Friday, December 28, 2012

The Car Shop Build Part 1

Welcome to the Car Shop Build!

I have been mulling around a few ideas based on the HO scale car shop track plan I posted to this site back in April.  I have redesigned the plan, but it could change while I'm building this micro layout.  Version 1.1 included two turnouts, but I have removed these in version 1.2.

The layout is 1' x 4' with a hidden traverser track for switching and fiddling cars on and off the layout.  I will be using a highway overpass to hide the entrance tracks to the traverser. 

I have laid out the structure base and some flex track pieces on top of the layout base.  This base is made from foam board pieces I had on hand.  The two white foam pieces are from Woodland Scenics (12" x 24").  The WS foam pieces are pinned down to the foam base, and they will be used as a guide for cutting off excess foam from the base.  Using the foam base and T-pins will allow me to try out the track arrangement before committing to a final plan. I will also be using code 100 track since I have a ton of this on hand.

The track plan will be finalized before moving on to Part 2.  I also need to start building the car shop.

Until next time,

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An APA Box Layout You Can Build: Generic Mills, Inc.

Research—The Theme of the Layout

A visit to my collection of Model Railroad Planning magazines led me to an article in the 1999 issue written by Linda Sand [p. 66-71].  Her article is about modular layout design featuring large industrial scenes.  The design for a flour mill caught my eye.  The section on the flour mill details the operation of a flour mill, and also includes an illustration that lists the purpose of each track. 

Track Planning

Generic Mills, Inc. Track Plan:
(The fiddle yard includes a one track traverser (area in dark red) with access to all tracks.)

Here is a concept sketch of the plan:
(The concept sketch is not to scale, but is a visualization of the track plan.  It does not include the fiddle track.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Page Update

Change and A Request

The Micro Model Railroad Cartel Blog will now include small model railroad content as well as micro layout content.  There are no "hard and fast" rules on layout size, but the size of the layout should fall under one of the following guidelines:

  • Micro Layouts: No larger than 4 square feet.
  • Small Layouts: No larger than 24 square feet.

I am also looking for volunteers who would be interesting in writing blog posts and/or creating track plans.  If you are interested, please e-mail me at:  otmodelrr [at] gmail [dot] com 

Thank you!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Micro Track Plan: The Car Shop

UPDATED (4/26/2012):  I changed the turnouts from left to right and moved them next to the traverser instead of next to the car shop.  This arrangement allows a loco to access the front track without having to enter the car shop interior.

Here is a basic drawing of a micro track plan to fit a one foot by four foot space.

The traverser could be hidden within another structure by using DPM or Walthers Modular components.  A backdrop could also be used to hide the front of the traverser and a highway overpass to mask the traverser's entrance/exit tracks.  Cars/locos can be fiddled off of the layout within the hidden traverser or you could use a cassette(s) on either end of the front track.

Track Plan Note:  Traverser track is 14 inches long.  Car shop tracks are a little over 11 inches long.

Feel free to modify this plan to suit your needs.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

APA Box Model Railroading

Once again I make a foray into the blogosphere. This time I'm finally coming clean about my experiment with the APA box.
You will be able to follow that blog here I do hope that you'll stop by.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crisis of Confidence

Looking at the photographs of the layout close up caused me a crisis of confidence in on of the layouts structures. Go to the RMWeb Blog to read about it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

APA Box update

Looking for an update on the progress of my APA box layout? Then pop on over to my RMWeb Blog and see what has been going on...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Podcast Episode Featuring the Micro Model RR Cartel

Special Edition 2 (Part 1) of the TerminalTalk Podcast is now available for download. The Micro Model Railroad Cartel will be discussing staging on this episode of the podcast.

Click on link(s) below to access:



[UPDATED ON 3/5/2012]

Part 2 is now available for download!

Part 3 is now available for download.

Can't wait? Get the full version (Parts 1, 2, and 3 combined) at TerminalTalk's Internet Archive web page. Click here for the full version.

Monday, February 20, 2012

APA Progress

Presidents day has afforded me a day off work and so some more progress was made on my APA box layout (Cartel member Ian writes) After an abortive start on the fiddle yards, (ironic given the subject matter of the forthcoming MMRRC podcast). The day was spent busying myself on other projects. You can read about the progress over on my RMWeb blog.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Link to Dave Frary's Blog Page

Model railroad scenery master, Dave Frary, has a blog page. Read about how he built the Sea Port Model Works Display Layout over on his blog.

