Shunting/Switching Layouts?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by RobertInOntario, May 26, 2008.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    As some of you may know, I'm slowly working on a new, small/portable HO layout.

    But I've also been reading about HO shelf-sized switching layouts, i.e. 4' long by 12" wide, with 3-4 sidings. I've been reading about this in a couple books as well as this helpful website -- Timesaver Shunting Puzzle - Track Plan & Layout Size

    Most of these books and websites rave about how much fun these layouts are -- yet I think I'd get bored in a very short time! Are these layouts really that much fun to operate and is it worth tinkering with one?

    (FYI, I'm more used to running passenger trains on a "tail-chaser" oval layout .)

    Thanks for any feedback -- just curious!

  2. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

    Rob-Yes they can be fun.I designed one with some help.It will be 2'x8' in HO.I was inspired by Progressive Rails Air Lake Industrial Park.It has a combination of rail sidings and a team track,small yard and switchbacks.There are sites you can check out dealing with small switching layouts but Steinjr would know more about those sites than I do.Hope this helps-Bob
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Bob. Yours sounds good at 2x8'. Hopefully something half that size would still be interesting as well. I think a lot of this "fun" depends on how well you learn prototypical shunting practices, etc. Thanks again, Rob
  4. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    You might want to check this one out, Rob.

    Micro Layout Design Gallery
    (See esp. under 'shelf switchers' - dense track.)
    This way lies madness.wall1wall1wall1

  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! That's a great site -- lots of good ideas there to get me thinking!:mrgreen: Rob
  6. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! I'm checking those now.

    On a slightly different topic, I was wondering if there's anything on youtube showing a switching/shunting layout in operation? Written descriptions of shunting freight cars totally lose me. I'm visually-oriented so I need pics, videos and diagrams to figure this out! I'll check youtube later on today ...

  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    A switching layout doesn't necessarily demand scheduled/card-ordered switching.

    It's fun just to shuffle cars around. ;)
  9. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! If I did try a switching layout, I'd start out by just shuffling cars around. Later, I'd "progress" to scheduled/card-ordered switching.

    I've got various pieces of foam glued together in different shapes (some of it already painted) in our garage as I contemplate all this -- I'm obviously not rushing!

  10. foulrift

    foulrift Bob

    Rob-the way mine is designed to work is cars are brought in off the main line from outside the switching area and onto it's main.The string of cars are pushed onto the two yard tracks and then the process of assigning the cars starts.I don't have a system for that as yet.For added interest I have two switchback tracks because of the location of my industries.I also added a clean out track when box cars can be spotted and have the insides steam cleaned before being re-loaded.Here's a diagram of my layout(yet to be built) so you can get an idea of how it works-Bob
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks -- that looks great but maybe a little ambitious for me at this point! Rob
  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    With the extra turnouts and track that I have, I could easily throw together a layout something like this ... do you think this would make for an interesting switching layout?

    Thanks! Rob
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Some people ask the same thing about "orbiting" trains...! ;)

    That's the great thing about this hobby - so many ways to have fun, and always something new to try. :D

  14. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! I guess it's all a matter of opinion and taste.

    BTW, I still haven't totally given up on my Don Valley Brick Works idea !! Maybe I could work the Don Valley Brick Works into into a switching layout?:confused: and show trains making deliveries and pickups from there?

  15. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

    Not particularly, none of the tracks appear to have any purpose.
  16. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Robert, a my thoughts on a good small switching layout, you gotta have a "runaround" track in there somewhere, just my thoughts:winki: .

    [​IMG] -Deano
  17. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Mine is what is called a 4-3-2. You start out with 4 cars and a loco with 3 cars on one track and 2 on another, leaving the third empty. You then draw 4 cars, each noting a particular car in the sidings. The object is to drop the 4 cars you have, while putting together a train---in the order they were drawn---from the cars in the siding. It can take an hour to make up a train.


    Scenery makes it a great outdoor photo diorama for your photos, too...:thumb:

  18. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! Maybe this is the best and most classic layout to consider. It almost reminds me of an Inglenook Sidings layout (although I realize it's not). Thanks for posting these pics as well. That's an awesome pic of a Big Boy! Blessings, Rob
  19. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Yes, it is an Inglenook. It can also be done in a 5-4-3 arrangement that raises the stakes 10-fold time wise.

    Thank you for the kind words. I needed a new photo diorama but I wanted something that will show my big steam well. That is why I chose the Inglenook as it can be taken to shows and operated as well. Makes for all manner of modeling enjoyment in a small space...:mrgreen:

  20. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks as well -- I was just looking at some Inglenook's on the web and maybe this is the best option then. Yes, the size and portability of these layouts make them very attractive. That's another great picture -- kind of reminds me of the Dukes of Hazzard !

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