Monday, February 15, 2016

It's About Time - Some New Layout Ideas

It's been a very long time since I have spent any meaningful energy towards my N scale hobby.  I guess addictions can fade over time.  However, lately I've had a desire to get re-engaged in the hobby, at least in a small way.  I revisited a couple layout designs that I drafted over the last couple of years to see if I could come up with something that would inspire me to start a new project.  My garage is used for multiple things, and I didn't want another island style layout like my Marias Pass, which took up a lot of space.  Instead, I am looking to do a shelf style layout in an "L" shape to optimize the wall space I have available.  The main component on the left will be a 7' maximum length, with a width of 4' at the elbow of the "L".  This can be conveniently built from a 4x8 sheet of plywood.  I then have about 10' along the right side wall in which I can add an extension of 6' for some additional yard space.

I would like to feature my 3d printed trucks on this layout, as well as the lumber loads that I created a few years back.  That gives me at least a start to my list of industries.

The current short list includes:

  • grain elevator with truck scale and unloading building for my 43' and 50' Wilson grain trailers and straight trucks
  • lumber centerbeam transloading area or simple truss building shop requiring lumber delivery
  • meat packing with loads of cattle being delivered in my Wilson cattle pots, and then cold storage and outbound beef in 64' reefer cars as well as truck/trailer reefer rigs.
  • small intermodal facility to feature trucks and utilize a pair of piggy packer loaders that I own.
  • other industries that I haven't decided on yet.
I like the idea of a major highway overpass stretching through the center of the layout.  I haul grain to an elevator in Council Bluffs that is right next to and under interstate I-80 which gave me the idea.  This would be a focal point for truck traffic as well as a natural view block to separate the layout into two sides.

I'll give these ideas some time to sink in and just maybe I'll be inspired to get the woodworking tools dirty again.  Let me know what you think.


  1. Looks interesting. I would probably curve the road so it isn't so close to the elevator or have the elevator a little bit further up but the unloader in the same spot, like 6 in front and 2 in back or something like that.

  2. I was in Council Bluffs back in 2011. CN had a EJE SD38-2 in town for local switching. It would be cool if you had the old depot on there to act as a yard office.

  3. I'm so glad to see you thinking of building a layout again. Your last few were inspiring and got me thinking of getting back into the hobby in N Scale. I have the same space available so will be watching what you do with bated breath.

    What era would you model, most of your printed items are modern so I am guessing fairly recent?

  4. First of all welcome back I know a little brake can really open up the mind and bring some fresh ideas.
    I'm excited to here you are on to a new fun and exciting project can't wait to see the progress of the layout.

  5. Good to see you back at it. Shelf layouts that are at a good height do not need to be very deep. My SFRSD track is 54 inches off the ground and most of my towns are only 12 inches deep. Lots of potential and I like the bridge idea it will help break up the layout as a view block also.

  6. Lots of opportunities for switching, I'm not a big fan of highway overpasses, but it might work.
    Good to see you in a modeling mood again, please keep us posted!


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