The Design of Small Model Railways

Enlarging the layout

Small Round Layout
[d=100 cm]
 Office building

When designers of track plans make too many plans, they start acting strange. Maybe I’ve reached this stage, because most commonly round layouts are being drawn. These can be build into a coffee table. But before you know you’ll end up with a large piece of furniture, for European standards, in your home. But in America round layouts seem quite common. In the book by Mat Chibbaro [Mat Chibbaro: Model Railroading in Small Spaces] a round track plan for under the Christmas tree is published. Seen in this light, my redesign of the plan on the previous page is quite acceptable. The interchange track and factory have disappeared, but the rest remains the same. I’ve used PECO tracks from the Setrack program.

Large Round Layout
[d=150 cm]
 Gravel loading
 Office building

When we increase the diameter with 50% we get a n instantanious improved result. The radius of the main track goes from a minimal 371 mm to a reasonable >600 mm. The branch to the quarry remains problematic, but not worrisome. And we’ve got room for an extra siding. There’s more space for the scenery so we can give the building more air. The question remains where to put a wagonwheel of 1½ m diameter. But I hope I’ve shown the effect of enlarging. The tracks are from the Lima NEM120 program.

Large Round Layout
[d=120 cm]

Since the Lima track system is no longer available, I redesigned the layout, but now with Märklin C-track. Märklin released large radius arc switches in 2016. I have been able to use these here and have been able to copy the same design, with some modest changes. What makes it even better is that the curves are all smooth, with no straight in-betweens. This will significantly improve the way the trains run.

 This demonstration layout at the Pecorama shows a beginners layout. The simple track plan and decoration makes the scene look harmonious and not overloaded.

Peco demonstratiebaan

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