A minimum size HO scale track plan for continuous running
Photos of the Gateway Central VIII project model railroad were taken at the Museum of Transportation’s 2001 Family Fall Fest, where the winner of this railroad was announced.
This layout is 3’10” by 5’9″. It is designed to fit in all standard size mini-vans and SUVs as one piece. All of the structures are attached with epoxy to the layout, making it easier to move. This is about the minimum size layout you can design in HO scale to run standard engines and cars and still have a continuous running loop. This layout was designed using Life-Like Power-Loc (nickel silver version) “train set” sectional track. The tall structures and road divide the layout into multiple scenes without the need for a backdrop. The road is constructed with Walthers Cornerstone Concrete Street System kits. Since there wasn’t enough space to include a run-around passing siding, the traing always travels in one direction – and all of the sidings are designed for trailing point switching.
The base of this railroad was a 2″ thick piece of extruded (not “bead board”) styrofoam. The lake was carved into the foam, the bottom textured with scenic materials, and water created with three thin pours of Envirotex epoxy.