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admin 24.02.2015

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By clicking 1 Click Bid, you commit to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. Figure 15: Basic tools are all that are needed to design trackwork for a model railroad layout. On the first page of our O Gauge Layout Project we worked through the pros and cons of several locations for our railroad empire, and on page two we decided how much space we could allocate to the pike in our spare bedroom.
Reversing loops would be nice so I can turn my model train locomotives with out relying on the “hand of God” to pick them up and flip them.
Last, but not least, I would like one of the continuous loops to have 72” curves, to run my scale 80-foot passenger cars.
While I could meet the “two trains continuously running” wish, the amount of real estate it would take might be difficult to achieve this and any of our other considerations, so I will settle for one train running continuously, and another working off the mainline that will require nearly continuous operator interaction.
And finally, the entire inside loop can be designed to create a reverse loop to return trains to the outer 72”mainline loop, however, it may not be possible to turn the trains that have returned to the outer loop back onto the inner loop. So, now that we have our operational priorities, it’s time to get down to designing our trackwork.
Another handy and inexpensive tool for designing a layout that will use O Gauge tubular track is the CTT Track Template shown in Figure 16. To start, I redrew the model railroad layout benchwork to the same scale as the CTT Track Template, where one inch on the template equals one foot of actual space on your model railroad layout. Using the CTT Track Template, I drew several layout ideas on thin cardstock and cut them out to see how they would fit on the graph paper layout.
In Figure 18, I replaced the first straight section coming out of the bottom of the 72” curve on the left side of the drawing with a left-hand 42”switch to lead into the inner loop. However, we may be able to do a bit more to satisfy that last item with he addition of two more 42” switches on the inner loop, as shown in Figure 19. The CTT Track Template is not an exacting tool, so I did do some test-fitting of track as shown in Figure 20. This cloverleaf design offers multiple train or multiple route action with a fun look for toy trains.
The curves used are O-36 (36 inch) diameter, and the straights are all standard lengths which are available from all of the major O Gauge track manufacturers.
Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. If you find something of value here, please "pay it forward" and help us keep the site operating by a secure donation through PayPal (PayPal account is not required), or by shopping with our advertisers. On page three we built the benchwork (the tables the to which the track will be affixed) for the space we had picked.


And, the experience you gain in building a small model railroad layout will help you when you decide to tackle a larger pike. On pages two and three, we made concessions on shoulder room at my drawing table to achieve those 72” curves, and built the benchwork specifically to include them, so they have to stay.
Sidings will all have to be inside the 72” loop, since that runs at the outside edge of the benchwork. But, since it’s a loop, the locomotive could be decoupled from the train and run around to couple onto the other end of the string of cars. I like to use colored pencils as well to give some visual separation when there’s a lot of lines on the page. Expressed as a ratio, it is 1:12 scale, that is, one inch on paper equals 12 inches on the real layout.
This again required an S-curve fit a 54” curve inside the 72” curve on the right side of the drawing, even with a couple straight tracks added.
The track will reach its maximum elevation about the middle of the layout, as noted in Figure 18. A right-hand switch in the center of the 42” diameter reversing loop on the right side of the drawing creates a siding that will cross the diagonal straight of the return loop at a 45-degree angle, which creates an interesting bit of trackwork. This test-fitting indicates I may be able to squeeze the inner 54” loop enough that it will fit inside the 72” loop without having to cross above it. The exact geometry of each companies' tracks can vary - especially switches, so you may need to make some adjustments.
If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. Each of these steps required a number of decisions and compromises with our plans for a dream layout. This baseline also allows 54” and 42” curves inside the outer loop, so our minimum 42” curve requirement can also be met. We may be able to combine the sidings into the inner loop in the way a meandering small town siding works, where cars are dropped off at various points of the same track rather than building expensive switches to create stub sidings.
There are some prototypical examples of this maneuver, but it would work best with a double-ended diesel locomotive.
If you have a big pile of sectional track laying around, you can just start putting it together to see how it fits. Although they used to be a common accessory stocked by hobby shops, with so many computer model railroad design programs available out there, you may have to do some searching to find a CTT Track Template.
I threw an S-curve into the simple 72” loop to take full advantage of the space on the short leg.
From here the track begins to descend, and turns left on the drawing to another 54” curve back down to table level. A left-hand 42” switch at the end of the diagonal straight of the reversing loop creates another spur siding at the top left of the inside loop.


On a railroad interchange, an arrangement like this would take up far too much real estate. As long as you stick with one brand of track however, you should not have any problems fitting this layout in the space shown.This plan was drawn with templates for Atlas O track.
To get all of these features in this space, We’d probably have to go down to a N Scale model railroad layout.
I had quite a bit of O-27 sectional track, but would have to buy more, so I wanted to develop a plan to decide what track pieces I still needed to purchase. If you can’t find one in a local hobby shop, search online, as they are easy to find there. When designing an S-curve, be sure to put a straight track in the middle before reversing the direction of the curve, or you will have a potential derailment point as train cars make the drastic change from turning left to turning right. This shouldn’t be a problem, as the inner track will be going up in elevation (or “upgrade”), and should be high enough to pass over the outside loop.
Where this 54” curve ends at top left, we’ve added another 42” switch, this one right-hand, to allow us to create our reverse loop of 42” diameter curves to start the train on its return journey over the figure 8 to the 72” mainline loop. These two spurs could be joined with another 42” diameter curve, portions of which could be hidden with buildings or other scenery to keep the impression of spur sidings while giving one more reverse loop for our switch engine to run around the cars it’s spotting along the right-of-way.
Be sure to read our Railroad Grades Tips and Tricks page on how to calculate gradient percentages when elevating model railroad track from one level to another. Thanks to the tight curves of O Gauge trains however, this interesting pattern can make a fun layout in just an 8 x 8 foot space.This plan is shown with traditional O Gauge 3-rail track. The most challenging part of a plan like this is finding the right combination of lengths of track sections to make everything fit. I only had one complete circle of 72” track, which, to my knowledge was only manufactured by the now defunct K-Line company that was absorbed by Lionel, which no longer offers it. By breaking the electrical connections of the track into “blocks” that can be independently powered by different transformers, one train can operate on the outer loop continuously while another operates on the figure 8.
But that decision will be left for a later time, when I see how much real estate is left for industrial structures in that area.
So, the S-curve at the bottom right of the outer loop meant I didn’t have enough track for the curve at the top right. The train operating on the figure 8 cannot operate continuously in one direction, however, without ending up back on the 72” mainline, so it will have to be tasked with simply moving cars (switching) to various industrial locations located along this secondary train line. Buildings, mountains, a lake, you could put just about anything inside the four lobes.The O Gauge market is filled with fun accessories to load and unload cars. Additional lighted and animated buildings and other accessories could be placed in the corners as well.With a train running on the outer oval and another circling the cloverleaf, this layout can provide a lot of action and visual stimulation.



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