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Although there are only 2 loops, allowing 2 model trains running simultaneously, there is an appearance of realistic and busy traffic without separating a single track line into different electric sections. Although HO scale is more popular here in Germany, these are mostly N scale track plans (Fleischmann), because the 9mm gauge is a convenient size for a model railroad layout at home. I like this system, because it has a simple and consistent geometry, and, like Kato, the trackbed is ballasted. Flex tracks are available for custom bendings or routing.But flex tracks were not used for this layout. When going deeper into track planning it is a good idea to study online sources, or books like John Armstrong, a well known track-plan designer.
In Germany we use the metric system, which is based on meters an centimeters (1 m = 100 cm). When planning construction of a model railroad there are all sorts of possible track configurations and plans to consider.
Real railroads (prototype) run from one destination to another rather than go around in a circle. Full size trains often run for long stretches over monotonous landscape, which if reconstructed on a model layout, would be rather boring. The main line begins at one point, and travels to another point, and stops, hence the term – a point to point railroad. Although a point-to-point layout is necessary on real railroads, the format is not generally practical for the average home (or club) model train layout.
To make things a little more practical (and interesting), prototype railroads have branch lines, sidings and other subsidiary systems. Before departure, the trains are turned around at terminals using yards, loops, wyes, and turntables. When planning your point-to-point layout, you might want to include switches and yards at one end of the layout, and a turnaround at the other.


Most small layouts would not have enough space for two terminals, so use an “out-and-home” track configuration.
Some might say it is cheating, but unless you have unlimited space (and money) for your layout, a little compromise is usually required. Constructing an out-and-home layout usually enables a little more mileage between terminals. You could add more realism and interest by combining an out-and-home, and point-to-point, format with continuous pikes.
Many model railroaders prefer a continuous layout because it allows for varied train movements which make operation more interesting.
For more information contact Robert Anderson, the author of Model Railroad Scenery & Layout Construction Ideas.
A closer look at the grey line shows a way for freight trains to run along outside of the station halls. However, feel free to get inspired for other scales, or other manufacturers like Kato, Arnold, Atlas, Minitrix or Peco. The Munich Central Station (= München) was an input for the model railway layout described above. You can download my model railroad track plans on your private computer, or use them for your next layout - the track plans are free. It really depends on the space you have at your disposal and what type of train operation you would most enjoy.
In reality, real railroads usually have hundreds, if not thousands, of miles of track to work with.
To give you an example, the Ghan Train in Australia, runs 1,880 miles across mostly barren desert. Replicating the scale mileage of a true point-to-point railroad does not generally work that well.


An out-and-home layout accommodates only one terminal and is like a point-to-point layout double backing. A freight train along passenger platforms in a railhead station does not make sense, isn´t it?
Other inputs are the Ruhrgebiet (= Ruhr area), a region with extensive industry plants, or the Rhein (Rhine river), which however was more prototype for harbor track plans than a lovely river valley with castles and whine hills.
Even in a scaled down form, most model railroads lack the space to fully replicate this, so a degree of adaptation and compromise is usually required. Imagine replicating that on a scaled down model railroad – it would probably stretch from one end of town to the other! The train journey would start at the terminal and it would pass through various landscapes, possibly a small town, and eventually arrive back at the same terminal.
It is just a simple crossing with one siding; the crossing rails are electrically insulated from each other. Furthermore, this grey line pretends to be a 2-track main line in the foreground, where the trains can parade on the correct side in each direction. Actually it does, so let me start my track plans collection with this idea - it´s my favorite, too!
You will also find here track plan ideas for a branch line in a rural scenery; and the train depot idea is more a diorama with function than a model railroad layout.



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