Small layouts are my thing. Like most modellers in Australia space here is at a premium. So a small space layout, offering lots of operating potential, is the way to go.
Recently a long time model railroad friend Shortliner Jack shot me several links over to look at. We’ll be coming back to look closely at those this month. For right now though let’s take a look at a downloadable and one of Shortliner’s links.
Presented back in 2015 at the NMRA’s Thoroughbred Limited 2015 MCR Convention in Kentucky I felt that this download (in PDF format) provides a great overview of small layouts and a bit of learning about the why and how along the way.
The details shown on the Inglenook drawing on page 4 are wrong (you can find out more about Inglenooks in this post); besides that however there are some exceptional small layout designs that should inspire the modeller in you to get out there and make something.
This is the site that Shortliner Jack pointed me to as a source for his next layout inspiration. Being in the far north of Scotland, buried in snow for 9/10ths of the year, and surrounded by only boxes of Whisky for company he has a lot of time to work on layouts. One layout in Proto48 caught his eye specifically:
There are so many more designs in this thread large and small that you’ll spend several hours looking through and pondering them all. Great ideas and thanks to Robert Chant for sharing his design on the forum.
If you’ve not heard of Adrian’s site before then you are in a for a treat. This site has everything that you ever wanted to know about shunting puzzles, including the Timesaver and the Inglenook.
Of interest for those of us thinking of building a layout using the Inglenook design is the discussion on the design of operation and movement for the layout. Additionally there is the mechanics of designing and building the layout also. Very well worth the look.
Putting the Inglenook to work Adrian’s great little layout deserves a look. Well designed, well executed and well presented Adrian walks you through the design and build process and provides a lot of insight into the process.
Head on over to the websites and do a bit of reading – you’ll not be disappointed.
One of the better small locos to have come out in the last 10 years is the HO scale Trackmobile available from Broadway Limited Imports. I’m working on my unit to weather it into a loved if hard worked unit. There’ll be an article in April about how I weathered it and how you can do so too. The only drawback with this model is the dummy coupler on the front end. Somewhere on the internet I read about a change to the Trackmobile front where you add a shortened Kadee #58 coupler directly under the dummy coupler. Essentially the change was drilling and tapping a 2-56 hole in the bottom centre of the dummy coupler, shortening a #58 coupler and then drilling a hole in that for the 2-56 screw before screwing the two of them together. While not perfect it falls within the Kadee coupler height gauge requirements and allows the Trackmobile to be double ended. Saving the Hand from the sky (the 0-5-0 hand of god) traverser. Now, onto today’s site.
Thomas Van Hare of Ashburn, Virginia, USA put this layout in the Carendt.com First layout design contest in May 2008. While the layout location is imaginary this HO Scale German fishing harbor corner layout Thomas says “involves a Timesaver (with eleven destinations), plus dual opposing Inglenooks, competitively running two DCC ‘Little Cow’ Trackmobiles”.
The layout features small fishing warehouses, boat maintenance facilities, fueling and supply shops, a fishing net manufacturer and marine diesel repair shop. At center is the harbor’s main canning smokehouse business, with two loading platforms.