Adopt and Adapt in Model Railway Building

Have you ever had the feeling that you wanted to incorporate many things into your model railway after looking at those wonderful, impressive, realistic models at shows, Youtube and magazines? Or, even to incorporate many things in real-life. Well I do. And sometimes, I just have to be realistic with space and effort. Let’s talk about space before talking about effort.

For many years I had this book “Shelf Layouts for Model Railroads” by Ian Rice (published by Kalmbach Books). In Malaysia, I had a train room (but never got to build one). Now that I am in Germany and living in an apartment, space is more a premium. This book came handy as I really get to revisit how to build a shelf layout. But my idea is not really a shelf layout since I do not place to nail it to the wall. I am not even sure how long I will be here. So, whatever I plan to build, it has to be mobile (aka has legs). In this book, Ian Rice espoused a rule which he called Rice’s First Law of Model Railroading – “The man who never bowed to compromise never build a layout.” Okay, maybe that’s why I have not build one.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I got the IKEA IVAR shelf frames. It works out to be a nice dimension about 2.3m x 1.0m. The problem is it comes in 2 pieces of 2.3m x 0.5m each. Good in a sense that I could remove them and transport but the challenge is building a layout that splits in length than in width. So, something to think about and to include in my planning.

I mentioned that I wanted to build a German model in N-scale, and I found a nice layout that would fit into 2.3m x 1.0m. Oliver Bachmeier built his HO-scale (in German it is Spur H0) of a fictitious Neustadt. His layout was published in Eisenbahn Journal (below). This layout is 3.3m x 1.5m.

I wanted a layout with small passenger station where commuter and long-distance trains drop and pick up passengers. Occasionally, freight trains could make a run-through. And, Oliver’s layout have some of those features I wanted and also the way he built it. The fact that he built in in HO-scale on 2.3m x 1.5m means that in N-scale, I could scale it by 70% to fit within my 2.3m x 1.0m (the recommended dimension of a physical N-scale layout is 70% of HO-scale layout, even though N-scale models are 54.5% of its HO-scale counterparts). Oliver’s layout would fit for me.

I made a copy of his layout plan as shown below.



I shall post more about this layout and how I plan to adapt to my requirements.


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