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I am finally building an actual layout. Here are some pictures of my mock up in the approximate way that I want to lay out the space. The layout base is 5‘ x 8‘, and I’m trying to incorporate several different areas into it. I want the Coppermine area from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a farm, Morton salt factory, and a large forest area.

Let me know what you think, and don’t sugarcoat it. I will take your thought's and comments into consideration, and keep you updated through the build process. The whole area between the farm and the town will be pine trees.734D4953-6C82-4CCC-9A8C-835BA7790F1C9C3E5F44-EDDE-43B0-9238-CBDD4003597AF8A3D78C-11D2-4CF3-B4C7-4F210A4D859B64F2258A-281E-41C6-B656-E18B0618D964CF86F4A8-2D8A-410A-88C4-6DF1863B7A54D2949B03-0F0C-4805-9B46-99187A21375B


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That looks good to me. You have a good ratio of track to scenery and structures. In my opinion, many people fill the layout with track and don't leave enough room for a town, industries or scenery. You might consider making the town a little larger and reducing the area devoted to pine trees. Also, add another switch and make the (front) siding a passing siding. That would give you the option of having two trains on the layout and running one at a time.


Since you invited earnest comments, I would ask that you give this some thought:

An 8x5 layout is an interesting size, and it lets you do a lot with tracks and switches.  As currently laid out, you will only have an oval and one turn out to park your train.

Believe me when I say this, and it is meant very respectfully and kindly:  You are going to get bored as heck, really quickly, just watching that train go around and around in an oval.    I mean, you are going to get really tired of it.  And, if you invite someone to come down and look at your train, they will be rolling their eyes and ready to go back upstairs after the train has gone around the oval four times.

I can tell that you like scenery and buildings, but I think other members can show you that even with a more extensive track layout, there is plenty of room for scenery.   

I am a novice.  My layout is 9ft x 5ft, only a little bit longer than yours.  Here's a picture of what I have been able to do with the extensive advice and help from Members of this board.   And, I haven't really even started on the scenery:



It does take time and money to buy the track, the bedding and the switches and turnouts.  But, you don't have to do it all at once  You just have to make sure that you have enough room to do a little at a time.

So, perhaps you may want to "sketch-out" a more extensive layout on your board with pencil or tape, and then leave enough room in and among your scenery (a railroad easement) to build it out in the future.

Hope this gives you some ideas.




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Thank you for your input.

@MELGAR I don’t think I can really pull off the passing siding and have it look right, I have played with that though. The siding is mainly going to be a logging area. I will play with the town and see if I can expand it a little, interesting idea.

@Mannyrock I actually have 3 different switches. I have the one in the pine trees, I have the one at the salt factory, and one currently on its way going into the engine house. I do have an 18” x 8’ extension all worked out in my head, to be worked on maybe after I finish this. It would add 2 more sidings and a loop extension. I feel like if I added more track to the existing plan without extending, it would begin to feel cluttered.    Side note: The layout is actually upstairs🙂

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