The Layout

The setting for my railway is Cornwall, UK circa 1952.

A small fishing village (haven't thought of a name yet).

1952 is post nationalisation so most stock is ex GWR British Rail. The model will be in 4mm/ft (1/76) scale with OO (16.5mm) gauge track.

I used XTrkCad to design the track plan. XtrkCad is now open source and free to register and use without operational limits. It's good software too.

This is how the track plan has evolved. I had the use of the dining room and I initially wanted to keep the layout as small as possible. It's very tempting to try and put everything you want on your layout.

Click on each thumbnail for a larger view.

If you want to get a copy of any of the XtrkCad xtp files, right click the link and choose "Save target as" for Internet Explorer or "Save link as" for Mozilla Firefox

Oval with fig 8

Fig 8 Track Plan

This took only 1.3 metres off the end of the room leaving enough space for the dining table but I worked out that I wouldn't be able to reach to open the sliding window on that wall (not shown at the top of the plan). Besides, it was all track and had a rather unprototypical fly-over across the middle.

Get a copy of Layout01.xtc

L shaped "bone"

The narrow neck on the above plans is about where the opening half of the window would be. I thought to have all the scenic parts of the railway in the left part and leave the top as a kind of scenic fiddle yard.

Get a copy of Layout03.xtc

L shaped out and back

L shaped terminus to reversing loop enclosing fiddle yard

This one for a friend of mine (Hello, Pete) on New Railway Modellers forum who can't stand loop layouts.

Loop with central operating well

After a while my wife asked me why I was lurking around the walls instead of using the whole room. I replied that I always was like that but I scrapped the L shaped plan and went for a full loop instead. I was determined to have a fishing port on my layout but it was proving very difficult to fit in.

complete change, 3.5mx3.5m loop with operating well

The first draft

same design with more room for scenery

I was quite fond of this one because of the wagon turntable at the docks but I decided it was a bit much.

Get a copy of Layout06.xtc

same again with enhancements

This modification was for when I realised that there was nowhere else for the sideboard to go except for under the railway. It's roughly represented here by the red rectangle.

The final Plan

the final plan: Continuos loop with operating well, fiddle yard at back and goods yard and station at front

After much tinkering, scrapping and starting all over again, here is the FINAL track plan. Of course, no track plan is ever final but one has to draw the line somewhere and start building. If there are any changes to the plan they won't be happening in XtrkCad.

Get a copy of Layout09.xtc

Parameter files for XtrkCad

Download these parameter files for XtrkCad .

To use :

  1. Right click the item and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As"
  2. Copy the files to C:\Program Files\XTrkCad\params on your windows PC
  3. in XtrkCad go to the Files Menu, click Params, in the XtrkCad Parameter Files dialog click Browse, navigate to the parameter file you wish to add and click "Open"

Note that for ease of use Xtrkcad is used in HO for both HO and OO, this allows the use of HO scale items in OO scale and vice versa. If you use XtrkCad in OO scale there are no parameter files, except for trees and control panel items common to all scales, unless you edit the ones you have. The Structure Parameter files contain only those kits which I've used on my layout and the part numbers are not accurate. The Hornby Track file is complete to my knowledge.