Skip to main content

My current layout utilizes my entire basement which is a total of 51 feet in length. The basement has multiple rooms and obstacles, so the layout snakes through these obstructions and there is no clear view of the entire layout from a single vantage point.  It is strictly a subway layout that contains 3 stations with a fourth station unfinished.  The layout gives the semblance of a two track subway, but in reality it is a one track subway using a reverse loop,  so only a single power source is required.  I have at times run two sets of trains, however there are complications as both engines do not maintain a constant speed.  At maximum width the layout is 14 feet wide.  There are 19 separate modules.


Here is the layout with a subway yard at the right.





In the near future I will be acquiring a different home.  It is in my plans to have an unobstructed space hobby room.  At first I had a very ambitious plan to build a 38x15 layout consisting of a 3 track subway and a 3 track elevated line.  I was able to use 16 of the 19 modules of the existing layout, but there would be many additional modules required to complete the layout.  It has been my plan to complete the subway and have trains running there before adding the elevated line.  Simply to get the subway running would be a tedious task.  The effect on the current layout shows the modules to be saved in BLACK and the modules to be removed in RED.




The new 38x15 layout shows the 16 modules to be reused in BLACK, but notice the additional new subway and elevated modules to be built in DARK BLUE.  Elevated modules sitting atop modules are shown in GREY.  Most of the reused modules are part of the reverse loop which is not part of any main line oval.  The subway is the outer loop and yard is still to the right.  Getting a subway up and running would first require the building of many new modules as well as building 2 new stations.




A second less ambitious plan calls for a 28x11 layout consisting of a 2 track subway and a 3 track elevated line.  I would be able to use 17 of the 19 modules of the existing layout.  These modules are shown in BLACK.  I would also be able to reuse part of an addition module (shown in BROWN).  The modules not to be used are shown in RED.




The 28x11 subway still contains the reverse loop, but there is a new outer curve at the left needed to complete the oval and allows for a two power source subway that leverages almost all of the existing layout.  The yard is now included within the oval.  All new modules are shown in DARK BLUE and new modules that partially use existing modules are shown in BROWN.  A subway would be able to run quickly, but there would be electrical work required to maintain the two power sources.  The reverse loop still exists, but is now an option off the main line oval.  The three stations still exist, but the fourth one is no longer in the design.




The elevated line will sit entirely on existing subway modules, and the new elevated modules are shown in GREY.  There is one elevated station, but there is an option to include another station at the upper left.  The express track in the upper part of the diagram rests ON TOP of the local tracks.  Some people call this a "double EL".  While this design uses less space, there are many access points.  It is also possible to see 5 trains running at once from any vantage point.  There is less stress on me as I do not need to add many additional modules.  Less space for the layout can allow for additional uses in the hobby room or main basement.





Images (6)
  • subway02l_loXnew3A
  • subway02l_loXnew3c1
  • subway2015_16x
  • subway02l_loXnew3c
  • subwayB_03c
  • subwayB_03cF
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I agree as I do not want to be building more benches.  The elevated line would be lightweight removable construction sitting on top of the current layout (city streets), possibly with some vertical 1x6s screwed to the sides of the existing benches for additional support.  The elevated track structure is under construction now.  Two modules have been built.  They are NYC elevated structure circa 1915 design.





Images (2)
  • el29
  • el30

I have added another design based on a home I am looking at.  The train room would not be a single rectangle but 2 rectangles forming sort of an "L" shape.  The layout would shrink lengthwise left to right by 5 feet, but will add 6 feet to the lower left hand corner.  What this means is as follows:


1. I will reuse 14 or 15 of the 19 benches in the existing layout.  However I would cannibalize a lot of the track, tunnels, beams, 3rd rail, electrical, etc.


2. I will keep my 3 stations.  My elevated station will be reduced in size from 104 inches to 96 inches or maybe 91 inches.  No big deal.


3. My subway yard actually INCREASES from 8 layup tracks to 9.


4. I am still able to retain subway, elevated, and "double" elevated.  I will still be able to run 5 simultaneous trains.


5. More space is opened up for additional control (i.e. transformers) at the loop section.


6. The loop is no longer a reverse loop.  It is now an option off one of the main lines.


Here is the layout with some 3D images.  The elevated steelwork is incomplete for this design, but some of it is shown.








Images (5)
  • plan
  • 3d_04
  • 3d_03
  • 3d_02
  • 3d_01
The Track Planning and Layout Design Forum is sponsored by


OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)

Link copied to your clipboard.