Updated: Dec 7, 2021
A 1' x 6.5' HO Scale Switching Layout
***Note, I built this layout into a shadow box in 2020. See how I did that here: https://www.steves-trains.com/post/finishing-up-the-tulsa-spur-switching-layout ***
I built this HO scale switching layout on a shelf in my garage above my workbench. The layout is built out of two module kits from Masterpiece Modules and was originally designed to fit in my home office in between some bookshelf units above a desk area. We moved the office furniture around some after I replaced the flooring in the office a couple of years ago, and so now it doesn't fit as built. So, it may remain in the garage or eventually end up somewhere else in the house.
The layout is a simple inglenook design with one extra track to allow for additional switching operations, and the layout is operated with picture cards. I simply shuffle the deck of car cards and deal them out at various car spots. Then, I switch the layout so the cars all end up in their proper place per how I dealt out the car cards.
The main large warehouse structure on the layout was kitbashed from a couple of the Walthers Cornerstone Concrete Warehouse kits as well as one of their Cold Storage kits. Both are modular kits in which all the walls are made up of panel sections. Some have loading bays, some doors or windows, some are blank walls of larger or smaller width. These are fantastic kits for building your own large modern warehouse-type structure since you can vary the design significantly without having to do much actual cutting of the kit pieces.
I'm not fully happy with the layout as I currently have it built, and would like to redo the backdrop (if I'm not going to have to fit it into the office as before), and possibly redo the scenery at the front of the layout. While the big trees are nice, they do get in the way, and I may redo some of the static grass and such since it didn't turn out quite as good as I would have liked. Overall though, it is a fun layout to operate, and I often have short 15-minute operating sessions in the garage while working on my other layout projects.
You can watch a video below of how I operate this layout. Links to videos on the construction of the layout are at the bottom of the page.
Watch the whole layout series. Note that the layout originally was planned to be 11 feet long and was then shortened to 6.5 feet. I may eventually extend the layout, or rebuild it as a long layout in the future.
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