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1x3 Foot HO Switching Layout

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

A small Inglenook Sidings switching layout for an office shelf.

I built this layout several years ago when I wanted a small layout for a shelf space over my office desk. The layout is basically 1x3 feet and features a 3-2-2 Inglenook design. It is a smaller version of the Inglenook Sidings layout described at

The idea is that a locomotive and two pieces of rolling stock fit left of the turnouts, two of the sidings on the right hold 2 (or 3) pieces of rolling stock, and the other holds 3 (or 5). So, you have a 2-2-3 or 3-3-5 type of design in terms of car capacity. In the 3-3-5 scenario, you must also be able to fit three cars and a locomotive to the left of the turnouts.

This layout lived for a few years over my desk and ran off of a single 9V battery that was hooked up to a couple of toggle switches. One to turn the power on and off and one to control direction. No speed control was used. Uncoupling magnets allowed the layout to be operated easily. I later added another wire to allow the layout to be used as a programming track for DCC when I wanted to do that at my desk. Scenery was very simple and I operated the layout by shuffling a deck of cards that had a picture of each piece of rolling stock, then had to sort the actual hopper cars to match the order the picture cards were dealt out.

I later fixed and updated the scenery somewhat and sold the layout. My 1x6 foot HO scale switching layout I have in the garage is a similar design, but obviously larger and can be operated as a 5-3-3 shunting puzzle using 40-foot boxcars.

NOTE: Amazon affiliate links are listed in the description above. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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