Note: In 2005, I torn down this layout and built the "Guest Bedroom" layout also shown on these pages.
In July 2003, we moved to St. Augustine, Florida. After a 5 month search for a house with a train room possibilities, we found one in the World Golf Village. This house had just been built and had a "bonus" room over the garage that measured about 13' x 18 ' for the railroad.
The back wall is unusable because of the door to downstairs and another to the bathroom. The front wall has a large window as seen in the picture. Both corners of this wall have a 2' x 4' indentation (a "false closet") to support the gabling of the roof. Unfortunately, these indentations could not be removed. I could tunnel into these areas in order to connect track between the sides and the front walls.
After pondering how to take advantage of this space, it became apparent that an "E" shaped layout was the best.
On any layout, I prefer to incorporate some means to just run a train around in a circle. It is nice when I am by myself or showing the layout to visitors. It did not appear to be possible in this space, so I opted for a pure industrial switching layout.
On my previous layout (18' x 21'), I had a mainline and rural towns with industries for switching. The mainline was painfully short - only about 100 feet visible. It only took a couple of minutes for a mainline train to traverse the visible portion. Moreover, having enough traffic to depict a segment of the Santa Fe mainline from Chicago to Los Angeles interfered with the switching at the modeled towns. The switching at the towns was insufficient to satisfy my interests. In attempting to do both mainline operations and rural switching, neither one was adequately achieved.
The solution this time: get rid of the mainline and concentrate on the industrial switching.
I greatly admire the efforts that Linda Sand, David Barrow and Chuck Hitchcock, and many others have done in this type of railroad. Yes, I prefer something based closer on the prototype but a freelance design became my choice.
Having reached this decision, I established a design criteria for the new layout.
Last updated: 11/16/2006Accesses since Aug 20, 2004