How To Make The Most Of Your Layout Space

When of the most important things to consider when you get in to model railroading is “How Much Space Do I Have Available?”
Some people are extremely fortunate to have whole rooms, sheds and garages that they can dedicate to being their layout room, but not everyone is that lucky. But don’t let the fact that you don’t have a dedicated room put you off. There are many ways that you can enjoy the thrills of building and running a layout without the need for a great amount of space.
It’s worth noting that if you are a complete beginner to model railroading then you would be best to start small and build up anyway. Small layouts are a great way to hone your scratchbuilding and scenery making skills before you move on to something bigger and more ambitious.

A few examples on how you can save space are:

1: Keep your track plan simple. A simple loop with a couple of sidings are all you need to get started. It is possible to set up a very nice scene on a 4×4 table which can easily be stored.

The following video from Paul Stigter shows that with limited space it is possible to create a detailed but simple scene with limited space.

2) Be creative with the space available. You may not have room to have a free standing table, so why not have a layout that fits into the corner of a room.

In this video YouTuber and Model Railroader jlwii2000 shows an example of a layout built with limited space.

3) Probably the most obvious, is to combine the above suggestions with modelling on a smaller scale than the traditional HO scale. Not only will you be able to save space, but you will be able to have more interesting track plans in the same space.

N-Scale is ideal for this. Take a look at these great layout pictures that were sent in showing what is possible with N-scale in a limited space.

If any of you have any examples or ideas for space saving layouts then either email me, or comment below.

Enjoy your railroading

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Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!

Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)


  1. Daryl Norton
    4 years ago

    Go to youtube and search “Norton Subdivision” to see where I found the space for my layout.

  2. Dan Morgan
    4 years ago

    That’s very nice Daryl. No need for a table at all.

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