Saturday, September 26, 2020

And so it begins

When starting the layout there were certain features that I wanted to incorporate into the design. Some of these features are:
  • Locomotive Depot
  • Double Track
  • Freight Sidings
  • Industries (Coal, Oil, Goods, Cement)
  • Container Sidings
  • Turntable
  • Passenger Platform
The layout baseboards are constructed as modules to allow future removal. Because I also reside in the bedroom, it limited the width of the layout to 40cm where the yard and engine depot are but baseboards in other areas are narrower. However the baseboard was made wider to incorporate the turn table and some industries in the corners.
The first track design plan is shown below, which is close to the final design.

Rough first track design

Locomotive Depot

As I wanted to run both diesel and steam locomotives this area needed to provide servicing for both types. This will include inspection pits, water column, sanding tower, turn table and ash pits.There will be a diesel shed for diesels and a turntable with storage tracks for the steam engines.

Double Track

The layout was designed to be double track for multiple train operation but we can also have one track closed for single line operation.Trains will need to access yards and loco depot using both tracks. Various crossovers between the up and down mains will allow this to happen. There will be relief sidings for the up and down main to store and pass other trains.

Freight Sidings

There will be two long dead end sidings for storage and shunting of trains on the opposite side of the room from the loco depot beside the relief lines.


To add interest to operation there are four industries; coal, oil, goods and cement. Three of the industries are going to be dead-end sidings but the coal loader will be on its own siding that can be entered and exited from both ends onto the main line. 

Container Sidings

Two dead end sidings will be provided for container train operations, they will hold around five wagons in each siding. These sidings are accessed through a diamond crossing which comes off a relief road. There is currently thirteen container wagons so shunting will be required to load/unload the entire train.


Having steam and single-ended diesels on the layout the turn table is a necessity to be able to turn the engines around. It has twelve storage roads of various lengths around the turntable. I was lucky enough to obtain a second-hand Fleischmann 90-foot motorised turntable from the Castle Hill model railway exhibition in 2019. As the layout runs on DCC we added a frog juicer to automatically reverse the polarity as the turntable turns.

Passenger Platform

As I will be running passenger trains an island platform will be located opposite the loco depot along the main lines. There was not enough room to incorporate a second station on the opposite side of the layout. Additional freight storage was decided on.

The next post will cover baseboard construction.

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