Skip to main content


New to this group and also constructing my first O gauge layout. I'd appreciate any feedback on the attached plan which is based on a John Armstrong Schuykill Division Plan. The dimensions are roughly 50' long. The blue shaded boxes are things that I need access to in the basement (furnace and on demand water heater for when they need to be replaced. There is a lot of elevation change which I haven't added to the plan yet, Going with Ross switches and track with Gargraves for the transition pieces. Thanks in advance for any feedback.


Images (1)
  • basement 2
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

It's hard to provide meaningful comments at this stage of development, but here's a few that apply now.

1. If using track plan software, let us know which one and provide/attach a copy of the latest plan file.  However, continue to provide images of the plan, as well, for those who don't have the same software.  That way, everybody can participate.

2.Consider having 3 tracks to the turntable (since you have plenty of space); one for entrance, one for exit, and one for coal deliveries and ash removal.

3. Your yard needs to be reworked to have a yard lead that doesn't interfere with main line running and that is at least as long as your longest yard track.

4. In your image, there seems to be a lot of space available and not being used.  If you don't want suggestions to fill it with improvements, leave it out of your plans.

5. Are you going to build a layout with "purpose" for your trains to run (industries, interchanges, multiple passenger stops, etc.) or just to run your trains through scenery?  If for purpose, read Armstrong's realistic operations planning book and add those to your design now.  You might also search out and read information about Frank Ellison's Delta Lines model railroad.

Good luck.


Last edited by PRR1950


Thanks for the feedback. I'm using Railmodeller Pro as on a Mac. I will post the file after I get in and clean up and add the track heights to the plan.

I do have Armstrong's book on operations and do plan to have a RR with a purpose. that also runs few trains continuously . There are some additional branchlike tracks that I need to add, but have some good thoughts on this.

Sorry, but you are using the least common software on this forum.  Looking at your "picture" doesn't tell us radii being used, the distance between levels, or the actual grades.  However, I am concerned about the wye which appears to be on a grade (switches on a grade are never recommended) and which seems to need a much tighter curve to get started off the main line.



Sorry for the software but I just use Mac OS and haven't had the need to load windows so I started on Railmodeller pro.

The wye and that branch is a standalone run that will be elevated around 19-20" The middle of the wye will be a hilltop. I'm going to run a shay withe a few cars back and forth, so the radius is smaller here. The plan will be to connect some industries (probably coal or timber)

The rest of the track is min 72 diameter. The elevation for the crossovers are 8" clearance which allows for a 2% slope in most cases.


Some more basic thoughts.

1.  All of that track, and all of that space, and all of that money, and you will only have two mainlines to run your trains?

2.  I know that this is very strictly a matter of taste, but upon completion, you are basically going to be looking down on a massive trainyard, with little room for scenery, and again, only two mainlines.   Do you really love switching that much?   

Just some things to consider.


Add Reply

The Track Planning and Layout Design Forum is sponsored by

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.