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First HO Layout

1177 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  All-Scale Railfan
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This is my first HO layout that is starting to take shape. How'd you guess? I'm guessing the title gave something away. 馃槈 The layout room is 9'-8"-17'-0". Quite a nice space for a switching layout

The room is located in a multi-purpose garage/basement. For the most part, the temperature is very consistent. Not too much room for humidity changes, only when the garage door is opened for a brief moment. The AC helps to keep it cool too.

If you have not already seen my plan, there is a photo you can look at below. It's based off of "HO SCALE: Canadian Pacific Branchline", circa the 1970s. The plan has been flipped and mirrored to fit my space. The track plan itself has been modified, along with the benchwork. I've added about two feet overall in length at each end.

The railroad is freelanced but inspired by real locations. I have not chosen a name or paint scheme for my railroad yet. That's not too important, for the moment! 馃檪
Map Slope Land lot Urban design Rectangle
Rectangle Slope Line Parallel Font


The top picture is the original plan, while the lower picture is of my plan.

Here are a few progress photos, just to show what the current state is. Well, these pictures were actually taken a few days ago. I really need to get to picking up all the mess in there! 馃槙
Floor Wood Flooring Hall Hardwood
Wood Shelving Rectangle Building Flooring
Wood Sky Rectangle Tints and shades Beige
Rectangle Wood Shade Flooring Floor


I hope you follow along and watch my layout come to life. Thanks for taking interest in my thread,

All-Scale-Railfan.

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The attachment was an accident, I can't edit my thread at the moment.

All-Scale-Railfan.
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Have you got enough room to add 18" reversing loops at each end/ or a hinged addition with a dutch door to room.
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@Dennis461, I do not have enough room for reversing loops of 18". The top section in the photo is 36" wide at the maximum width. The bottom section is only 20" wide.

What do you mean by a hinged addition? Like a staging cassette or do you mean LOOPS on the other side of the wall? I can't go out to another room because it's just garage.
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I think he refers to a section of the table that could fold down, in the same room, about where the loop would be. this would be folded to allow entry and dropped down; when running.
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@cfurnari, alright thanks. I believe you are right. Honestly, I think a reversing loop is unnecessary though. A runaround is already present, and most switch crews run long hood forward, so no need to turnaround.
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Because of the room you have, I would suggest another runaround on the top leg of the layout to avoid a loco having to push the cars back to the bottom leg. It would give you more of a point to point effect. I'm looking forward to the progress on this build, keep posting. (y)
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Because of the room you have, I would suggest another runaround on the top leg of the layout to avoid a loco having to push the cars back to the bottom leg. It would give you more of a point to point effect. I'm looking forward to the progress on this build, keep posting. (y)
Thanks for the interest, Gramps. I'm having a hard time envisioning where to put this runaround? Think you could elaborate on where to put it? Better yet, make a quick sketch over the plan. 馃檪

Maybe in the staging yard would be a good location? Changing out cars up there for a more point to point affect as you stated.

All-Scale Railfan.
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Your track plan and benchwork look great (and your space, too!). I look forward to seeing your progress.
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Your track plan and benchwork look great (and your space, too!). I look forward to seeing your progress.
Thanks man, glad you like it. I'll continue to post photos, progress, projects, etc. in this thread. 馃榾
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Thanks for the interest, Gramps. I'm having a hard time envisioning where to put this runaround? Think you could elaborate on where to put it? Better yet, make a quick sketch over the plan. 馃檪

Maybe in the staging yard would be a good location? Changing out cars up there for a more point to point affect as you stated.

All-Scale Railfan.
I think the staging yard at top is the most logical. There is a lot of track there that I think in the long run will be better served as a place to headend the engine and avoid the need for return loops. I have a shelf layout with passing sidings at each end that are runarounds and I just like the way the loco is always pulling the consist instead of pushing on the return trip and I think you will really prefer it especially with the space you have.
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@Gramps, much appreciated. I鈥檒l make the change when laying track!
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I have another update for everyone following this thread. I hope others join once this gets more attention. 馃檪

In these photos, you can see that the base/sub roadbed of the layout is on. This is 1/2" birch plywood. It cost $27 a sheet with three being required.

Maybe I should add 1/2" foam on top too? This way I can carve out little ditches or add varying designs to the surface. Hope that is logical!

I need to still make a couple of blocks for the corners. This shouldn't take too long, as I just need to trace the curves onto some wood, cut, and then sand. Excuse the mess by the way. 馃槈
Table Furniture Building Wood Interior design
Fixture Wood Rectangle Window Shade
Property Shade Wood Rectangle Floor
Fixture Building Wood Interior design Flooring
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That is excellent craftsmanship.
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That is excellent craftsmanship.
Thanks, glad you think so! 馃榾
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Yes nice benchwork. Now is the time to plan "sections" to pull apart in case you have to "bugout" and move.
I have a shelf like yours and I can cut it up in sections with a dremal should I need to...just a suggestion...
Will be looking forward to your progress!!
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Thank you @SF Gal! Yes, I do have sections planned for this layout, but they aren't going to be modular really. Just a clean area to split apart, per suggestion.

I doubt this layout will be moving. When I leave my parents' house, it's not going to be coming with me most likely...
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Wow, can't believe it's been two months since I last posted on this thread... Well, ANYWAYS I'm not going to make up some excuse, other than I didn't really feel like working on the layout. I hope ya'll are still interested in my layout thread but if not, oh well. 馃槣

A decent chunk of work has been done since the last post cough cough two months ago! I added 1/2" foam everywhere except the riverbed. This foam has also been painted to a brown/grey/green color; I don't really know what "flavor" it is... We also printed the layout 1/1 scale and traced along the center line with a "Tracing Wheel" which is intended for sewing.

I still have my painted backdrop, but I'm thinking about redoing for a photo backdrop. Just for the realization and simplicity of things... Whatcha' think? 馃槈 I will post some pictures tomorrow,

All-Scale Railfan. 馃檪
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I was going to post photos yesterday, but I don鈥檛 think seeing some painted foam is very interesting鈥 I have almost finished laying ALL the cork roadbed though. I鈥檓 pretty happy about that! 馃榾
Progress inevitably slows during the summer months, and it takes a while to get the trackwork installed correctly. Take your time and do it well.

Regarding backdrops, I invested in a printed backdrop from Train Junkies and really like what it did for my layout. You can see photos here:
(HO) Southern Montana, 1965
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