New Monthly Content April 2016: Realistic Working Layouts

Going ’round and ’round in a circle can be fun for model trains, but for some, a layout that has more realistic operations is the ideal they strive for. With Realistic Working Layouts, the first in’s new monthly series of e-books for members only, you can learn the basics of creating a small, realistic working layout. Using descriptions of prototypical railroad operations, you’ll learn about modeling a small switching yard or industrial operation.

Realistic Working Layouts coverReal railroads are dynamic and complex, but we don’t want our model railroads to be overly complex. We can emulate a lot of prototypical operations with minimal effort and create fun to operate model railroad layouts that take up minimal space. While some model railroaders may have a nice basement, attic, or other area in which to build a large model railroad, others may only have a corner of one room, or some shelf space along one wall. Switching layouts, whether yards or industries, can easily be designed for such small spaces.

Industries also make good small model railroad projects. They can often be built on a small table or even a wall shelf. An industry switching layout may not even need to be that large and could be done with minimal space and use of time. There numerous different types of industries to choose from: coal loaders, steel mills, lumberyards, grain elevators, paper mills, and more.

You can create numerous different type of realistic working layouts that suit your needs and your space limitations as well. A small yard with mainline operations nearby could easily be done on an L-shaped base. A simple industry switching layout plan could be accomplished easily along one wall of a den or office or other room. The nice thing about it, is either one could easily expand to a larger layout in the future. All it takes is a combination of imagination, space, and research of prototype railroading.

Just pick or design a trackplan, go watch some prototypical railroading (always remember to obey all local laws and private property rights when doing so) and get ideas about how a railroad actually performs operations like those you want to model. Talk to some railroad employees. Many of them are happy to share basic information that can make your model railroad even better.

To learn more, download the Realistic Working Layouts PDF e-book from the members area. If you aren’t yet an Insiders Club member, it’s just $27/month to join. You get our core set of PDF e-books, access to the Insiders Club members only area, exclusive blog posts, and new monthly PDF e-book content. Just click HERE to join now!


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Robert Thomson

Robert W. Thomson is a life-long railfan, the son of a former L&N Railroad B&B gang foreman, and an amateur photographer. He was born and raised in southeast Tennessee but now lives in Butte, Montana with his wife, Connie and cat, Charlie. Robert has worked as a park ranger, underground mine tour guide, freelance roleplaying game writer, and ran his own roleplaying game publishing company until selling it in 2012.

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