  Every other car that leaves your yard will just be returning to the starting point.  Oh, sure, you can mix the cars up in the trains that leave and return, but after a while, that will get boring in itself.  Several more industries, and maybe even an interchange with another railroad, can surely spice things up!

Think about this concept before you invest a lot of time and money in a layout that may not meet all of your desires.


Tyler, Chuck (PRR1950) gave excellent advice.  If you aren't sure what operation you want, then maybe see if you can find some home layouts in your area to visit, or setup something simple on the floor to try some different types of operation before committing to a lot of work and expense.  I learned that I do not like switching a lot of industries by visiting a large home layout and participating.  I also learned this from an S-scale club in Pittsburgh that sets up two layouts at every Greenberg show.  One is a point to point switching layout, and the other is an American Flyer over and under double loop with operating accessories for the kids.  I like the scale modeling on the switching layout, but like the movement round and round with the AF layout.  So my layout will be similar to the AF layout, but with scale modeling.

This is great, I’m moving my layout into a new space which is 8’ 6” x 20’, with no structural interference. My wants are: a rise to a second level from a lower level with at least two mainlines with a crossover. Minimum curves O54” maximum I think would be O72” to allow the longest straight run. May use old style tubular track although Atlas is not out of the question. At least a tunnel and use of my center span lift bridge and 24” truss bridges. Need an engine service area with a single or double stall engine shed. Gantry crane spur it siding and a trackside crane. Passenger and freight stations. I have the Menards power station so that need a place where coal or tankers can offload through it. At least two spurs or sidings to store full length consists. I am okay with a lift out bridge. Era is steam/early diesel.

Any help is appreciated since the layout Obsidian posted is appealing. 


Last edited by ezmike

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