Copyright 2002 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

All Gauge Model Railroading Page

HO Layouts for A Small Space

These 4' by 6' layouts give you the most action for the space!

The small HO layouts pictured here are intended to give you the most running in the last space: 4' by 6'.  They are great for those with limited space.  To allow for more action in less area, we used Atlas 15" radius curves rather than the standard 18" curves included with many popular train sets.  The slightly tighter curve is a boon when it comes to making the most with such little room.

There is a trade-off.  15" HO curves limit the length of the locomotives and cars you can use.  You can run the standard freight-type cars and passenger cars of 80" and less.  Long locomotives like the Niagara, Big Boy, Challenger, Centipede and Pennsy T1 would be unable to negotiate these curves.  The best choices are medium-sized and smaller diesel, steam and electric locomotives.  What you get is the ability to have a model railway with interesting operations that fits the smallest allowable space..

Layout 1: Our basic oval consists of four straight and 12 curved track.  (All of the layouts on this page start from this oval.)

Two standard switches help make a passing siding

A pair of standard switches makes a siding inside the oval

One more switch makes a siding inside.  You can add more if you wish.  This track plan is superb for continuous running, and can be used for two-train operation if you insulate the sidings.

Layout 2: .from an oval, we add two switches and track to make a wide loop

A switch and track make a siding

The addition of two switches allows more sidings.

Two switches inside the oval provide more sidings.  The end result is a layout that allows two-train operation, continuous running, switching and a point-to-point style operation.

Layout 3: we start much like Layout 2.

Two more switches lead to making a second, outer oval.

Two switches lead to two sidings inside the inner oval, extending from the top.

Another switch allows a siding from the bottom.  You can add to it as you like.  This layout allows continuous running on both loops plus switching.  The outer loop can run a train independently of the inner.

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