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Get the most from your model railroad with these hints & tips

Layout Design


Other Ideas

Ops Fun for One
Designing a layout that offers engaging fun for the solo operator.
Why Waste the Space on an HO 4X8?
Although an HO 4X8 track plan seems compact, it actually requires a large footprint. If you have that much space, there are some interesting alternatives.
I'd Rather Fight than
Switchback industry spurs are found on many published trackplans, but they're rare on the prototype (for good reason). Here's why I think this gimmick is overused.
model railroad layout curve radius
Radius? Diameter? How wide is that curve?
There often seems to be confusion in model railroading over radius, diameter, and the width of benchwork needed for a "turnback" curve. Measuring model railroad layout curves.
Quick thoughts on layout design for a garage
In the US West and elsewhere, basements are few and far between. Here are a few ideas on layout designs to share a garage.

"Cornerstones" of layout design

Most layouts will benefit from including these important concepts:

- Prototype Inspiration

- Staging

- Major Industries

- Interchange

Read more about the cornerstones

Starting Ops on a 4X8
OK, it's not my favorite style for a layout, but Ops can be fun even on a classic 4X8. Here's a step-by-step beginner's example.
Forget the Fast Clock
Some folks swear by the Fast Clock, others swear at 'em. While it won't work for everyone, this discussion may give you some ideas of the benefits of slower clocks, and even 1:1 time.
A Little Love for the Yard
We spend lots of time thinking about the arrangement of tracks in our yards. But here are 11 "Serving Suggestions" that will help balance the load between yard and road without rebuilding.
PSR/NMRA '04 Clinic
"Op Session Design -- Freelance and Prototype"
Cherry Pickers on your Crew?
A step-by-step tutorial describing one method to make yard switching more efficient.

Three Keys to operating realism and fun

Successful ops plans are based on:

- Personality

- Interaction

- Balance

Read more about these keys

Read the latest in my model railroad design and operations blog
The Tragedy of CTSS
CAD-Too-Soon Syndrome strikes thousands, an epidemic fueled by the Internet. Read why I think model railroad design software too often leads to precisely-rendered design disasters.
Prototype and Freelance: a choice ... or a palette?
Few questions polarize model railroaders more than this one, yet I am convinced that every layout should combine elements of both concepts. (A version of this editorial was published in Layout Design Journal #25, Winter 2001). Read more
Finding Pink and Blue Foam 
Extruded foam board is a popular material for model railroad layouts, but can be hard to find in mild-winter areas. Here are some tips for finding foam.
Layout design ideas -- from a casino?
Influencing the movement of visitors and controlling where visitors look are key elements of casino design ... and we can borrow a couple of ideas.

Except photos, all material Copyright 2004-9 by Byron Henderson

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