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Looking for opinions on these 3 layouts.  All 3 have minimum O48 curves on a 6x12 layout. I mainly enjoy running trains rather than switching and/or yards.  Each of these layouts has room for at least 1 turnout to park some small freight.  I’m fine with traditional gauge engines / cars and don’t necessarily need to accommodate scale size trains.  I do like a little more curves, twists, meandering than just plain oval layouts; ie. the “kid fun factor”.

The pretzel looks fun because of the twists and turns but it only has 1 reversing loop and the inner loop may be too tight.  The double reverse has more reversing flexibility and more room for turnouts but it really only has the outer loop.  The figure 8 with inner / outer loops probably would work better for longer trains or engines but it’s also very symmetrical and I wonder if I’ll get bored with it.   

I don’t think any of the layouts have dangerous S curves or are too close to the edge of layout.  So what say you?  Anything I’m missing here?

O48 6x12 - PretzelO48 6x12 - Double ReverseO48 6x12 - F8 45


Images (3)
  • O48 6x12 - Pretzel
  • O48 6x12 - Double Reverse
  • O48 6x12 - F8 45
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Since you asked...

My opinion is that you need to sit down and run through what you anticipate an operating session would be like for each of the three layout.  You need to do some thinking about what kind of scenery you anticipate having, including if applicable industries that would be served by your trains.  You need to think about how you are going to access each point of each of the layouts.  I know you say you like running more than yard work and switching.  That is how you feel now.  It may not be how you feel three years from now.  So you also should be thinking for each layout how difficult would it be in the future to add passing sidings, industrial spurs etc.  My final thought is that you say you will be running traditional sized locos and cars and don't need to accommodate scale sized locos and cars.  That being the case is O-48 necessary?  What options would be available if you decided to go with tighter minimum diameters?

For pure running I think option #2 is the best.  Option #3 OTOH gives you the option of parking a train or string of cars without losing operating potential.  That's just my view though.

@DL&W Pete posted:

I like the third design, you could run two trains at the same time.

I stared at it for a few minutes to try to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious.... And I still can't see how to run 2 trains simultaneously without risk of collision?

I can see how to park 2 additional trains on the lower sidings (if power is switched off if conventional), but I can't see how to run 2 easily without something complicated to avoid collision.  All possible paths seem to involve the upper left and right corners of the oval.

I do like the variety of possible paths in that layout though.  If I count right 4 possible reversing loop paths.  That's sort of neat.


Last edited by Dave45681

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