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I was ondering about your first layout

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Printed on: 2018 February 18


Topic author: fund899
Subject: I was ondering about your first layout
Posted on: 2010 June 04 4:32:42 PM

I am currently building my first N scale layout. My table measures 3'6"x6'6" and I am using KATO track. My curves are the new super elvevated and my main industrie is a large grain elevator.
My question is what size was your first layout and are some of the track plan being used in your current layout or did you start from scratch on your current layout?
I was just wondering the number of layouts that were continuly tweeked,inproved up on and enlargedand how many modelers have built multiple layouts.


Reply author: tgromek
Replied on: 2010 June 04 4:47:57 PM

My first layout was HO scale, it wasn't much more than a loop of track with sparsely place scenery.

Since then, I've probably started around 10 layouts, I say started, I never really finished any of them, including my current layout.

It's a learning process, you really have to get the trains running before you can decide which type of layout works best for you.

My current layout is in a room roughly 12' x 14', it's an around the walls style.

Reply author: fund899
Replied on: 2010 June 04 4:56:27 PM

Thank You Tery for your responce.
The reason for my question is I never seem to be completely satisfied with my track plan or some part of it and I am constinely learning. I am spending a fair amount of money on the track.
I was just wondering how many modelers build multiple layouts before they complete one they really like and how many modelers change track choice on a second or third layout.

Reply author: DJCONWAY
Replied on: 2010 June 04 5:42:15 PM

First layout 1964 4'x4' preformed styro-foam HO twice around, no turnouts, 15 & 18" curves, 3-3.5% grades roundy-round.
First N-Scale layout 1973 6"x48" Book shelf top switching layout. College dorm room - was only going to be an experement in N scale.

Current layout (started 2005) 22.5'x10' N scale. (long experiment)

Reply author: johnnyb58
Replied on: 2010 June 04 5:42:54 PM

My 1st layout was a 3-1/2x5 ft. Atlas N06 layout that I modified for two reverse loops.

My last Layout was a Portable 3x8 Kato V11 SuperElevated Layout.

My latest layout in progress is Atlas Code 55 yard.

Reply author: sp_train_77
Replied on: 2010 June 04 5:47:11 PM

Originally posted by tgromek

My first layout was HO scale, it wasn't much more than a loop of track with sparsely place scenery.

Heck, mine was less than that. 2 X 4, in HO, with one track running across it, one spur accessing a small sawmill.

I think I had more fun with that one than any that have followed, it was all "new" and was a journey of discovery.

Also found out how close to the edge of the benchwork I could drive a Shay without diving it off the edge. (don't ask me how I know )

Reply author: sp_train_77
Replied on: 2010 June 04 5:56:24 PM

Originally posted by johnnyb58
My latest layout in progress is Atlas Code 55 yard.

Wow, what a design. A complete end-to-end railroad wrapped up in one small space.

Bill Barr and I proposed a similar concept in an article in N Scale magazine back in the mid-90's called the Paperclip. You have taken it to its logical extreme. Lots of track, sure, but tons of operations.

Reply author: Spookshow
Replied on: 2010 June 04 6:04:04 PM

I've finished five N scale layouts in the past ten years. Each one has been a learning experience, providing me with plenty of "this is what I'd like to try differently next time" lessons. Most of them have been small table-top layouts, although the one I'm currently working on is more of a room-sized affair. Apart from the experience, I haven't really carried anything over from one layout to the next - they're all pretty much their own unique deals.

Actually, apart from sentimentaility, I'm not sure that there's anything I would want from those previous layouts. One's skills and ambitions advance over time, and the older stuff does start to look a bit hacky given even a little bit of perspective (y'know, like the stuff I did two months ago )


Reply author: sdodge
Replied on: 2010 June 04 7:11:03 PM

My first layout was HO also, the old MR plan the Gum Stump and Snowshoe, 2' x 8'(switching layout). My current and last N scale layout is about the same size as yours, 3' x 7'. Done right, you can have a lot of operation in that size.

