The final 1' 6"
X 7' 6" HO design was driven by some key standards. The client's longest two-engine consist would be about 150
scale feet long, so that set the lengths of the tail tracks at the upper left and lower right. The Walthers kits on-hand for
the Diesel House, Fueling Pad and Sand House further defined track spacing and arrangements. Walthers #5 turnouts would easily
accommodate all of his equipment. All of his engines are DCC-equipped, so we didn't have to worry about creating many
short blocks as we would for DC.
While the main purpose was a realistic display of locomotives and engine service structures, a bit of operation is
also possible. At the start of a "session", the "Ready Track" at the upper right actually holds incoming
engines to be serviced. These may be moved to the fueling area and then on to the Diesel House. Meanwhile, engines that started
in the Diesel House or the fueling area can be moved to the Ready Track for "departure".
Incoming sand hoppers and oil
tank cars may also begin the session spotted on the runaround in front of the office. When more than just a couple of engines
are moving around, the runaround also can be a good place to stash an engine or two. Many more engines can be displayed than
can be "operated" at once, since it’s not much fun just moving an empty slot around.
The client may choose to incorporate
the completed shelf layout into a larger layout someday, perhaps making connections at the upper left and lower right at least.
So I arranged those tail tracks perpendicular to the edges of the shelf.
Not a typical model railroad, but this HO shelf
switching layout does a good job of achieving its goal of realistic locomotive display with just a smidge of operations potential.
If I can help you achieve your model railroad goals with a custom track plan large or small, please contact me today.