TWELVE FEET SWITCHING IN SIX

I’m not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  Another in a short series of space saving designs with operations in mind… For those with limited layout space, a previous concept (COMPACT TWO-PLACE SWITCHING) has two scenes stacked one on top of the other.  In TWELVE FEET SWITCHING IN SIX, offered below, it is all one level, but the inactive scene is hidden when operating.  This is done by means of a folding shelf, or rather, half of the layout folds away during operations and for storage. The designed rail height from the floor is … Continue reading TWELVE FEET SWITCHING IN SIX

RAILROADS INTERCHANGE IN TWELVE FEET

I am not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  Another in a short series of space saving designs with operations in mind… The interchange of traffic on railroads is essential.  A small layout based solely on the interchange of cars from one railroad to another is rare.  By its nature it would be a layout created for the operator. Taking the dynamic redeploying layout and staging concept in a different direction, I offer Railroads Interchange in Twelve Feet.  Of course, if more space is available then the layout and staging trolley can be increased in length, … Continue reading RAILROADS INTERCHANGE IN TWELVE FEET

DOUBLE-ENDED YARD IN FIFTEEN FEET

I am not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  Another in a short series of space saving designs with operations in mind… I think a yard as a layout is overlooked as a model railroad option.  Personally, I love the idea.  It is a great way to provide for lots of operation.  It is a “universal industry” that can accept any type of car.  It is simple and quick to build and scenic.  Those freight car aficionados who enjoy building detailed models can not only display their work in a natural setting, but can operate … Continue reading DOUBLE-ENDED YARD IN FIFTEEN FEET

STAGING CASSETTE Mk2

Further to my posting of yesterday, I offer what I think is an improved design…. One thing I did not like about my previous version, now called Staging Cassette Mk1 (See CATEGORY: TECH – LAYOUT CONCEPTS “STAGING CASSETTE Mk1”), was how thick the foam was.  To recall, the foam on the inside of both hinged sidewalls squeezes into the models and holds them in place while handling the cassette.  Even though I wrote that thinner foam could be used with wood strip spacers behind it, I didn’t entirely like this solution.  However, it would be workable. In noodling this some … Continue reading STAGING CASSETTE Mk2

STAGING CASSETTE MkI

Model railroad blogging is a very small universe.  At least, this is the impression I have from doing it the past 20 months.  Most know and enjoy Chris Mears’ blog, PRINCE STREET.  His posts are very thoughtful and focus in on, usually, modeling in small spaces.  Dropping in for a look is worthwhile. Last week Chris presented a clever concept for a functional layout design that is very interesting.  Here is a link to what he calls “The Matchbox”.  I like this neat little idea!  Staging is managed with cassettes, which Chris acknowledges is nothing new.  We’ve seen them offered as … Continue reading STAGING CASSETTE MkI

STAGING TROLLEY

Does an island layout have to be isolated? Avant-garde railroad modeler David Barrow had a brilliant series of Model Railroader articles in the mid-nineties.  He proposed, and practised, building layouts out of sectional table frames (“dominos”).  In the October 1997 issue (“South Plains District Revisited”), he wrote about using a staging trolley to move trains between two separate benchwork’s.  Having a short layout in two or more corners of a room, or in different rooms, may be one’s only choice for space.  A staging trolley allows traffic moves between them – another case of where not having a mainline between … Continue reading STAGING TROLLEY

STAGING ELEVATOR

I am not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  One of a small series of my hypotheticals…….. I have a passing interest for the trackage found along the Buffalo waterfront.  There, great grain elevators tower over a myriad of rails.  Many still silently stand today.  But this is just window dressing for a rough concept, which would, at least in North American terms, occupy a small space (6 feet x 8 feet).  The aim is to maximize the visible layout and minimize the staging. At the end of this posting there is a link to … Continue reading STAGING ELEVATOR

STAGING TURNTABLE

I have built this staging turntable before so it isn’t really a concept.  When I was with the Credit Valley Free-mo Group, being a self-serving steam guy, I wanted a means of turning my Erie USRA Heavy 2-10-2 locomotive at the end of a run.  So I built a double-track staging turntable. This device is handy for any size layout.  It can represent a non-modeled portion of a railroad – an engine terminal, a wye, a balloon loop.  Its relatively small size, dictated by the largest rolling stock to be turned, might be useful to the compact modeller allowing operations … Continue reading STAGING TURNTABLE

COMPACT 2-PLACE SWITCHING

I am not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  One of a small series of my hypotheticals…….. Does operating between two towns require a mainline? If a very limited space precludes a mainline run, one can still switch between two places – Compact 2-Place Switching (C2PS).  Presented as a bi-level shadow-box using a staging traverser with an elevating feature –  this type of operation is possible in a very small space.  For example, the upper level could have a small interchange yard and perhaps an industry and the lower level a destination industry or … Continue reading COMPACT 2-PLACE SWITCHING

STAGING TRAVERSER

The device that makes operations possible in the compact concepts S4F and CYS is the Staging Traverser.  This eliminates an unlimited number of turnouts and tail tracks. I would make this out of poplar dimensional lumber. Poplar is harder than pine but still easy to cut with hand tools.  In my experience, I find that it tends to be straighter and less warped than pine, although it costs more.  It looks very nice with a couple of coats of Varethane. Note that the end of the layout needs to be extended down to interface with the traverser (pictured below). The ball bearing … Continue reading STAGING TRAVERSER

COMPACT YARD SWITCHING

I am not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  One of a small series of my hypotheticals…….. Does a switching layout need industries to be a switching layout? Structures take up valuable space!  This rough concept is inspired by fine railroad modellers who like to build plastic/resin/wood, kit bash, and or scratch-build highly detailed and prototypically correct freight cars, who have very limited space for a layout but still wish to operate.  This is called Compact Yard Switching (CYS).  One needn’t bother with industries if the layout design is a classification yard, or more … Continue reading COMPACT YARD SWITCHING

MODEL RAILROAD TO GO

I am not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  One of a small series of my hypotheticals…….. Does a model railway need to occupy a dedicated space? An alternative for limited space that also gives a bit of a mainline run – not much of one, of course, but something 🙂 .  I call this Model Railroad To Go (MR2G).  This is just two narrow four foot long sections coupled together with just enough staging to hide a train away from the layout.  The key feature of this design is that it can be … Continue reading MODEL RAILROAD TO GO

SWITCHING IN FOUR FEET

I am not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  One of a small series of my hypotheticals…….. I offer a rough concept for a small switching layout: 12” x 48”; well actually about 61” including the staging.  I call this Switching in Four Feet (S4F).  I wanted to see how small I could go (within reason) for apartment sized spaces.  And since operating is very important to me, it is designed with that in mind.  I doubt that this is an original idea although I have not seen it before (my sincere respects to … Continue reading SWITCHING IN FOUR FEET

ENGINE TERMINAL IN EIGHT FEET

I am not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it?  One of a small series of my hypotheticals…….. I live in a condominium apartment.  I have a rectangular open space (9 feet wide by almost 19 feet long) in what would be my living/dining room.  Fillmore is 16 feet long, including my two staging modules.  The remaining distance is for an aisle at one end to get into the engine terminal side of the layout.  I am very lucky to have this rather extravagant space on hand!  Many railroad modellers have much, much less to work … Continue reading ENGINE TERMINAL IN EIGHT FEET