The Design of Small Model Railways

City layout

City layout
[200×50 cm²]
 Goods shed
 Low bridge
 Industry
 Background
 Scenic blocker

This plan has been made upon request of Holland Scale, a manufacturer of scale models of Dutch houses. The objective was to create a typical Dutch layout. The plan has been published on the site of Holland Scale.

The plan depicts some feeding lines for industries within a imaginary Dutch city. Centrally located is a canal, crossed by the railway line with a low bridge. The right-hand side of the layout should be connected to a fiddle yard. When you add another fiddle yard at the left-hand side the possibilities are extended. It is also possible to create a exhibition layout by connecting both ends with a loop.

Tracks 1 and 2 are through tracks. The tracks 1ª and 2ª can be used as through tracks or sidings, depending on the layout of the fiddle yards. Track 3 is a siding for goods wagons, track 4 leads to a goods shed and track 5 is the feeder for a small machine factory or something similar. All rails are Roco-Line, made by Roco. The switches have all 10 degrees angles. The other spurs are made from flex-track.

The industrial buildings at and are kit-bashed Kibri kits, namely B-9462, B-9782 en B-9786. These buildings have, in my opinion, enough Dutch character to be used here. The other buildings are a combination of different Holland Scale town houses, added together to form rows. Both rows, front-right en back-left, can be put together according your own wishes. The buildings are allocated in such a way that the screen-off the transition between the visible part and the fiddle yards. These building have to have some height to fulfill this purpose. The transition is also blocked by the scenic blockers , whose function can be compared with side-curtains on a stage. is the background of the layout.

Rolling stock

The operation of this layout is simple. This design focuses again on shunting. Shunting can be done by a special hunter. Passenger services should be kept simple. A train set, for example the famous Dutch “Sprinter”, is sufficient to simulate a regular passenger service according to a timetable. You could imagine the layout depicts a part of the railway line Rotterdam-Hoek van Holland. When you wish to deploy longer trains, you should also enlarge the fiddle yards at both ends. For the goods services enough domestic and foreign rolling stock is available to create interesting operations. Freight locomotives and shunters are available for all eras. You can make your own choice.

The design isn’t fixed to a certain era. But you’ve to take into consideration that nowadays the number of feeding lines to industries is very limited and Railion (the largest Dutch rail freight operator) and its competition like block trains only. But you shouldn’t bother about this too much.

 The railway line to Dordrecht ran elevated through the city of Rotterdam. This photo shows the situation at station Beurs between 1890 and 1905. Nowadays, the railway line and the station are underground.

De Beurs en Station Beurs in Rotterdam tussen 1890 en 1905
Proposal for the fiddle yards

Below you’ll find my proposal for the hidden sidings of the fiddle yard. Here 15 degrees Roco-Line switches are used in order to save space. You can equip these fiddle yards as you wish. Most likely better solutions can be found. The thing I would do is to extend the visible sidings to the non-visible parts. This way the storage capacity of the sidings is increased.

City layout

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