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One room, two track plans

By Steven Otte associate editor | May 16, 2022

A look at the pluses and minuses of two design approaches for a small spare bedroom

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two track plans

Facts & features

Name: “The Loop” City Belt Line
Scale: HO (1:87.1)
Size: 9 x 14 1/2 feet
Theme: industrial switching
Locale: Midwest
Era: 1950s-1960s
Style: around-the-walls
Mainline run: 30 feet
Minimum radius: 18″
Minimum turnout: no. 4
Maximum grade: none

Name: “The Dogbone” Canis & Ossa RR
Scale: HO (1:87.1)
Size: 9 x 14 1/2 feet
Theme: Rural branch line
Locale: Eastern seaboard
Era: 1950s-1960s
Style: walk-in
Mainline run: 48 feet
Minimum radius: 18″
Minimum turnout: no. 4
Maximum grade: 2 percent

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two track plans
“The Loop” and “The Dogbone”

2 thoughts on “One room, two track plans

  1. I would prefer the ‘dog bone’ with a couple of modifications. Make the fiddle yard an interchange so cars could be brought on and off the layout. the float also allows cars on and off the layout. This would add more variety. I would put a team track on the opposite side of the track from the industry just above the town. this would add to the complexity of pick up and repositioning. Also a second siding for the industry in the corner allowing for respotting there. For operations I’d set up a passenger or through freight to operate every 15 to 30 minutes from staging to staging so the local must get out of the way.

  2. The Dogbone is the better plan for several reasons, most noted in the original article. One change I would make were I to build a version of The Loop would be to drop the coal mine and make those tracks an interchange with a coal hauler like the Pennsy. Add a parallel “main line” dummy track that appears from and disappears into the backdrop. This would allow for several shorter cuts of off-road cars to “loads in empties out,” on the hidden track, and requiring the local to service the interchange each day. Moving the power house a bit closer to the hidden track would also allow for another industry track to serve the nearby building flats.

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