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 small HO switchin layout
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Author Previous Topic: Layout Depot - input requested Topic Next Topic: And the joists go on!!  


Posted - 2007 October 14 :  5:45:22 PM  Show Profile
hey everyone, its been a while since ive been around ho scale modeling... about 2 years.

any ways, my girlfriend and i are moving into our own place pretty soon and we have a spare room, so i was thinking about putting up a small HO layout... prefferably a point to point switching layout.

any tips or ideas on what i should do... im a ROOOOKIE here so be easy haha it is my first layout !!!

thanks for any help

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Posted - 2007 October 14 :  5:56:03 PM  Show Profile
Heres a jim dandy little switching layout that should be easy to build.

Summerset Ry.

Country: USA | Posts: 7537 Go to Top of Page

rick marcroft

Posted - 2007 October 14 :  6:37:23 PM  Show Profile
i was gonna suggest carl atendt's site as well

i;ve built two small shelf switchers, and i have gotten a lot of fun and experience with em

one for home, and one for the office;)

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Posted - 2007 October 14 :  6:44:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit jward's Homepage
there are several nice ones in the atlas plan books. these have the added advantage for you of having the construction and wiring details all figured out for you. in particular check out this one....

also, the late john allen designed a nightmare of a switching layout, and called it the time saver. it was anything is a link to it.

Jeffery S Ward Sr
The unofficial EMD homepage.

Country: USA | Posts: 1111 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2007 October 14 :  7:00:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit CIOR's Homepage
Well, several months back I needed to get the town of Rushville up and running for operating sessions. In order to do so, I needed to use ready made stuff. I use Walthers turnouts on the layout, but they have been hard to come by, so I settled for Atlas stuff to get it up and running. Eventually this will be proto87 and be more prototype in looks too, with roads and buildings. For right now, its what you see is what you get.

Anyway, its just a quick one day project, but it has a drop leaf on this end to allow switching.
The local that works these industries is normally about 15 cars, and pulls that many out. Takes the crew about a full hour to switch, if not more, depending on the total moves they have to make.
There are 5 industries, a Box factory, a plastics plant, a scrap yard, a lumber yard and a small one car transload facility that is nothing more then an old team track!

The C&O of Indiana
The Central Indiana & Ohio Railroad

Country: USA | Posts: 1465 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2007 October 14 :  7:37:45 PM  Show Profile
About 8 years ago my dad went into an assisted living facility. My son and I blitz-built a small switching layout for him, it had to fit in a narrow hall between the entrance to his apartment and the room proper - about 7' x 1' was available. It was in an area most others used for book cases and the like. The track plan wasn't very fancy - a straight line along the front and back edges, connected by a diagonal with a couple of spurs off it and a run-around track. The back wall was the Walther's "industrial" flat, the other tracks had various industries - a lumber yard, a brewery, a freight station, etc.

What you might be interested in was the construction - it was built entirely on a sheet of 2" foam insulation - extremely light weight and rigid such that it was more than adequately supported by two plain shelf brackets, in turn held to the wall with just 3 molleys each. The front edge was finished with a strip of lathe, and the Atlas remote switch controllers were fastened along that front edge. It was straight DC, just one engine at a time, and every piece of rail, no matter how short, had a feeder. All of the wires were held against the bottom of the foam with duct tape so it was nice and neat and nothing got snagged. We never had any electrical problems, good thing too as it would have been a 90-mile maintenance call.

For the three years he was there it essentially saw daily operation, and even became part of the "tour" given to prospective residents. The head chef at the facility was also a model railroader and dad swore that he got better pork chops as a result of letting him get a little track time.

I have it now, it will be integrated into the layout I'm working on.

Country: USA | Posts: 26 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2007 October 14 :  7:41:50 PM  Show Profile
Jon Grant's Sweethome Chicago, link on his profile I'm sure, is a very nice switching layout.

There have been nice switching layouts in Great Model Railroads over the years as well.

Karl Scribner

Sunfield Twp. Michigan

Just a grumpy old man playing with my toy trains!
Friend of SPIKRE

Country: USA | Posts: 2633 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2007 October 15 :  10:51:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit dmitzel's Homepage
Carl Arendt also has a number of great switching layout plans at 1'x4' or less. Check out his Tymesaver plans - I especially like the Serendipity Switching plan.

If you have more space, look at the Tenderfoot Industrial Railroad at for ideas.

D.M. Mitzel
Oxford, MI

Visit my blog at

Country: USA | Posts: 759 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2007 October 15 :  12:19:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit cuyama's Homepage
Without knowing the space you have, it's hard to make good suggestions. There are a few layouts on my site that might be useful.

For example, an HO-scale "L" made from two 6-foot-long shelves based on the Pacific Electric's freight-only "Orphan Branch" in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California

A single 6' long shelf in N scale (could be scaled up to 12' or so in HO, of course) based loosely on the WP and SP around San Jose, CA.

Another 6' plus a skoche in N scale from MRP 2005. Based on the real-life Alameda Belt Line

12' long shelf in HO based on the real-life Hoboken Shore

More info and a link to a more detailed track plan of the Hoboken Shore are found here:

Model RR Blog

Edited by - cuyama on 2007 October 15 12:39:21 PM

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Posted - 2007 October 15 :  4:17:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit gdamen's Homepage
First a must read before you start designing a switching layout. The following site explains the theories behind the switching layout. If you adhere to the mentioned dimensions than you will have a real challenge on your hand.

I used this information to build a Inglenook switching layout (little bit less than 2 x 0,5 meter)

On the next site you will find a lot of operation orientated layouts.


Modeling the Southern - Fremo Dutch Division

Country: Netherlands | Posts: 20 Go to Top of Page
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