Skip to content

My Official New Layout Contest!

August 9, 2009

First of All the Rules and Prizes:

The Layout will have to utilize the unobstructed 10X12 foot space allocated for the layout, but keep in mind that you don’t have to use all that space. If you can come up with an interesting, fun to operate, and smaller plan you may be a winner just as easily as someone who takes up that much space. Also keep in mind that you must use the module shapes provided in the photo at the bottom of this post. One of these Modules is known as the “Midland Industrial District” and is a small 1.5’X7′ switching layout whose plan can be found by clicking here.

The layout must be fun to operate and incorporate a smoothly laid mainline and plenty of interesting industrial trackage. I also require some nice scenic open areas and would prefer to avoid a spaghetti bowl. For inspiration, check out the list of layout concepts below.

Okay, to sweeten the deal for my new Layout concept the winner of my trackplanning contest will recieve a certificate for one weathered car or locomotive ($60.00 in value) or a Walther’s Trainline GP-15-1 in Chicago & Northwestern Colors or painted Missouri Pacific blue, but Unlettered. It’s a DC locomotive with a smooth drive and probably not hard to install DCC in.

The Contest will run for 30 days from August 10th through September 10th. The winner must provide a reliable e-mail address so I can contact them to let them know they’ve won.

The Basic Concepts: (Choose ONE theme and run with it)

1. Is a tidewater layout, lots of sloughs, saltponds, one huge salt plant and a handful of other industries. lots of water, but no real port scene, perhaps an abandoned cannery or something. (Examples in real life would be Monterey, Calif. Alviso, Calif. Crockett/Hercules/Antioch, Calif. and into the Delta)

2. Is a portion of Southern Pacific’s coast line near San Miguel Calif. I’d scratchbuild that beautiful mission and most of the unique downtown structures that can be found around it. It is the most prototypically ambitious project of the bunch and would require some research

3. Is a depiction of the Alameda Belt line right here in Alameda. Trains in the street, that huge life bridge and a really huge cannery structure. The problem is not a single thing in alameda is easy to scratchbuild and would take a long time to get running because of the lift bridge and specialized trackage.

4. A user-suggested layout idea, left via comments at the bottom of this post.

1. What Industries would you like to center your layout around?
Depends on the Concept you choose to build your plan around (of the four chosen above)

If it’s the San Miguel Layout:
-Camp Robertson in the Cold War, lots of Military Vehicle and troop train traffic.
-Grain (pre covered hopper)
-Packing Houses for fruits and vegetables.
-Lumber Warehouse
-Oil Company Dealers
-Box Factory

If it’s the Tidewater Layout:
-Docks and a Warehouse
-Oil Company
-Cement Plant (Could have a narrow Gauge connection)
-Salt Plant (Could have a narrow gauge connection)
-Boat Building Plant
-A carfloat slip or ferry connection
-Steel Fabrication Plant

If it’s the Alameda Belt Line layout, I’ll provide a list of actual industries.



2. What problems/issues (if any) did you encounter while building your Model

Tracklaying is my greatest enemy and I aim to overcome this issue with this particular layout.

3. For the current project, what scale are you planning to use?
HO 1:87

4. Do you wish to incorporate narrow gauge? Yes No If yes, which gauge? Maybe, if you want, some small point to point HOn3 for industrial purposes (Salt Plant? Dockside Warehouse? Quarry Spur? Large Cement Plant?)

5. What particular prototype? (For example, New York Central or Santa Fe)
Southern Pacific, AT&SF, maybe WP

6. If no particular prototype, please describe what type of theme you have in mind
for your layout.
My Freelanced Mission Valley and Pacific will play a central role to the layout’s train operations… A quick snapshot would be Small steam, (all smaller than USRA 2-8-2) and early diesels (Baldwins, EMD FT’s, etc.) with 40′ freight cars and 60′ Harriman Coaches.

7. What era? (For example, 1940’s through the end of steam.)
1954 exactly. Perhaps the occasional jaunt to 1939.

1. What type of operations?
Point-to-Point or Continuous Loop? Either is Fine, or elements of both.
Multi-train YES, but not necessary.
Hump or Classification Yard NO Switching/Peddler Freight YES
Passenger YES Interchange YES
Lake or River Ferry YES Port/Barge Terminal YES

2. How many potential operators? 2-3 Number of trains in continuous operation? 2-3

3. Operators will be: adults 2, perhaps a third guy as a brakeman.

4. Do the operators have a basic knowledge of how real railroads operate?

5. Will you require central train control systems and signaling? No, although that would be cool, that’s something to consider for sidings.

1. Where is the space? Second Floor Room, 12X10 space in a much larger room.
2. Does the room have climate control and dust control? Not Really.

5. Minimum aisle space. 24″, but 18″ if it’s necessary.

6. Bench height? 48″ with NO GRADES please.

7. Is “duck-under” or lift out construction acceptable for access to certain parts
of the layout? Yes, Duckunders are fine, although I’d prefer some sort of lift bridge like my old layout, which was a 2X2 square of mainline that lifted out.

8. Maximum acceptable reach to track 30 inches.

9. Is it acceptable to put track anywhere on your layout? Y N If no, what
areas are restricted? (Describe)
Track is fine anywhere as long as it looks realistic.

10. What ratio of track to scenery? (e.g. 50%-50%)
Make the Industrial Districts vast mazes, but as soon as you hit the country, a single track (or double track) mainline at most through rolling scenery.

=Are there any special under layout requirements?
Since the modules are 48″ off the floor, it will obviously be used for the storage of boxes, shelves etc.

= Minimum Radius Requirements: 24″ Mainline Radius, as tight as necessary on industrial trackage, and will allow for 15″ on spurs. I’d prefer #6 switches for sidings and #4 switches for industrial leads.

-What season of the year do you wish to represent?
Spring or Early Summer (Feb-May)

IF YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS, feel free to post inquiries below in the comments section or visit the offical contest thread either at Railroad-Line Forums or at

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: