How To Track Plan Database Plan with a postwar vibe

Plan with a postwar vibe

By Terry Thompson | March 15, 2024

| Last updated on March 28, 2024

This 6 x 12 foot plan offers operators many choices

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drawing of track plan

The station scene is in front. It gets its postwar look from the vintage accessories, starting with the Lionel Nos. 133 Passenger Station, 157 Station Platform, and 356 Operating Freight Station. Flanking the stations are a No. 138 Water Tower and a No. 128 Operating Newsstand.

Two spur tracks are behind the station. One features a No. 497 Coaler, while the other has Nos. 282 Gantry Crane, 352 Icing Depot, and 3472P Milk Platform.

The second accessory siding has a No. 282 Gantry Crane. There’s a No. 455 Oil Derrick toward the rear plus a siding. Yes, the layout has only one reversing track, so half the moves along that track will be with the locomotive backing up.

Most of the other accessories are also postwar classics: Lionel Nos. 140 Banjo Signal, 145 Automatic Gateman, 252 Automatic Crossing Gates, and 395 Floodlight Towers. Most of them lay along the road that bisects the layout lengthwise, adding logic to the accessory arrangement and giving you a place to park some railcars.

Comment from reader David Beardsley:

Author Terry Thompson states in the opening paragraph that a layout shown in Lionel’s 1963 accessory catalog is O gauge. However, that layout, shown in the tan shading on page 21, is obviously O-27, by looking at the shape of the switches. In the 3rd paragraph, he states that his modification of the layout will use O gauge track and switches, and the 6 x 12 layout shown on page 20 corroborates that statement.

Then we look at the table of track components on page 21. It inexplicably says “O-27 Tubular Track”. However, everything in the table fits the description of available O gauge components, except for the “O-27 custom-cut straight” sections. Veteran modelers know that the O and O-27 sections will not fit together, and the custom-cut sections must be cut from O gauge straight track instead.

 vintage drawing of a toy train track plan
This drawing from the 1963 Lionel accessory catalog inspired the author’s plan.

Download the track plan here.

See more in the Spring 2024 issue.

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