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How big is your layout?

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  • Member since
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How big is your layout?
Posted by AltoonaRailroader on Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:47 AM

 After looking at some weekend photo fun photos, I started to think about scenes people were taking pictures of. It Made me wonder how big everyone‘s layout is.  Do a lot of people have giant room sized layouts? Or smaller 4x8 layouts? I have a 9 x 9 around the walls that is perfect for my space right now but in the future I’d like to expand it. 

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:52 AM

I am remodeling my house to accomodate a 11 by 22 foot trian room.


I live in Florida, and basements do not exist. I need to convert the house within its existing footprint to have a siutable train room.


My wife is retired, the girls have moved away, and the house is all ours now. This gives me the freedom to finally do what I want.


11 by 22 is plenty big enough for me. I play alone, so I really just need a room on the other side of the house where I can crank up the Rolling Stomnes and run my trains.




Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by mlehman on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:01 AM

Haven't posted in this week's WPF yet (I have an ops session here today, so plan to post pics of it there later.) But here's a pic from the entrance to the main room (pre-LED lighting).

Here's looking back the other direction showing part of what's behind the curved backdrop in the first pic.

This one looks into the corner you haven't seen yet and is also where the Cascade Extension goes off to the next room behind the wall.

Overall the wide part of the room here is 16' and it is about 28' long from the door in the first pic. Next door is a long utility room about 8' wide. This shot is of that section under construction.

Then here's where that leads to...

And just a little more goes around to the right in this pic to the end of line at Snowden on the other side of the heater.


Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by Nevin on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:08 AM

My layout in is a 10x20 single garage.  It is a point to point shelf layout, but is built in modules so I can move it eventually.  

  • Member since
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  • From: Nashville, TN area
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Posted by hardcoalcase on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:32 AM

Mine is an around-the-walls design with a central penninsula that includes lower deck staging, filling a 21' x 18' room.  Big enough to include almost all of my "druthers", and small enough for me to build and maintain.  


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  • From: Phoenix, AZ
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Posted by bearman on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:32 AM

Aropund the walls walk in U. 50 sq ft folded dog bone.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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  • 74 posts
Posted by RWSlater on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:38 AM

This is my first layout and it is a wopping 32" x 84" table that sits in one corner of my home office. 

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  • From: Culpeper, Va
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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:01 AM

I am in the process of moving.  I am tearing down my old layout of which 12x31 had benchwork up and some track. 

The new layout is planned to be 17x37 with room for expansion if desired.  I hope to start construction in the next 1-3 months once the move is finished and everything unpacked in the new house.


If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by dexterdog on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:31 AM

We moved/retired last summer from a bungalow in the suburbs with a full finished basement to a house built in 1900 out in the country. Our current home has a basement but with a fieldstone floor and is unfinished and is completely unsuitable for building a layout. Space is beyond limited, there are only two bedrooms on the second floor and the smaller of the two is allocated for my wife's sewing studio. There is a three season sunroom which is uninsulated. I wracked my brains before we even moved as to where I could build a layout.

Until I accepted the fact that I will never have the luxury of the mancave that I had previously I made no progress. I finally decided that some layout was better than no layout. So I designed  a small 30" x 48" layout with a track plan which I can expand as time permits. Being in N scale helped in that regard. I put together some nice benchwork to support the layout and put it on locking casters so I can wheel it out of the way in a corner of the living room when not in use. The DCC system is in a drawer that slides under the frame. I have plans to add fold down sections at either end to add staging and some more switching destinations.

The layout is far from complete and at 10 square feet in size it still has much work left to go on it. Until now space was never really an issue. But when compromises are forced on you there is always a way to keep going if you get creative.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:37 AM

OK, mine is an L shaped dog bone, along the wall, total bench top of 60 sq. ft., and 50' of a continuous run loop.  About half of that is "hidden". 

I switch 3 industries, one of which is "big", as far as traffic in and out, and a transloading yard.

I did have links in my signature, but something was wrong with them, causing my post to "run off" the page.  So I deleted them.


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Posted by selector on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:50 AM

My wife surprised me while I was away for a week and had a construction contractor friend split the double-wide and frame up a room for me.  I couldn't use all of the resulting space because the man door access to the garage was included in the partition.  So, I ended up with an around-the-wall folded loop measuring 9X19.

