Skip to main content

This is a layout plan created for John Headley, who contacted me about expanding on an earlier design for his family:  Earlier Layout Plan  John's wife is also involved in the layout planning and selection of structures .

This version was expanded to allow an all O-72 route on the outside, with O-72 turnouts, while the inside route is O-60 with O-60 turnouts.  So both O-54 and scale O-72 trains can run on this layout, as well as traditional-sized equipment.   We found room to add a turntable and engine tracks in the right-side O-60 turn, for O-54 minimum locomotives.   

The actual dimensions are 6'5"x17'9".   John decided to curve the table surface around the left and right front corners, for better access and to easily move around the layout, and for an attractive look.

John has room for a 2'+ access aisle around the two sides as well as the front access, and he is considering a table on castors that can roll out for construction and occasional access.   The central operating and access "well", plus the two sides give this layout quite good reach and access for construction and maintenance.


Close-up view without the aisles:


Atlas has released an update to their 24" turntable, which fits this space quite well.  Redesigned Turntable.   The redesign looks more reliable and more attractive.   The layout front features Lionel's Lift-Out Extended Truss Bridge, along with two 10" girder bridges on the approach on each side.  Youtube bridge demonstration by Mike Reagan - very good!

The upper-left corner on top of the mountain has a small N-gauge circle of track for an amusement-ride train.   There is a ticket booth and waiting area, as well as a parking space serving this attraction.   

I hope you enjoy!  Comments and suggestions are always welcome.  -Ken


Images (2)
  • M616-01_6X16_JHv3d
  • M616-01_6X16_JHv3d-closeup
Last edited by Ken-Oscale
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

A few comments now that I have some time to post this morning.

The reason we went with Fastrack was because of how much I already owned.  My current collection came from a one time buy, belonging to a former boss. The purchase consisted of all his trains and his layout.  It was buy all or nothing deal.  It was enough to fill to the top of the cap I have on the back of my full size pickup.  I sold about a third of his trains to pay for most of the purchase price.  I was left with a couple of dozen trains that consist of conventional, DCS, and TMCC, but no Legacy.  The buy also included all of his Fastrack.  The track included a little over a complete loop in 060, 072, and 084, and enough straight track to complete a layout.  I had also picked up the large bridge last year on a sale, in anticipation of a future layout.  His layout was powered by a TMCC system with cab 1 and 4 180w power bricks, along with a DCS system.  There was command accessories.

I had no room for my layout in my house at the time, but a job change and subsequent move provided and opportunity to build a permanent layout.  Train space was a major requirement when house hunting.  The new house has a walkout finished basement that is dry and conditioned.  But  the space had to accomodate my other needs.  The basement has been divided into thirds.  One third is my newly completed woodworking shop (my other hobby). I made a decision that I would not think about a train layout until I moved my shop. The middle third is an already existing entertainment area with a large screen projector and seating the family enjoys.  The remaining third is what I had to work with for a layout.

Ken's original design he references in his post, utilized the large bridge and would fit nicely in the available space. His design also used Fastrack, but with 060 and 048 curves.  I asked if it could be expanded to prevent me from having to buy any 048.  All of my current trains will run on 036, but I do like the option of going larger if possible. The  biggest limit was 6' 8" depth in order to still have access to a closet along one wall.  That meant the 084 track I already have would not work.  Buy going with 072 and 060, along with limiting the back of the layout to two parallel lines, he was able to fit it in the space with a few inches to spare.  The larger track added length, but still allowed me a little over 2' on each side for access.  His revised design fits perfectly in the available space.  The entire family was excited about his idea to add the newly proposed Atlas turntable to the layout.  Did not think that would have been a possibility if I designed it myself.  The rounded front corners make the construction a little more complicated, but I have built curved front furniture before, so look forward to the challenge of making those corners functional.  I really like how the project combines my two favorite hobbies.  I get to do some woodworking and then play with trains when completed.

The next step is to design the tables for the layout and acquire the missing track pieces over the next few months.  There will be a wait until the Atlas turntable is released, but I can get a functional layout before that is available.  I have no switches, and will be focusing on picking up those.  I want to use command control switches on the layout.  In researching  the available switches on the market, I see that there are two command control switches in stores, with two different model numbers. For example, the 072 RH command control are available in model # 6-16827 and # 6-81952.  Searching the forum, it looks like Lionel changed the model numbers a few years ago, and some of the old model switches are still available.  I can't really see where they are any difference and are interchangeable.  If not and there are difference, please let me know because I plan to take advantage of one or two 4th of July sales to add pieces to the layout.  Thanks.



Last edited by jstraw124
@johnshorse posted:

This track plan is great.  Solves all my issues.  Can it be translated into Gargraves and Ross?  Is there s labled diagram or track inventory list?  Thank you....

John, sure it could be converted to Gargraves/Ross, conversion should be easy.  No labeled diagram or inventory list.  I will see if I can get together a track inventory list for you.


John, here is a track section list:

Fastrack Track

  • 6-12042, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Straight 30".          10
  • 6-12014, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Straight 10".          10
  • 6-12024, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Straight 5".          7
  • 6-12025, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Straight 4 1/2".          13
  • 6-12026, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Straight 1 3/4".          8
  • 6-12073, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Straight 1 3/8".           16
  •  28 1-3/8" roadbed trimmed included with turnouts
  • 6-12056, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Curve 30", angle 22.5º (O60)          29
  • 6-12041, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Curve 36", angle 22.5º (O72)          20
  • 6-12055, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Curve 36", angle 11.25º (O72)          5
  • 6-12040, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Straight transition 5".          1
  • 6-12035, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Buffer/Bumper (Light) 5".      5
  • 6-12050, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Crossing 14 1/4". 22.5º          1
  • 6-81951, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Left turnout 13 1/8". (O60) Remote/Command          5
  • 6-81950, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Right turnout 13 1/8". (O60) Remote/Command         6
  • 6-16826, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Left turnout 14 1/4". (O72) Command Control          2
  • 6-16827, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Right turnout 14 1/4". (O72) Command Control          2
  • 6-16832, 0 Lionel FasTrack, Wye turnout 12". (O72) Command Control          1

Atlas-O Track Section or flex cut-to-fit (or use Gargraves, cut to fit)

  • 6015, 0 Atlas 3-Rail Nickel Silver Track, Straight 1 1/4".          1
  • 6050, 0 Atlas 3-Rail Nickel Silver Track, Straight 10".          7
  • 6052, 0 Atlas 3-Rail Nickel Silver Track, Straight 1 3/4".          2
  • 6053, 0 Atlas 3-Rail Nickel Silver Track, Straight 5 1/2".          3
  • 6910, 0 Atlas 3-Rail Nickel Silver Track, Turntable diameter 24".   1
Last edited by Ken-Oscale

Hi folks,

I think this is the design I will choose to build for my first layout.  It seems about the right size to attempt to build.  I like the larger radius for when I get into the big engines.

I was wondering if you could incorporate a crossover vs the ‘x’ crossing by the station.  With my young kids running trains I like two independent loops to avoid calamity.

One last thing….the designs posted by Ken-Oscale are inspiring.  These layouts are the reason I purchased my magazine and digital subscription plus the compact layout ebook (I am also enjoying the many other benefits of subscription too). Wanted to thank you for all of the work and effort in posting and articles on layouts in the magazine!

Any help or thoughts are appreciated. I also appreciate your understanding if dredging a year old post is a faux pas.


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.