HO is one of the most popular modeling scales worldwide. Large enough to appreciate fine detail but small enough to fit in most spaces, you can find a vast selection of products to finish your layout. With a little calculation, these plans can be adapted to other scales, as well.
In the model train world, systems are classified as letters. HO scale trains are real-life scale. These plans can inspire to get you started. Once you have your plans, look into tips for building your platform and so much more. Get ready to embark on a hobby that can last a lifetime. Take a look at how to build these layouts from start to finish.
Classified as HOn3 gauge, these trains are modeled on narrow gauge train lines the rails are closer together. This means that although HO and HOn3 cars and locomotives are the same sizes, the trucks wheels and rails tracks are different between the gauges so their model railroad tracks are not interchangeable.
The "n3" in HOn3 stands for "narrow gauge, 3 feet. Any railroad with rails closer together is referred to as narrow gauge. These trains were popular in mining and lumber railroads like the southern Rio Grande region, Denver, and the Pacific, these train lines were three-feet narrow gauge lines.
Add a few switches and operations to the oval of the track which came with your first train set. This will increase the time it takes to complete the loop as your train stops to work the industries along the way. Think about how to add industries and scenery of your choice to give this simple plan a character all your own. Learn how to make figure-eights. Combine two common starter layout designs in this plan. Run two trains at once or switch back and forth between different routes.
Spectacular scenery on one side, heavy industry and switching action on the other, this 4-foot x 8-foot layout combines the best of several aspects of model railroading like mining or lumber activity and realistic-looking pine tree forests. This 4-foot x 8-foot layout offers a nice blend of industrial switching and urban scenery with a track selection that may be an easy expansion from your starter set. This plan combines continuous running with lots of switching to keep your train busy for hours as you drop off and pick up freight from the customers along the line.
This is a great layout plan if you get tired of watching a train run in circles. Learn more to see what operations are all about. Adding a grade and folding a loop of the trackback on itself doubles the length of the run on this plan. Hiding portions of the line in tunnels or behind view blocks can make it seem even longer and more interesting. You can use staging track and add room for more industries to extend this route. For a truly challenging switching session, give this track plan a try.
Large and complex U-shaped HO scale layout with main station on the upper level, connected via double main line and two helices to a large shadow station on the lower level. Oval G-scale layout with double main line, small station in front and cargo area in the back. Nice and very detailed N-scale layout project, featuring sea coast and mountain theme set somewhere in the U.
Pacific Northwest with fishing and lumber industries. The track plan has single main line which passes via many tunnels and bridges and is suitable for both passenger and freight trains. Medium-sized HO-scale corner layout design with single main line passing around a small town with car cinema near the sea coast. This is one more simple 4x8 track plan in O-gauge, designed with Atlas Industrial track pieces. The layout features single main line in oval which passes via small station and has also several branches and reverse loop.
Nice around-the-walls attic layout in OO gauge, featuring double two-way main line with several industrial branches and yards. Small N scale layout under construction, featuring double oval main line and a branch with freight siding, terminus passenger station and turntable with roundhouse in the center area.
Compact layout project in TT scale, featuring fictional scene with single folded line and a small station. Relatively compact layout design in S scale, built with the classic American Flyer tracks. The track plan has small inner oval with branches and reverse loops as well as one more reverse loop in the outer oval and the bridge. Milen Peev aka Mixy. Lego RC. Atlas HO C Atlas O Industrial. Jonathon Cowley-Thom. Kato N Unitrack.
Josh aka Gilshrat. Tillig TT Model Tracks. American Flyer S scale. Clive Ellis aka Ace.E-mail me. Plan Name: 2x The best trackplan I ever came up with. You get continuous action, the visual appeal of two levels, a branch line with interchange, and three decent-sized industries, all in 2x4' - such a deal! The crossing in front gives the look of a major junction. I'm in the process of building this one; trains are running and some basic scenery is in place. An unabashed double-track spaghetti bowl, but at least this one leaves room for the buildings.
This could make an interesting city scene, especially with a two-sided scenic backdrop separating the yard from the industries. The turnouts at the top change a simple oval into a twice-around for a long mainline run. A small yard and two big industries will keep a train busy. This is the smallest out-and-back plan you're likely to find. It works by using the yard throat as part of the main line. The red track must be wired as a reversing section. A point-to-point layout representing a short line.
Trains will leave the central yard, drop off and pick up cars at the interchange at the bottom, and switch the industries en route. This could easily be made as a two-level pike.
This layout offers a little of everything -- two main lines for continuous running, a small yard, and some industries.
This up-and-over dogbone plan yields the longest mainline run you'll find in a table this size, if you can live with a really tight fit around the edges of the table. I've built it using a 49x25" table, and it was close. You can run a rural shortline with this plan. It looks like there's no runaround track, but the center cutoff track can be used to run around cars so you can switch all the spurs. The spur on the left is the interchange track, which is vital to any shortline.
Care to model a shortline and its interchange with a mainline? On this layout, the mainline train comes out of its hidden track, swaps empties for loads at the interchange, and returns to staging. The shortline engine picks up the empties, takes them to the coal mine, and returns the empties to the interchange.
The spartan engine facilities are also at the top of the mountain. Trains will have to be short - you can't have everything!This is the most complete online database for free model train track plans and layouts of SCARM projects and designs. Search it for railway layouts and railroad track plans by scale, size, tracks and other criteria. And don't forget — the most important is to have fun with the model trains.