I notice that in many instances we down-size, or retire and have to cut back, or kids come know...just until....and some of us don't end up living our dreams as a result.  Yet, with some negotiation, and an expenditure of perhaps up to $5K, one could get a sea can set up in the back corner of the yard.  I don't mean a brand-spankin' new one hot off the welder's torch and paint booth, I mean well used and essentially disposable, but still worth some fixing to serve as a train room. If you have that garage, but it's needed for stuff, maybe one part of the service could be used to serve the sea can and provide 20 amps.  Between a couple of LED panels, a heater/conditioner running part time, and the demands of the layout, 20 amps should suffice...with some care.

Of course, if it were me, that's where the kids would stay...........Mischief

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:51 AM

My layout is as big as the run-chief makes it.

The last one in Aptos was about 18' x 30'.

The one before in Clovis was more like 30' x 60'.


I'm a Free-mo guy.  So layout size varies, based on available space and number of contributors.


Here at home, I have a large-ish test track.  It's half-done.  When complete, it will be 20' square.  "Around-the-room" double track on white painted plywood.  Plus two small yards.



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Posted by Paul3 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:53 AM

My home layout (HO) was 25'x50' overall, but about 1/4 of that footprint was a furnace room.  I had it for 10 years and then had to take it down when I lost the space in 2014.

My club's HO layout is 50' x 130', and we're about halfway done building it.  Here are some shots taken of it back in the Fall 2016 train show we had in the club:


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Posted by Jimmy_Braum on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:06 AM

Renting at present so, a little 18" by 33". Its tiny in HO, but it's something. 

(My Model Railroad, My Rules) 

These are the opinions of a 26 year old, from the east end of, and modeling, the same section of the Wheeling and Lake Erie railway.  As well as a freelanced road (Austinville and Dynamite City railroad).

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  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
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Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:08 AM

I have been taken to task saying my layout is 15' x 24' and I guess that's fair as it doesn't fill the 15' x 24' room. So the square footage of the layout I don't know but it is this big. We are currently looking for a new home and it must meet my wifes requirements for all the dogs (grooming facilities, usable acres to fence in for the dogs to run free, etc.) and my wants for the trains, which is about 500 Square feet for the layout, plus an office for building things. We have lots of affordable options where we want to move.

This is what I currently have.





Bar with required lazyboy.


Music while waiting for the glue to dry. 


It's a good mancave.


It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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  • From: Ludington, MI
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Posted by Water Level Route on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:29 AM

Mine is roughly 12x18 not counting staging. Track plan based on the Moth Lake & Mount Ahab by Leonard B. (I would mutilate his last name if I tried to spell it right now)

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:46 AM

My current one is 0 x 0' (mismantled) but I used to have a 4 x 8'.  Hopefully once things settle down and I find a permanent job again - albeit here or somewhere else, I'll be able to begin building Layout 2.0.


Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:48 AM

I'm looking at an 18 x 12 space with a center peninsula interchange/staging area.

- Douglas

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:55 AM

Just got rid of a 15x30 finished and I had more space I could have used. New place will eventually have a 13x11 when everything gets sorted out. Last layout only took about 3 years and couldn't work on it full time due to it being non-heated. New space is in house


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  • From: Morristown, NJ
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Posted by nealknows on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:04 PM

My layout that is being built in Florida (snowbird home) will be 13'x12' 2 level with a helix in one corner. It will be able to be run solo or with a couple other guys. Point to point and for me, just fine. My other layout at home up in NJ is 20'x20' 2 level with a helix, dogbone layout built for operations and when I'm solo running trains. Retirement is on the horizon and the CFO gave me the space in both houses so I not only keep my snaity, but don't slip away in retirement, keeping me busy.

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Posted by jk10 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:33 PM

Currently, I am in the very beginning process of laying track on a 2'x8' with a 2'x4' "L" extension at one end. With the prospect of children on the horizon, I need to get going a bit more to get it up and running. Being in Minnesota, I'm stuck waiting to paint a lot of buildings before I can finally assemble. So, it's laying track, putting together kits, and researching for a backstory. 

If/when we move, my wife said I could have more space. We've talked about the third stall of a garage if we're lucky to have one of those. We'll see how life plays out. For now, I'm happy I can do anything as my wife is not a fan of the hobby too much. Keeps me busy and out of trouble. 

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Posted by cowman on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:52 PM

Was assigned a 13x22 space when we walked up the framework of our replacement home.  Had a 4x8 sheet of plywood for play and grandkids, but no time to start a real layout.  Son moved home, took the 13x22, trains got religated to the basement.  There is a "temporary room" 7x14 available, but the 4x6 I used for pratice sits in the middle of it.  Plan is for a 2' shelf around that room.  There is the possibility of a staging yard by the workbench just outside the room.  Gotta get the layout going before I worry about staging, other than making sure it can be added to the trackplan.

