Layout Parameters

Layout Parameters Ideas Received My Choice Building Viduta Timber
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Ideas Needed for the Next Layout

As I have been designing and building the Monte Sano Railroad, I have been looking at other micro layouts described on the internet; and I have inventoried my existing models.  These activities have set me to thinking about the design of the Next Layout.  I would like to pose the problem to you, my fellow model railroaders, and solicit your ideas.  So, here are my parameters:

  1. It will be a micro layout, with a total area not to exceed four square feet, per Carl Arnedt's definition.

  2. Smaller is better, so viable ideas that yield a smaller solution are preferable.

  3. The scale is HO and the principal gauge is 30 inch, also known as HOn30, HOn 2 1/2, or HOe.

  4. The design must incorporate my model of the Richmond Barrel Manufacturing Company (a Campbell model).  The details of this building appear below.

  5. The design should also include enough HO standard gauge track so that my Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff Barrel Car could be spotted somewhere logically on the layout.  The details of this model appear below.

  6. It would be a real plus if the standard gauge track for the Barrel Car were arranged so that the car could be moved to an out-of-sight location once it is loaded with barrels.

  7. The motive power on the principal (working) track, which is the 30 inch gauge track, will probably consist of the Egger-Bahn 1002 steam locomotive,  the AHM Minitrains Plymouth diesel, and/or the AHM Minitrains steam loco shown on the Motive Power page of this web site.  It could include a small Climax,  Shay, or a 0-4-0 Porter or Baldwin on a Bachman Dockside (N scale) chassis if I ever manage to build one.

  8. The rolling stock could include any HOn30 cars compatible with the design of the layout.

  9. Designs must give the HOn30 railroad a clearly-defined purpose associated with the Richmond Barrel Manufacturing Company.

  10. I prefer standard turnouts (switches) over turntables and sector plates, although I certainly would accept those devices if they were essential to the success of the design.

  11. If the HOn30 railroad is hauling material to Richmond Barrel, I prefer designs that clearly indicate the source of that material, yet avoid the appearance of hauling the same material back to the source.  A device for interchanging full and empty cars would be an acceptable solution; but I prefer something more realistic.

  12. I like to watch trains run; so provision for continuous running is highly desirable, even if this mode is not totally realistic.

  13. One concept that particularly appeals to me is to represent a logging/sawmill operation that would provide raw material for the Richmond Barrel Mfg. Co.  The Woodland Scenics Tie and Plank Mill or other small sawmill operation would add much interest to this layout.

  14. I would be willing to slightly modify my Monte Sano Railroad micro layout, described on this site, to become an adjunct module to this Next Layout.  The only such mod that I have in mind would be the addition of a turnout near the small trestle at the rear of the Monte Sano RR layout.

Below are the pictures and dimensions of the building and barrel car.  Put your thinking caps on and send me your ideas.  I will publish the best ones here with my comments, then build the resulting layout.  I do reserve the right to combine ideas from different sources to create the final plan.  All designs remain the property of their creators; but sending the design to me includes your consent for me to publish, comment, and modify the design for my use.

Questions and designs should both be sent to

Pictures and dimensions of Richmond Barrel Manufacturing Company:

The footprint of the Richmond Barrel Manufacturing Company measures 7 3/4" x 7" plus the stairs on the back, which add about 3/4" to the overall length, making the total footprint  8 1/2" x 7".  As you can see in the top view, the main building is 7 3/4" x 4 3/4" with the attached machinery shed being 3 1/4" x 2 1/4".  The loading dock wraps around two sides of the main building.  Click on the thumbnails to see the full sized images.

Richmondtopsm.jpg (79058 bytes)  Richmondlongdocksm.jpg (82016 bytes)  Richmondshortdocksm.jpg (74674 bytes)  Richmondmachineryshedsm.jpg (73786 bytes)  Richmondbacksm.jpg (65515 bytes)
     Top View          Long Dock       Short Dock       Machinery Shed   Back View

Picture and dimensions of barrel car:

The barrel car is a modified Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff kit.  The kit was a 50' car, but I cut it down to 40', so it is about 5 1/2" long.

 Barrelcartopsm.jpg (34494 bytes) Barrelcarsidesm.jpg (82984 bytes)  Barrelcarquartersm.jpg (90328 bytes)
   Top View            Side View        Quarter View


This page belongs to John Hubbard

This page last updated 01/15/2007