Model Railway Layout Ideas For Your Model Electric Train Sets

model-trains-thumb1For the model railroad enthusiast, immersed in building and designing your own custom model railway layouts, the rolling stock is only one small piece of what may well become an exhaustive, and possibly life enhancing project. This will no doubt however be thoroughly enjoyable,  possibly very time consuming and a great opportunity to meet new lifelong model railroading friends.

The major part of establishing a model railroader project is the design and implementation of the model railway layouts, the diorama with model railroad scenery, structures and appropriate scale track for operating the model trains.

The size of the model railroad layouts you can design, build and operate depends on the amount of room in which you have available to set it up. Some layouts can be quite small shelf-top designs that can be accommodated in a very small space. Others can fill part of a room, or even a whole room, attic or basements are ideal for this.

For a small, simple train layout, a table will usually be adequate but most model railroaders will aim to establish larger, and more permanent layout, which they wont have to keep dismantling and reassembling the railway track. These will usually require construction of suitable benches, often fixed to the walls of the room to provide a high degree of stability.

An important aspect of any model train setup is the arrangement of the track itself. There are at least four basic layout patterns for setting out the track, and countless variations of both track configuration and subsequent station placement.

Four of the more common basic model railroads patterns are:

•Point to Point Railway Track Setup

This is merely a straight line of track with a station at each end, with trains going from the station at one end to the other station;

Continuous Loop Railway Track Setup

In its simplest form this is either a circle or an oval and the trains move around it continuously, but it could be modified into a ‘dogbone’ shape by pulling two opposite sides of the circle or oval together, giving a double track appearance in the middle with a smaller circular shape at either end;

•Out and Back Railway Track Setup

Where the train leaves the single station, travels around a pear-shaped layout and returns to the original station;

•Station Yard Only Railway Track Setup

Where a single station is surrounded by a number of short, interconnected tracks, providing great opportunities for shunting.

From these four basic patterns, there are countless variations. Some possibilities are:

•Combination Railway Track Setup

Combining two or more of the four basic patterns. For example adding an ‘out and back’ at one or both ends of a ‘point to point’ layout;

•Double Railway Track Setup

By adding double track to any of the first three basic layouts to allow two or more trains to operate at the same time;

•Branch Lines Track Layout

By adding branch lines, you can allow an increase in the number of stations;

•Figure-of-Eight Track Layout

arranging a continuous loop as a figure-of-eight, even elevating one track over the other rather than having the crossing at the same level;

•Multi Tier Track Layout

Using multiple tiers or levels, allowing the use of more track, and thus more activity, in small areas;

•Multiple Station Yard Track Layout

By adding station yards, with adequate standing tracks, to any of the configurations.

You can see that with a little imagination the number of possible variations you incorporate into your track layout design will only be limited by the space you have available, your time [and your patience] and, of course, the size of your budget.

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