Remove Filters. Large and complex U-shaped HO scale layout with main station on the upper level, connected via double main line and two helices to a large shadow station on the lower level. Medium-sized HO-scale corner layout design with single main line passing around a small town with car cinema near the sea coast. Compact HO scale layout design featuring single line which passes via small station with sidings and small town with factory and dairy plant. Nice around-the-walls layout in HO scale with peninsula and lift-off bridge in the center, situated in a dedicated train room.
The track plan features long oval main line passing across various scenic areas and has one big station, several industries and two branches — for a port with train ferry on the peninsula and for staging yard in the closet. Compact HO scale layout with double main line in oval featuring train station in front, town scene in back and yard with locomotive depot in the center. Double main line in oval with train station in front, two branches and two reverse loops, crossed in the center.
Interesting HO scale project situated on 2 levels, with double main line folded as fig. L-shaped layout design with junction meeting station and 2 lines, allowing simultaneous running of up to two trains or just single train looping sequentially on the two routes. Philip Klappacher.
Atlas HO C Michael Ramsey. Marklin C-track. Frankie Christians. Jim Bernier and his father. Atlas HO Code Cal from Oregon. Marklin K-track. Venci Glaskov aka Best Ripper by Marklin books. Giancarlo Profeti.Great model railroads can come in any size. A 4'x8' sheet of plywood makes an easy starting point. You can build a variety of track layouts at any scale whether your focus is scenery, continuous running, faithful reproduction of a prototype, or switching.
These plans can provide the inspiration to get you started. You can always customize the look and feel of your layout with your own artistic touch. If you're new to model railroading, chances are you started out with a simple oval of track in a starter train set.
The next step in creating a real layout is to add switching opportunities to expand your run. Next, you'll select or build towns, stations, businesses, and scenery to give your railroad purpose and character.
You can choose any scale you like to create your layout, and you can create similar layouts with HO ScaleN Scaleor O Gauge tracks. Of course, the smaller the scale you choose the more you can fit on your small plywood base! It may be the size of a sheet of plywood but this layout is anything but flat.
The big scenery and tiny trains combine to make a dramatic yet compact model railroad.
Track Plan Database
Narrow gauge railroading is a path less traveled in the hobby, but it is a challenge with great rewards. Hiding portions of the line in tunnels or behind view blocks can make it seem even longer and more interesting. With a staging track and room for more towns or industries, you can easily make this route go even further.
Many modelers end up with more locomotives than they could ever run at once. Show them off with this track plan that uses two outer loops for running as well as a turntable and tracks to display the rest of the collection.
The compact size of N scale means a 4x8 can provide a big showcase for a large collection. This plan features a double-track mainline with broad curves as well as a turntable and yard to display your collection. Even a simple plan like this can provide hours of entertainment.
This O gauge layout comes packed with multiple loops, a reverse loop, and several sidings. It does make for a rail-packed layout with less room for scenery, buildings, and other elements. Expand Your First Train Set.
Continue to 2 of 7 below. Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge. Continue to 3 of 7 below. Continue to 4 of 7 below. HO Showcase. Continue to 5 of 7 below. N Scale Showcase. Continue to 6 of 7 below.Included here are numerous Layouts. Each heading below has one or more track plans for HO Trains. Sizes range from 4' by 8' and larger, except for a 2' by 12" layout which is of necessity narrow.
We have illustrated each layout as best we can. Since brands of track and availability vary, you may have to alter your actual plan slightly. You will not have to make major adjustments, however. All of these plans offer you a full range of model railroading action and opportunities for adaptation, expansion and superb scenery work.
HO Scale Layouts
Note that some track plans have reversing tracks. Reversing tracks must be insulated from the main line and wired differently. Wiring will depend on which device you use to control the track, as each has its own instructions. The Atlas Controller is an example, in that it includes the device and everything you need to know to wire it properly for smooth operation. We have made certain to indicate the very, very few instances where reversing tracks exist in e layout.
Click here to return to All Gauge Model Railroading main page.It is not specialized for model railroading, but I've been using it a long time and it meets my needs. Here are a couple of resources that you can freely download and distribute for non-commercial purposes:. Bob's Track Planning Questionnaire is the document I use to gather basic information for designing a plan.
It might help you organize your own "Givens n' Druthers. Bob's Curve and Grade Calculator is an Excel spreadsheet with multiple tabs.
Model Train Layouts & Track Plans
It can calculate the length of tracks at various curve radii and grades, along with train lengths and other functions for N, HO, S, and O scales. Have fun. Track Plans Gallery. On this page you can view many of the layout designs I have created for other modelers in recent years. You can use the filter buttons and site search to locate plans by scale, prototype, state, size, and other characteristics.
The space was different enough that I proposed redesigning it o As he is building, Derek simplified the original design for his version of Cobourg, Ontario; so he asked me to revise the plan to reflect Thomas has a unique and rather challenging attic space for his railroad.
We managed to make use of three of the dormers while retaining Timothy had already built his benchwork and staging level, but asked me to help him with the visible deck. It was necessary to loop the Dan Clements' Rutland RR.
The Rutland is long gone but not forgotten, a favorite among New England modelers.
I was pleased to be able to get the Bellows Falls yard Somehow the Norfolk Southern's ascent of the Blue Ridge has not achieved the fame of other feats of railroad engineering, but it should n Mark is building a massive Lehigh Valley railroad and asked for help expanding it to a dual level extension into his crew lounge. Focusing on Baltimore and tracks in the streets, this plan adds some flavor of Brunswick in a buildable single deck plan.Model Railroad Yards--Design for Operations
Download PDF. Pravin Wilfred's Lehigh Line.
A large sectional track plan, designed for preexisting benchwork. This uses Kato Unitrak in N Scale. Pravin wanted to model the large c Search By Tags.