Track Plan At A Glance
Layout Theme: Varies
Layout Type: Portable
Size: 6'x7' (30"x63" per section)
Scale: HO or S Scale
Turnouts: No. 4
Min. Radius: 24"
Article by: Jim Spavins
Published: October 13, 2015
This month will be Round and Round October - a series of three portable model railroads simply designed for trains to go around in circles. These plans are focused on building display layouts to go to train shows and feature highly detailed scenes. Operations is a secondary priority.
One of the challenges of portable layouts is transporting them from place to place. One way to simplify the process and reduce the overall volume of the layout is to limit the number of sections which need to be moved. Most of the plans this month have a loop on at least four sections. This plan is designed to reduce that number to three. The hexagon design offers some depth for scenery and potentially some sidings but allows the layout to be broken down into sections which could be moved by one person.
I had originally published this plan in my club's newsletter as a design challenge to see what the members could come up with. A PDF with a scale drawing and some of the design parameters is available here. I created a pair of sample plans which are shown above and described below. Feel free to download the PDF and try your hand at designing something for this footprint.
One of my favorite prototype railroads was the Kaslo and Slocan Division of the Canadian Pacific in British Columbia. I've always wanted to build a layout of the line and even had an HO plan published in Model Railroader in the May 2009 issue. This plan is fairly simple and emphasizes the mainline run with the up and over design. There is only one industry served - a logging camp at the top of the hill. Cars would be brought down to the rail barge. A small engine service track is also included. The scenery in this area is lots of tall pine tree covered hills. This will make transportation difficult so the hills towards the middle of the railroad will need to be made removable. This plan is currently designed to work in HO scale and potentially S scale with a very small Plymouth type engine. All the turnouts are curved so the track would most likely need to be handlaid on the railroad.
Circle City Lines
This layout represents an industrial city theme with the railroad serving a large factory and a small fishing plant. There is a passenger station as well as an area for an engine house. The curves are tight with just a 24" minimum radius. This would work fine for an interurban line in O scale or a railroad with small switcher engines and 40' cars in S scale. It is expected that all the buildings would be removed from the railroad for transport making the benchwork sections fairly thin at 6-8" inches in total depth.
For Track Plan Tuesday's, I am digitizing all of my old track planning notebooks and sharing the designs here on the website. To see all the plans, visit the track plan home page at: jimspavins.com/jimstrackplans.