Steve Dodge

Reply author: fvracer_x
Replied on: 2010 June 04 7:21:11 PM

My first layout was an HO 4x8 double track loop (not unlike the N scale layout I'm building now). That loop got an extension that took it to an 8x8 (with the outside loop extended to run around the new portion).

My 2nd layout was a 4x10.5 HO scale yard with a loop. That layout later got incorporated as a yard scene in a 12x20 around the walls with a duck-under.

My current and first N scale layout is on a standard door and is a slightly modified and lengthened version of Don Culp's Havaphew Central (see the MRR website for the original plan if you like). I am already planning an around the walls N scale layout that I will start from scratch when I have the walls to run it around...

Wow, it doesn't sound like much in type, but that represents an on and off period that spans 28 years of my life.

Lots of good memories.

- Martin

Reply author: Kodiak Island Modeler
Replied on: 2010 June 05 4:15:14 PM

MY first layout was the HO Plywood Summit Lines with the wharf from the Jerome & Southwestern added to it. I'd had the Plywood Summit for several years before adding the wharf, but it sure made a difference in operation possibilities. I ran that for years.

Reply author: TrainCat2
Replied on: 2010 June 05 5:17:43 PM

A 4x8 plywood sheet using cookie-cutter construction to build the "HO Railroad That Grows".

Reply author: FrankCampagna
Replied on: 2010 June 05 7:57:58 PM

2X3 foot N scale loop with a small yard, passing track, and sidings. Operated a small freight, yard engine, and an RDC passenger train. Crude scenery.


Reply author: flagler
Replied on: 2010 June 06 07:27:20 AM

HO, two 4 x 8 in the shape of a L. the outside long leg was 12ft and the other was 8 ft.

Reply author: leighant
Replied on: 2010 June 06 6:41:58 PM

1950 Lionel 1st layout built by Dad, no pix
1953 Lionel layout built by Dad, photo but not scanned
1961 HO temporary layout on dining room table, photo but not scanned

1969 N 2x4 foot Colorado layout given to friend's kid

1970 HO 3x11 foot layout built in friend's garage, photo but not scanned

1971 27 by 34 inch Berlin Germany N scale layout

1975 N ax4 foot layout given to girlfriend's kids, written up in MR.

1977 30 inch x 40 inch layout built in 10 days to demonstrate N scale for friend's exhibit

1981-2008 3 x 7 feet N scale East Texas piney woods layout, written up in MR and "Top Notch Layout Plans"

1998 2x3 foot N scale Navy blimp base layout

plan of "Island Seaport" 11ft x 11ft N layout now abuilding..

scene is on SNFF

Reply author: wm3798
Replied on: 2010 June 06 10:06:50 PM

Not my first, but definitely my second.

It looked surprisingly good, but was built all wrong. i.e. 1/2" plywood with no supporting frame,
Grades built up on those stupid over/under piers, then stuffed with newspapers and Celluclay, the
moisture from which got into the plywood and cause it to curl up... Oh well... it ran okay for a
couple of years, long enough for me to get totally hooked. This was from around 1978.


Reply author: Rossford Yard
Replied on: 2010 June 07 07:51:47 AM

No truth to the rumor that I modeled English mine railway because those were the only railways available to model when I started....

My first was the old floor Lionel layout, which constituted my first memory in life - when we moved to Chicago at age 3, I ran downstairs to make sure it got there, so I must have had it before then.

My brother and I started and got to the plywood and track stage all six HO Railroads You Can Build when we moved to HO, along with the Ma and Pa (another project railroad from MR) We also built a larger custom design, but none ever really got finished.

I later built (with two roomies ) a 5 x 9 HO layout in our dining room based on one of the 101 track plans. When I moved to Texas I built a switching layout in my garage before buying some N scale layout parts from an elderly gent to build my first N scale layout in 1990. (Since my layout was going to be in an open loft and I had small kids at the time, I didn't want to be sawing all night to build benchwork. Later, I found that small children could sleep through anything, although my wife couldn't!)

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