Model Train Resource O-Scale Track Plans To Inspire Your Own Layout Designs
© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin
One of the larger scales, O-scale has proportions that vary by country. In the U.S., it’s 1:48. In Continental Europe, it’s 1:45 to 1:43.5, and in the UK, it’s 1:43.5 or 7mm to the foot. The bigger size allows greater detail in the locomotives, rolling stock and scenery, though does require more space. These track plans are just some of the examples.
Pennsylvania and Western
The Pennsylvania and Western is a steam-and-diesel railroad that sprawls around a dedicated room measuring 52 feet long and 28 feet wide. (Click “Trackplan” on the left frame to view the layout design.) This doesn’t count the 10-by-12-foot extension that houses the Horseshoe Curve. The mainline runs for 550 feet or five scale miles through meat packing facilities and stock pens, a roundhouse, a brewery, a reservoir and a warehouse. Some of the aisles are a generous four- and five-feet wide. Most interesting are some pages devoted to how the room was prepared, and how the layout was constructed
Appalachian and Ohio Railroad
Another behemoth, the Appalachian and Ohio Railroad has a track plan that seems just as big as the Pennsylvania and Western, though total dimensions aren’t listed. It does have a continuous mainline of 525-feet, with subsidiary lengths of 155 feet at Kayford and 75 feet at Fillmore Heights. At least four main yards, with two on a lower level, allows many staging possibilities. Among other features are a 15-foot Ohio River Bridge that provides a nod-under entrance to the space, a Chub CMRI signal system with CTC panel in a dispatcher’s office and 100 feet of double track for opposing train movement.
MTH Real Trax
Unless you think that entire garages or basements are needed for O-Scale, MTH boasts far smaller loops created using its Realtrax layout software. Scroll to the bottom of the page for eight examples. The smallest 3-by-6-footer is a simple oval with two sidings. The largest 13-by-22-footer has 42-inch radius curves, and allows cycling through the oil business from oil well to tank farm. Each plan also shows the number of MTH modular tracks needed to complete the pike. This set has curves in five radii, ranging from O-31 to O-82.
Somerset County Traction System
Traction requires tight radii and has one-car consists, making it ideal for O-scale layouts. The Somerset County Traction System is anything but tiny, measuring 40 feet long and 28 feet wide, not counting loop extensions. Set in 1957, the line interchanges with a standard-gauge steam/diesel company, and a narrow gauge steam/critter quarry railroad. Additional interchanges are available by car float. Check out the photos for some great shots of a rock crusher, rolling green hills, several small towns and a turntable.
Micro-layouts are defined as those measuring about 1-by-4-feet in area, and some intrepid souls have managed to pack O-scale operations into these diminutive spaces. The Clayville and Butterwood Traction Railway has a block of four businesses and a right-of-way by a small station in 36-by-30 inches. Union Street, near the bottom of the page, includes a traverser in a Scottish shelf only 12 feet long. The Chicago Fork (mid-page) has 4 square feet of warehouse operations in a 3-2-2 Inglenook. And Ash Valley Farm Supplies uses foamcore baseboard construction and balsawood structures to place an Inglenook in 12-by-36 inches.
O Scale Resources
- The O Scale Kings
The purpose of this site is to promote the further development of O scale, 2-rail model railroading and provide a list of resources for the O Scale modeler.
- About Model Train Gauges, O Gauge Model Trains from Lionel Trains
Manufacturer of model trains and accessories in O and standard gauges.
- O Gauge Train Layouts, O Scale Model Railroads & O Gauge Track Plans
Model railroading guide to O, O27, On3 & On30 scale model trains and layouts, featuring model railroad layout photos, track plans & techniques.