Starting from the Freetrackplans.com layout the first step was to recreate it in WinRail, ready for my modifications. The modifications were straightforward and can be seen by comparison between the two plans shown here.The changes are minor.
- As the small station will be in the centre that area of the return loop is flattened slightly, and a small siding added.
- The entire loop and oval are moved down closer to the edge of the baseboard, giving more storage space at the top.
- What was a terminus station is now a hidden storage area, with one additional line of track.
I will build the track using all Peco track, simply using their basic small points (right-hand, ST240 x 2 – and left-hand, ST241 x 8) and 914 mm lengths of wooden sleeper flexible track (SL-900 – about 16 pieces). Nothing against Hornby, but Peco is slightly cheaper, more readily available here in New Zealand, and to my eyes just slightly better looking. All code-100 rail, because it’s all that’s available in the sort of geometry I need.
Curves are all number 1 and 2 radius (371 and 438 mm). Most ‘experts” would regard this is very sub-optimal, and I would normally agree. But there really is no alternative when trying to fit a decent continuous-running track within such a small space. It will certainly limit the sizes of locomotives, coaches and trains though. But that’s OK. It can still look good.