Looking for layout ideas for an HO Switching Layout in a format that is 12 Feet Long x 18 inches wide (approx) that provides some decent operational opportunities. Really like some of the examples I have seen in Lance Mindheim's books (I have 2 of these) but most of these are in an "L" shaped format and I don't have space for these at the current time.
Would like to work within the 12 foot long by 18 inch wide space I have currently rather than waiting till more space is available later.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Welcome to the forums.
Sorry I don't have a quick answer for you, but there has been much discussion on the topic, so I think a search of these forums will find you something. Go down the right hand column until you come to Search Our Community. Enter "switching layout" I think you should find quite a few entries. I know Lance's bookss have come up, but so have other suggestions.
I've done quite a bit of searching in the previous posts but haven't really found something in this size (12 foot x 18 inches). I'll keep looking and hope for some inspiring ideas from others here.
Take a look at this layout:
You could straighten a L shaped plan to fit as well. There have been several domino plans in MRP over the years that would work.
First I would say look at stretching to 24 inch wide. Second, I ould say look at a different scale. Looking at my apartment living room which is 11 feet wide, really isn't much for HO. If you like switching a decent sized N scale yard could be had in your modeling area, even at 18 inches wide. Have the yard dead end at one end so it looks like only part of a larger yard, keep the locomotive servicing and car shops on the modeled side of the yard and you're looking at quite a bit of switching.
One more observation, 5 foot long trains look pretty good in N scale. A yard big enough to hold 5 foot long trains will certainly fit in 12' length, with maybe a small helix at one end that ducks under the main layout to provide more track for switching cars, adding enough length to pull an entire cut of cars from one classification track.
What era are you interested in modeling? What locale, what industries?
Take a look at these websites and report back with some specifics so that we can really help you out:
One of the best ways out of a jam like this is to copy real world examples. The trick is to just focus on a very short section of an actual spur. Bing Maps and Google maps give you pretty much everything you need. Miami, Orlando, and Seattle are just a few places packed with ideas. There should be plenty of examples of straight sections of track that would fit on your shelf. You do have enough room for something fun.
With help from other hobbyists I've added an entire section to my website on prototype industrial parks: http://www.lancemindheim.com/industrial_parks.htm. There might be some more ideas in there.
Don't worry about getting it perfect. Get the shelves up first since that defines your boundaries. From that point you can almost plan 1:1 using loose pieces of track.
Interested in modeling fairly modern era, late 70's early 80's in SW Ohio, definitely in HO scale since I already have invested in an SW1200 with DCC and sound(Chessie / B&O) and have about 10-12 frieght cars that I have already weathered.(box cars, tank cars, covered hoppers).
I am about halfway through "completion" (if there is such a thing) of a layout that was (2) 24"W x 8'L "L" shape sections but it is in a space that needs to be used for another purpose (bedroom) and the 12' x 18"W or 24"W shelf make more sense being that it would be in my office and provide more accessable time on the layout.
The "L" shape was my first re-entry in the hobby since I was a kid and the layout is "OK" but I am not completely happy with the flow and I felt like I needed some better ideas moving forward.
As for industries, most of what I would be looking at would be pulp / paper, chemical plants, food / beverage Mfg., etc. which were prevelant in the area in which I grew up in SW Ohio. Steel industry was big there but would dominate a space this size I would think..
Really appreciate the input.
i took the Docksider from Lance Mindheim and added a smal yard.
My current layout is a switching layout built on 16" wide shelves. I made extensive use of Walthers background buildings so most of the 'industries' are low-profile buildings along the backdrop. This allowed room for a team track, yard office and an engine house to fit in near the front of the layout
Model Railroader magazine