Shelf Layout Track Plan


I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while but never had enough time to actually type it out. As I mentioned in my earlier post on my shelf layout project the track plan is essentially Lance Mindheim’s LAJ shelf layout track plan from the May 2015 Model Railroader.

Shelf Layout Track Plan

Apologies for the sort of wonky picture, in my track planning tool I made the view as wide as my room and the white gap at the upper left is the entrance to the room. It’s a 6″ grid so the we are looking at 12″ deep and approx. 5’x10′. One advantage of the 10 foot section is that it will be above a knee wall that is approximately 1o” deep compared to the upper wall so in that section the layout will really only protrude 2″ into the room.

The light gray track on the far right is abandoned track on Lance’s plan but on mine it’s used by the railroad for storage. Since this is a snowy winter scene a perfect place to store snow fighting equipment between snow storms. Since this is not an operational track it won’t be powered or accessible from the main line. Access to it will be off scene. The buildings/roads aren’t set in stone, but it’s what I’m leaning towards for industry at least.

Industry 1 & 2 will share a building and will share a majority of the traffic on the sidings in the upper left.

Where Industry 3 meats the wall is the end of the line and as such the spots are right on the main.

I’m a little iffy on Industry 4, it’d be a neat visual to spot a single car there but the track will run right to the edge so it might not actually be used just in terms of boxcar safety.

Industry 5 will be kind of a team-track style unloading area for various commodities. For example a hopper of road salt or sand might be delivered and unloaded into trucks by the city what with the record snowfall and all or maybe a box or tank car for some off layout but nearby business.

See more posts about this project here.

2 thoughts on “Shelf Layout Track Plan

  1. Neat plan. I like the white space around the track and in between turnouts. I think it communicates a bit of a sense of distance as trains move between each siding but also provides a place to watch the train as it moves through the scene – to appreciate it.

    Could the storage track be used to stage cars either to off-spot before they are placed at one of the industries or hold cars that have just been pulled? Since they’d be the same car types as those “in play” on the layout it might provide a bit of a bit more context for these industries or to help place the scene. If the industries on the layout are more seasonal in nature then the volume of cars stored on this siding could also be used to communicate that. For example: if Industry 1 or 2 were in their busy time than this siding would be packed with their cars waiting to be processed and during the low, the siding empties out and off-spot cars are rare.

    On the short siding for Industry 4 could you not include the industry itself at all? There’s enough room to place the car here but not including actual industry would give you the option of changing “who” it is between sessions. Since the track terminates at the edge of the benchwork, perhaps a short length of fencing could be used to indicate the entry point for their property and also prevent an ambitious freight car from running off the layout. Extending the idea further, perhaps your railroad delivers the car to their door and their plant switcher is repsonsible for collecting it?

    Thanks for sharing the plan. I’m still really a fan of your idea of completing this scene, set in the winter months. We just never see that as a subject matter for a model railway though it’s something we all know – those of us who live in the north.



    1. I hadn’t really thought of using the storage track like that but I can see it working. My original thought had been something more like this: (hopefully that link works properly). What it should be zoomed in on is a track that once went into a industry which is now truck only. I believe the tracks are still into the industry but beyond the gate covered in gravel. If the link shows you what I’m seeing there is a piece of MOW equipment parked there but in the winter a CNW Jordan spreader is often parked there between snows. This area came to mind because I used to live near there and would drive by it whenever I could to see trains and that arrangement is what initially came to mind when I saw the “abandoned” track.

      That said I could see the use of it for operations so I’ll have to think about that.

      I like the idea of using fencing as a safety catch on Industry 4. My initial idea had been that the building there was a partial that extended off the layout but I really like the idea of it’s building being entirely off spot and delivering to the gate.

      I’m glad you like it and are following along, it makes it even more exciting for me and the feedback is very helpful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.