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Ideas needed for a layout


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Many years ago I purchased a baseboard (approximately 4" x 6") on which to build a layout in n-guage. I never got around to doing so at the time due to moving home and going to university. As I have just located some of the n-guage rolling stock I purchased around that time I thought it would be a good opportunity to revisit and to build my first proper layout.


In terms of the locomotives I have they are:


- A4 Pacific 'Mallard' in BR Green (Minitrix)

- Class 4P '40938' in BR Black (Graham Farish) - (The Graham Farish website says that this was never manufactured!?)

- 'Robert' a private J94 (Graham Farish) (This was part of an n-guage starter set)

- 3F Jinty in BR Black


The rest of the rolling stock is a mixture of private wagons and brake vans.


It seems a bit of a mix but these were purchased when I still 'played' trains and I bought what appealed to me!


My requirements are that I do want a 'tail-chaser' element and probably double tracked but with parts hidden by scenery but I would also like to incorporate storage sidings, a turntable, engine sheds and some goods shunting. It will also be steam (I can't say modern locomotives interest me that much).


I like the idea of having a dock (so I can use the private loco and provide some good shunting opportunities) with some exchange sidings but I am struggling with how to incorporate this in the space and with the 'tail chaser' requirement. This would be vaguely based on Preston which has a branch line from the main station to the docks. http://www.prestonst...g.uk/Docks.html


If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them! Also if anyone can recommend some track planning software that would be suitable for n-guage?


Attached are some of the pictures I took on my mobile when I was testing the locomotives over the weekend.


Thank you!




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Assuming you are still using the 6x4 baseboard the good news is you have plenty of space, in that space you can easily get a generous oval in with much of what you are looking for.


Off the top of my head I would go for an oval taking up the rear 3 feet of the baseboard. I would probably make it double track in scene but on the curve drop it to single track then open again into your behind the scenes storage. That way you'd only get one tail chaser at a time ( couldn't run both tracks non-stop ) but the storage is a lot more efficient. Inside the oval I'd leave empty for scenics, outside the oval at the front you'd have about 1ft to play with which is quite a lot.


To one side (thus using the extra space created by the oval) I'd have your engine shed and turntable. Maybe the Engine shed could be for the docks while the turntable is used to turn mainline locos and a small service area for watering locos.


Adjacent to the mainly I'd have probably 3 parallel exchange sidings, then in the foreground your dockyard.

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Could be worth a look at some proprietary trackplan suggestions. Many of the mags feature these, albeit not necessarily monthly. There are several well thought-of books on the subject that you might want to investigate; folk on here will have a view of what's wheat and what's chaff.


In answer to your planning software question, I'm not sure if Templot has a specific 2mm application. No doubt Martin Wynne (contributor) will be able to advise you.

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Templot will handle ANY gauge/scale so yes it'll work with 2mm/ft in all it's guises. Does have the caviet, of course, that it's not designed for commercial track so you'd have to find templates or just work 'approximately' and use the same point everywhere.

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Ok had a lightbulb moment.


12" is good enough radius for n-gauge - so in the middle of your board you have a oval which takes up the middle 24" x 40-44" of the board.


One one side you have exchange sidings similar to the layout of the exchange sidings for Black Country Blues (the RMWeb project) then the private line curves, alongside the mainline, to the other side of your board to the docks. Your fiddle storage would be in the middle, which would be a little awkward to get to, but as long as you can get round to 3 sides of your 6x4 not a major issue.


So the layout would be :-


Docks (including a small private loco shed)


Fiddle yard


Visible half of the loop

Exchange sidings, turn table and re-fueling.

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Thank you for the quick responses! I was not expecting such an indepth response so quickly!


Track is something I am going to have to invest as the starter kit did not contain much and it has become very dirty over the years as well. Any ideas on the best buy track wise?


Katier - I like the sound of your plan and will have to have a go at sketching it out to visualise it. I am used to have all my stock 'on display' as I was very lucky to have an awful lot of OO locomotives bought for me when I was growing up. My idea with an N gauge layout was something that takes up less room and with a more prototypical feel.


Chard - I have looked at some of the online plans and when I was originally planning this layout there was one I really liked with a terminus station on a hill and a loop going underneath. Since then my tastes have changed and rather than passenger trains I like the idea of incorporating more goods workings.

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Quick starter for 10, all track except the oval is Peco finescale with points being medium for the exchange sidings and small for the dock. I tried to get the complex feel of a dockyard, but not sure if I managed it. The dock engine shed is off to the left.


It' very much a first go, give people to start talking about, rather than a finalised design. Also worth going to the RMWeb show at Stafford this W/E. Last year they had a layout designer person there - worth talking to him ( can even take my plan if you want).



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Thanks for the plan! Just to confirm that the top section would be the dock area?


I won't be able to attend the show at the weekend but will certainly have a much more detailed look at that plan and see how it works out. Do you have any idea whether the loco's are candidates for conversion to DCC?

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