A few years ago, I picked up a used 1999-built Lionel 4-6-4 Hudson steam locomotive at a price too good to pass up. Without much of a layout to run it on, after testing all the functions, I put it in the same temperature- and humidity-controlled layout room closet with all my other rolling stock and structures.
Well, I decided to get it out this year for a new holiday layout I built, only to discover CORROSION!
Something had caused corrosion on the floor of the tender, so I tore it apart to see what was going on inside. What I discovered put me in the position of deciding what to do: take it in for professional restoration, or take on the job myself.
When I found out my grandchildren were going to visit, I decided to throw together a little toy train layout for them to play with.
I went on eBay and found two Toys ‘r Us promotional Lionel train sets, one from 1982 with an operating Geoffrey car and one from 1992 with a nice illuminated caboose. Both sets, with shipping cost less than $100.
I used Lionel Fastrack for the outside loop and O27 tubular track for the inside loop (mainly resorted to the tubular track for accessory activation). The older set had a cam that attached to the track to operate the “ducking Geoffrey” and I added a 153c contactor to operate an early 1990s semaphore and dwarf signal. There are two manual switches on the O27 loop with an accessory on each route.
The Fasttrack loop has two O36 remote switches, and doesn’t have any operating accessories, but I added a K-Line whistling train station between the two switch routes. but I added a late 1990s Linex operating oil derrick and some yard lights to the table for interest.
I’ve got a bunch of Plasticville buildings that the kids can place wherever they want on the table (although with two different loops, there are more buildings than will fit). They love rearranging the city and transporting people (from a Safari Ltd. “Toob”) and cargo on the train cars from one side of the layout to the other.
Understanding Model Railroad Track Plan Types First Step in Designing Your Model Railroad Layout
Most model railroad sets come with a simple loop of track, which allows your train to run continuously, without your constant attention.
However, if you want to expand your model railroad layout, you may want to make some changes to the track to make it more interactive. To do this, it’s time to think about model railroad track planning.
When it comes to model railroad layout track plans, nearly all can be classified as one of three main types. Once you understand these basic types and the operational advantages of each, designing your own track plan becomes much easier.
Building Benchwork for Our
O Gauge Model Railroad Layout
in a Spare Bedroom
After deciding where to build a model railroad layout, one of the next steps is to decide how to build your model railroad layout.
There are many styles of model railroad benchwork (the tables on which the model railroad track is laid), and we chose a simple, modular design that allows us to build it in a garage and simply assemble it in the spare bedroom.
Check out construction details of the benchwork for our O Gauge Model Railroad Layout in a Spare Bedroom.
Located at East Broad Top Railroad mile marker 24.3, one-half mile east of Coles Valley Road, near the town of Saltillo in Huntingdon County, the Coles Station, Pennsylvania, water tank is the last surviving enclosed water station along the coal-hauling narrow gauge railroad’s right-of-way. Enclosing the water tank made it possible to keep the water from freezing during Pennsylvania’s harsh winter months with nothing more than the heat of a small coal-fired stove.
Deciding on what O Gauge Track Model Railroad Track To Use
A number of factors are involved in finding the best O Gauge model railroad track for your layout
One of the first decisions that needs to be made before you design your O Gauge model railroad layout is what kind of track to use. There are a number of manufacturers making O Gauge track, and some manufacturers make several different styles. And, there are some compatibility issues between different manufacturers’ tracks, or even between different types of track offered by one manufacturer.
The first difference between O Gauge model railroad track types is explained on our O Gauge vs. O-27 Gauge page.
Budget is where the rubber hits the road when designing an O Gauge model railroad layout. What you have to spend is often a limiting factor in choosing what track you will use our page O Gauge Model Railroad Track Price Comparison compares the most popular types of track with each other in terms of affordability.