I’m waffling more than a politician in the 2016 presidential election on if I should switch to N scale or stick to HO scale for the Merrimack Valley model railroad layout. I went back to Charles Ro Supply on Friday and bought my first N scale Guilford boxcar and a section of Atlas code 55 flex track. But being in the store, there is just so much more option wise for HO than N scale. I mean, just look at the Walthers catalogs, the HO is twice as thick. So over the weekend, I created another four model railroad layouts using XTrackCAD. Two in N scale, two in HO scale. Click thru to see the plans.
N Scale Model Railroad Layout 3
In this attempt, I managed to get a decent size yard in with Walthers roundhouse dead center. In the bottom corner is a small port with lighthouse. Moving up on the left size is the Walthers Mountain Lumber Company Sawmill and Walton & Sons Lumber Company. On the right lower corner, I attempted to fit in the Walthers Superior Paper Mill and the Woodland Scenics DPM Woods Furniture Co. The blank area above would be for city buildings. There is also a printing company and another furniture company.
N Scale Model Railroad Layout 4
This layout has many of the same elements as the previous layout. The Walthers roundhouse, the lumber mill and paper company, the paper mill, city area, small port. The main line almost runs too much in a circle. Where is the Christmas tree!?
HO Scale Model Railroad Layout 3
I didn’t attempt to plop industry buildings on this HO layout, but I got the basics down. I did attempt to hide some of the return loops with some various elevations so it feels less loopy. In the middle is a small port with the Walthers Pier & Traveling Crane. The yard is small and there is no engine facility.
HO Scale Model Railroad Layout 4
In this last attempt I went for the minimal track variation. There is almost no yard and one section of return loop is hidden under the layout. This allows me to create a large seaport with the Walthers Pier & Traveling Crane and Walthers Pier Terminal. The pier terminal is a little large, so I might eliminate it in favor of claiming some land back for warehouses or industry of some form. On the opposite side of the layout, I’ve left space for an industry or two. I can cram a couple of smaller industries in and it would feel crowded, or go with one big industry and make it the focal point. Like if I built a paper mill, I could kitbash and make it huge.
In HO scale, I just don’t see how to make a great diesel engine facilty work in the space that I have. I’m almost obsessed with the Walthers Diesel House. Especially after seeing the setup and interior lighting that was done to the diesel engine house on this YouTube series. I feel that my only option to get what I want is to make a scenic diorama that isn’t really operational. Maybe a little back and forth, but that doesn’t really seem fun in the long run. Overall, I’m still struggling to find a good operational layout with two New England style industries that work with each other. Leave your comments and suggestions below.