Have fun,



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Posted by last mountain & eastern hogger on Saturday, February 10, 2018 2:10 PM


I have a basement room under the sunken living room, (still have 7 foot clearance)

It is 17 Ft. by 13 ft. around the room with a center penninsula of two levels and a third lower level on three sides that the track (via a 4 and a half loop helix) goes down to from under the end of the penninsual, but nothing is started down there yet. If I live another 50 years it might get finished but at 77, it is a stretch, but I do have plans if I stay healthy.  The helix is built and the track laid to that point, but it is just a storage level as yet. Trains get to the top level by long ramps hidden on the north wall ( behind the Mountain range) and partially hidden on the south wall. PAT ON THE BACK HERE, as the grades and easements have worked perfectly and I have never had a derailment on them.  Off the top level there is a turnout that leads through a hole in the wall into an adjacent storage room with a four track staging yard, and a small fix-it bench.

Right now I have been in the tree builkding mode.

I haven't named the mountain range yet,  any cool ideas would be appreciated.

Johnboy out...............and back to being the creator.  ha  ha LaughSmile, Wink & Grin

from Saskatchewan, in the Great White North.. 

We have met the enemy,  and he is us............ (Pogo)

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, February 10, 2018 2:27 PM

I have been taken to task saying my layout is 15' x 24'

Aisles count too, because what good is a layout if you don't have anywhere to stand to run it. 

So I got about 80 square feet if you don't count the aisles. Sort of a 8x12' U shape that has 2033 inches of track not counting turnouts, 25 feet of which is mainline.


Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by angelob6660 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 4:08 PM

I planned to construct a nice city scene around a 2x5 foot. 2 industries, and a team track can be changed into a commuter station. Sadly it was to big for the place and shorted it down a foot. Now it a half painted desert scenery with one industry and parking garage. 

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, February 10, 2018 4:19 PM

My layout room is 24 x 40. It is located on the second floor of my detached garage/workshop. It is heated and cooled.

I am currently rebuilding the layout from scratch. 

The original layout in this space was double decked and very complex. Before it was complete, several things changed my plans. First, the wife and I decided we most likely will not stay here when we retire, second, I decided I was not really happy with some aspects of the layout once they were built, mainly the double deck aspect.

A new layout has been designed, and is being constructed. It is modular to allow it to go with us when we move.

It is quite possible I will have even move space in our retirement home, so the layout is designed with future expansion and possible reconfiguration in mind.

Part of the upper deck of the old layout remains in operation while the new layout is being begun.

Here are a few not so great photos of the old layout:



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Posted by restorator on Saturday, February 10, 2018 4:26 PM

Working in a basement room just shy of 15'x15'. Added about 8 feet of staging through a closet and along a wall in the wife's space. (I think I now qualify to do international negotiating!)


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 5:01 PM

Old layout room in a townhome was 10x18' - tore it down and sold last November:

Bought a house and have the following space which 45' long basement - main room is 15 x 27.5 with another 18' to the far end in a step-over:


Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, February 10, 2018 7:16 PM

My layout room is 24'x25'. Up until about a year ago it was a double garage attached to my house. It has finished walls and a finished ceiling (9'-4" high). The floors are carpeted. It has windows in two opposite-facing walls that let in plenty of diffused natural light. The overhead lighting consists of multi-track directional cans that have fourteen 100-watt equivalent 5000K LED bulbs. It is as bright as a sunny day, but the lighting needs some tweaking because it produces odd shadows here and there. Maybe a few more bulbs. They are only about 13 or so watts apiece.

The room is insulated and heated, and is as warm and dry and clean and cozy and as dust-free as any other living space in the house.

The layout itself takes up most of the room. It is a G-shaped around the walls walk-in folded dogbone with two peninsulas. N scale. About 18'x25', including interior aisles but not including the exterior aisle. The two levels are connected via single track three-and-a-half turn helix (28.25" radius, 2% slope, 3.5" pitch). It is fairly well described in another thread, but since everyone is posting in this thread I figured I'd chime in as well.

Here is a plan showing the upper level and the entire room:



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Posted by WilmJunc on Saturday, February 10, 2018 7:41 PM

I have about a 12' x 6' in a room that's about 18' x 20'

Modeling the B&M Railroad during the transition era in Lowell, MA

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