HO model train layout

I have begun work on my very first permanent model train layout! This display is going to be a multi purpose layout. It is an evolution of the simple 2 loop layout I had running under the christmas tree. I’m planning for this to become a regular addition under the christmas tree. I also want the display to be usable throughout the year as a permanent display, as well as a test track for rolling stock and new and/or modified engines.

Beginning as 2 1200x600mm sheets of MDF and some 1200mm sticks of timber, I went to quite a bit of effort to construct the interlocking frame. The base board is made in two halfs. I plan on the display being able to separate for storage and moving.

One thing I discovered, is as the glue dried, it actually put a bow in the frames. I guess I should have clamped the sheets to the bench as they dried. I guess I’ll try that next time. The bow wasn’t too bad, and both sides seemed to bend similarly, so I was still good to continue.


With the glue dried, now its time to begin setting things out how I want them. the only thing is, I’m still working out how I want them to be.

The obvious one is two loops, around the middle. I guess its going to vaguely going to resemble that, no matter what I do, but I want to try to add something extra to the layout.

Things I’m thinking are:

  • A hill in the middle, split in a cross shape, to allow the legs of the christmas tree to slot into place, and locating some small houses around the mountain area
  • Build up the base, so the inner loop is higher than the outer loop. its further up the mountain
  • turnouts? Sidings? It would be nice to put some in, but at $30 or more per set of points, I don’t think I’ll be able to put too many of those in. It would be nice to put some in so its possible to join the layout to an epic loop of track like I did for this christmas just gone. There are other methods of achieving this though, I may just leave enough room around the edges to lay an extra track thru the layout.
  • A tunnel in the back corner


That’s where I’m at so far. I still have much thinking to do, but I’m hoping to make progress on it soon. I’ll keep everyone updated.


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