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I have put this layout together and was just after some feed back, good or bad. It's going to be N scale, I was trying to put some sort of elevation into it but I wasn't getting anywhere with that. I have been looking at different freight yards but nothing has been standing out. It's not based on anything, however I think the areas I have do not fit together some how.



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So help can be best provided if you give some more information.


What are the dimensions of the layout?


What era are you trying to model?


What are your interests, what is a priority?  Is it mainly switching things, or are you more interested in realism?


Any limitations we need to be aware of?


Is there space for a fiddle yard (even if temporarily attached during operation)?

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So it's N scale

The base is 1800x400

The era is modern, the silo is for wheat

It is going to be used as a variation of the timersaver at this stage, but if a space becomes available then it may be incorporated into a bigger layout.

No space for a fiddle yard at this stage.

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So for those of us who aren't modern, 1800 is 70.8"' (5.9') x 15.7", which for N is a very respectable amount (again, for most of us doubling that gets you an approx 12' long OO layout equivalent).


Elevation changes are difficult, and likely not really possible in the space you have available - though if this is more inner city than industrial area perhaps move the trackwork closer to one edge and put a simple track with maybe on siding on an elevated section at the rear?


Others on here are good at designing layouts, I'm not, but my immediate thought is have you looked at other layouts for inspiration?  Not just 6' long N layouts, but 12' or shorter OO layouts?


For example this US presentation features several OO layouts that would seem to fit into your space, do they interest you or inspire you at all (looking just at the track layout and adding your own industries and scenery)?



  • Sheepcroft Yard (p14) just the upper part of the L
  • Evenstowe (p17)
  • Albion Yard (p20)






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Yeah, I used that link to get this layout, some good ideas there.  I was hoping to add a extra dimension to it. 


Well one has flagged anything majorly wrong with the layout.

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Here's my 2p-worth. Might sound negative but trying to be helpful...


First - it doesn't seem to GO anywhere? Given that there's no room for a fiddleyard, there still isn't an obvious entry/exit track where trains would arrive or depart.

Second - all the car spots off the run-round loop need each other to be clear of cars (or is it wagons? Are we talking USA or UK here?) before they can be switched (shunted) or the loco can run round the train; this leads to-

Third - basically the run-round loop is in the wrong place. A train can only access it from the upper spurs by pulling into the 'Warehouse' spot; said train will also be very short.


My advice, go for a simpler set-up like an 'Inglenook' - but with looooong sidings, which can hold several freight cars each, much more realistic. It might look like a very basic and boring trackplan, but operating potential on a switching layout is dependant on how many 'industries' or 'car spots' you have, not on complex trackwork. It doesn't have to be worked as a 'switching puzzle' either.

If you're into US trains, (and I'm assuming you are as there are neither the trains nor freight facilities like this in the UK these days) check out these layouts on RMweb:-

Hope that helps.

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Thanks for that, I was going for an Australian feel,  those links are interseting.


I guess I was more focused on the timesaver layout and use it for shunting, I do have a HO version which I enjoy, but you do make some intersting points.


So if I had a main line "running" through then that would give the potential for a train to arrive and depart.  I could flip the silo, lose the road to the north to give more room for a main line, add a point where you could come of the main line and into the timesaver.  Sure the rakes won't be long, but 'm putting together an iron ore layout, so I have the 260 long rake coverd :)

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4 hours ago, regme said:

So if I had a main line "running" through then that would give the potential for a train to arrive and depart.


Even if you don't have the space for a fiddle yard or even a simple track on a board for off scene by simply adding at least 1 track to the edge of the layout to act as a connection to the outside world improves the visual realism - it looks like you are looking at a smaller part of the real thing because the brain can "see" that connection vs looking at an isolated piece of railway.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well it's starting to take shape, I have used 6mm dowel rods and 1.25mm tie wire to change the points.

The wiring is done, turned out one on the points was an electrofrog and kept shorting out until I put in some insulated joints, trap for young players, now for the buildings



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Hi. I'm a fan of manual point control. For that, you can read that I don't much like trying to fit point motors, if you like! 

Like the dowel idea. Can I ask what kind of wire you've used to feed up into the tie bar? 




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Dowel Push Rods for Manual Point Control


I didn't find much infomation but this is how I did it after I saw it on another layout and thought it would be good try, plus the kids like the idea.


The wire is 1.25mm tie wire (photo #2), you would use it tie mesh fence to star pickets.  Dowels are 6mm in dia.


This is the basic idea, it doesn't matter what angle the point is relative to the edge of the base board, I wanted the rods to be perpendicular to the edge of the board, you could do it so that dowel is parallel to the tie bar if you like.


I drilled a hole about 3 sleepers up from the tie bar (photo #3), bent the wire to fit into the hole of tie-bar and bent so it would go through the hole in the base board.


I used eyelets so the dowel had a support (photo #4), once under the board bend the wire so its perpendicular to the dowel drill a hole through the dowel and feed the wire through.







Edited by regme
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  • 3 weeks later...

A bit more work on the warehouse, from 3D modelling to cardboard.  I think I'll 3D print the exhaust outlets, since I'm print the stairs, my effort a scratch building at this scale needs work (as well as HO).


Are there any thought's on modelling corrugated sheeting in N scale, finding heaps on HO scale.




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