The Design of Small Model Railways

Showcase layout

MAN SchienenbusShowcase layout
[90×30 cm²]
 Visible track
 Hidden storage track
 Girder bridge
 Wooden bridge
 Cover over hidden tracks
 Romantic ruin

This layout has been published on the Micro Layout Design Gallery by Carl Arendt.

This micro layout is a variation of the Grand Chasm Scenic RR. The original plan showed a small (narrow-gauge) oval with a “half-turntable” annex removable train cartridge, in order to allow storing trains away. I like the idea of a “half-turntable”, because it consumes less space than a full turntable. The turntable-track only swings out when in operation.

Anyhow, the original plan has very small radii, thus making the plan only suitable for narrow gauge. I wanted to adapt the plan so it can also be operated with normal gauge H0 1:87-16½ mm. By using two “half-turntables”, I’ve avoided the small radii. Basically, you'll get a small piece of show-track, marked , between both “half-turntables” . You’ll lose the continuous running from the original. There’re also two hidden storage tracks . Hiding the storage tracks with scenery can be tricky. I suggest a special solution for hiding the tracks, but nothing is obligatory. Because the layout is extremely small, I believe the scenery should be condensed and dramatic. I envision a German style, romantic bridge scene. There’s a steel girder bridge at . The hidden tracks and are hidden by a covered, wooden bridge. Wooden bridges are very rarely used for train tracks, so this one should look like a road bridge. Thick bushes should hide the entrances of the bridge, so no trains will be visible. This layout should be used for eye-level viewing only, because otherwise the visual effect is lost.

At I’ve drawn a curved background. At I’ve located a small ruin, adding to the romantic impact.

I intend this plan for operating railcars (in German: Schienenbussen). Those railcars will fit into the 25-30 cm length of the turntables. Maybe also a shunter (e.g. DB series 360) with two short 2-axle freight cars would fit. Well, this is definitely a branch line somewhere in the 1960’s or 1970’s.

 Freddy De Wilde from Belgium built a small layout with narrow gauge trains from Austria. Here we also find a ruin over a tunnel. Seen at the Rail 2010 exhibition in the Netherlands.


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