Trackside Scenery by Dave Frary

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A flurry of progress

There has been a flurry of progress on my APA box layout this weekend (writes Ian Holmes) an inspirational holiday trip helped.
You can follow up on the layouts progress on my RMWeb blog.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Micro Model Railroad Cartel News

The Cartel is now available on Google+. Be sure to add us to your circles. Use the link located on the right side of this blog to join.

Note: If you are not on Google+ and would like to join, feel free to e-mail Tom at:

otmodelrr [at] gmail [dot] com

and he will send you an invite to join.

The Micro Model Railroad Cartel

Monday, January 16, 2012

Layout Progress but no new name yet.

Got to work on that name...
Any way there is solid progress to report. You can read about it and see all the pictures on the RMWeb blog for the layout

Sunday, January 8, 2012

City Dreams Some progress

For those of you interested in following the development of this project of mine there has bee some development.  
You can read about it in more detail at my RMWeb blog.
I really will have to come up with a new name though.

Monday, January 2, 2012

APA Box Layout Design

Here is another HO track plan using the APA box.

This HO track plan is based on an actual industry located in my neck of the woods. Piramal Glass manufacturers glass containers. Covered hoppers are used to bring in silica sand to the plant. The glass containers are shipped out by truck. No other rolling stock is used at the plant. The industrial spur continues on to a rail container loading/unloading facility, but that facility is currently not in use. Piramal Glass also stores covered hoppers on this spur. Rail service is provided by Union Pacific. The plant uses a Trackmobile to move cars around the facility. The glass plant is located on the site of an old lead mining facility.

Flat River Glass, the former name of the glass plant, is my take on the prototype. The traverser tables are used to move cars on and off the layout. The track to the front can be used for storing extra covered hoppers on the visible part of the layout. The tailing pile is a remnant from the lead mining days. It is used as a view block.

APA Box: 27.5”L x 14”W (approximate)

Traverser/Staging Track: 14”L

Backdrop: Photo or Painted

Feel free to change this track plan as you see fit!


City Dreams construction blog

Well, it seems like I've started. It looks decidedly like I've started to build the layout. You can follow its progress over at RMWeb
In addition I recommend that if you haven't already do sone. You should take a look at the whole RMWeb community. A combination of blogs, forums, articles, competitions and home of the "Modelling Inspiration" pdf magazine. You might even want to join up...

APA Box Layout Design

Here is another HO track plan design using the APA Box. This Inglenook track plan features a section of a railroad's servicing area, with the RIP (Repairs In Place) track being the focal scene. The other service track includes a covered entrance into the railroad's paint shop. The center track is connected with a pair of cassettes. The cassette on the left is where inbound cars enter and outbound cars depart the layout. The cassette on the right is used for switching the service tracks.

I borrowed Ian's idea of using a boxcar as a view block for the left side of the layout. The structure on the right serves as a view block for the right side. The backside of a roundhouse is used as a background structure.

The modeler could create a highly detailed scene with lots of castings and figures, as well as rolling stock in various states of disrepair/repair. The Inglenook design allows operations as well. A small switcher (70 ton or less) will work, but an HO scale Trackmobile* would be even better.

Additional Details:

APA Box: 27.5”L x 14”W (approximate)

Cassette/Staging Track: 14”L

Backdrop: Photo or Painted

As always, feel free to modify this plan. If you do, be sure to share it with us!!


*Web link provided for information only. Not intended as an endorsement from myself and/or the Micro Model Railroad Cartel.

City Dream re-imagined - Visualised!

Since I first proposed the idea of using the IKEA APA box as a basis for a micro model railroad earlier in the year, many other modellers have taken the idea and run with it. So, with the new year approaching, I was feeling that I should also "put my money where my mouth is", so to speak. Then Tom proposed his "City Dreams" vision which intrigued me enough to want to sketch it up.  Now with the New Year upon us I thought that perhaps that would be a good New Years resolution for me. So I threw some track and structures down in one of my APA's to see if my vision of "city dreams" would work as I wanted it to. 

I think it does. I won't be using a three storey building on the left. It dominates too much. It should only be two. Otherwise I think its very workable.