Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to Basics

After a lengthy hiatus I am back on the model railroading bandwagon. Planned out a small, 48 x 26 inch layout to work on as a starter project, the planning and research for the larger Taihoku project will go on but this will give me something to learn and practice on. I started by buying two sheets of 1/4" MDF, since one seemed to flimsy, and glued them together with woodglue, offset so that the total width is 26 inches. I will fill in the depression with foam or cardboard to bring it up to ground level. The baseboard is resting on a coffee table, but when not in use it will be propped up against the wall out of the way.

My track plan is a modified version of one on the excellent Mike's Small Trackplans Page. The dark polygon is raised, while the lighter one is a 4 percent grade up to the bridge. I found that the double track on the right didn't add anything, so I removed it and widened the main loop a little. I also removed the crossover since Peco Settrack doesn't have a ready piece for this angle, and I wanted to keep it simple. I still have two levels, three industries, and a decent-sized yard. The theme will be a small Japanese/Taiwanese end-of-line area with some farmhouses and maybe a small passenger station.

To make the upper level I was going to use 2" thick polystyrene foam, and I bought a foam cutter for £5. I have some foam packaging from a TV table that is exactly 2" thick, but it feels a little squishy for this; I really don't want the entire upper level to sag when a locomotive rolls on to it. Any suggestions? Also, do I need to be careful about the fumes from the hot wire cutter?

(Track plan made with XTrackCad)


  1. Glad to see you back! This seems like a good, manageable project and I'll be looking forward to your progress! Good luck!