Tiny traction Layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by 60103, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    My wife has just declared surplus a small table. It's about 18" around and plain wood.
    I think I could make a small HO street car layout on it, but would like some suggestions on scenic treatment.
    Is there any track plan other than a circle that is possible?
    (I'm posting this, then going north for a few days. Sorry.)
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    You could do a very small switching layout using a small turntable instead of turnouts. Put the turntable on one end with a couple of spurs going to the other. Turntable would be just big enough for a critter and one car.

    If sticking with the trolley theme, you could fit a figure 8 with small cars, and a 6" radius.

    my thoughts, your choices
  3. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    18" across means that a simple circle track plan will require a 7" or so radius curve. If the table was rectangular and a little larger it wouldn't be too hard to create an "around the city block" track plan, but 18" is kind of limited even with trolley-scale curves. If you are going to run overhead you could probably do a 6" radius circle with an Orr single-point switch, allowing for a passing track or some sort of siding.
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    Thanks for the correction. In the early morning fog I seem to have forgotten that the diameter is twice the radius. I'm glad I didn't have these senior moments when I was in engineering school! :)

    A 9" turntable with 2-3 short spurs using a critter and 40ft cars (6") would still work.

    time to go clean the fog out of what's left of my brain.
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    A streetcar layout calls for different things than a switching mini: if anything, they are very well-suited to a plain loop, and you don't need to worry about rolling stock. 6" radius curves are perfectly practical, and turntables are unnecessary because most streetcars are double-ended. About all one would have room for on an 18" table would be a slightly "squared circle" which would have room for 1 or 2 Richard Orr single-point switches. The most typical sort of spur for streetcar layouts is a carbarn, or some sort of special stop (in front of the train station or other end-of-line point.) The layout can be made interesting by building some quaint buildings in the middle, adding a street surface, and of course the carbarn itself.
  6. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Here is a very simple track plan intended for an 18" diameter coffee table. The layout is basically a squared pizza track plan, for trolley operations. Curves are 6" radius. Switches are Orr single-point turnouts. Orr turnouts are a single piece, so this layout must be powered by overhead trolley wire, although I have omitted the wire and poles for clarity.

    The "main line" around the edge of the table is done as street trackage, either through concrete or brick/cobblestone streets (there are lessons on how to do streets at http://www.trolleyville.com in the Schoolhouse section.) The turnout at "six o'clock" leads to a carbarn which can hold a single double-truck or two single-truck streetcars. The turnout at "three o'clock" can be used to store some piece of maintenance of way equipment: a street sweeper, work motor, sprinkler or freight motor. The large red block is an ideal place for a large building or block of stores, ideally several stories tall in order to provide a view block and make it impossible to take in all sides of the layout at once.

    Attached Files:

  7. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Yes that looks nice Jetrock.
    If my gray matter serves well I do believe David has a few brass Pacific Electrics stored away:D
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Incidentally, in case it isn't clear, the little green building at the top is a passenger shelter and the dark blue building is a shorter, more industrial structure to provide transition and background between the MOW spur and the large "merchant's row" building. The gray area is sidewalk or unpaved alley access. Considering the tight clearances and sharp curves, this layout might be best suited to single-truck Birneys, which aren't too hard to find on eBay. They would also be better for not overpowering the layout size-wise.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Try googling "Carl Arendt" for some other "pizza box" layouts like the one Jetrock suggested.

  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not even sure if I can get line poles out side of the track.
    I was planning on just a loop and loking for scenery suggestions. Also who stocks traction bits in the Toronto area.
  11. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    David I have no contact in the Toronto area. I do however have a couple of links iin the states.
    I will post these in the traction forum.
  12. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    It might be better to put line poles on the inside of the track and use a single-arm type pole so you don't have to hang outside poles--indeed, things are pretty tight with that limited amount of space.

Share This Page