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· Registered
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Evening all,

In the hornby magazines, they have track plans for layouts in nearly all of them. The issue with the Looe line in N gauge looks fantastic but how does the person who did the plan transfer the real rail line onto a plan ?

I would like to do a real rail line map into a layout plan but i do not know how to make one.

Anyone know how to do this please ?

Many thanks


· Registered
406 Posts
hi there andy,

im not sure how u make a real railway line onto a track plan but, i was recently directed to some computer track planning software that is very very easy to use. after asking on here, various folks suggested various different computer programs to do this but most seemed too complicated for me as im not very computer orientated.
but munichdave on here suggested i try the free trial version of anyrail and within a week i purchased the full version i was so impressed by how easy it is to use.

i designed my layout on it, played around with it to scale to make sure it fitted my boards then printed out the plan to work to as i lay my tracks. im most impressed and can recommend it highly as a simple to use program.

im not sure its what yr looking for but it might be of use to you. good luck!

· Premium Member
430 Posts
Finding the track plans of a real railway station or junction is not as difficult as might be thought. Several authors (Kevin Robertson and R H Clark and in particular) have produced books showing former GWR stations, their layouts and even the immediate area outside the boundry fence while the excellent Middleton Press books cover railway lines throughout the country. All should be available (or obtainable) from your local library while the Middleton range can be purchased from any good book shop. All these contain scaled track plans of stations and it is simply a question of scaling them up to 1/148 (for N) or 1/76 for 4mm. As a rough rule of thumb in N gauge an inch on the model is equal to 12 feet while in OO it's 6 feet.
Very few of us have anything near the space (or money) to model a full sized layout in detail, for example Taunton station in its GWR heyday would make a fantastic model but require a space of 50 x 20 feet in OO, and that is just to build the station and locoshed, never mind the fiddle yards etc!
The only possible way to transfer an actual track plan onto a model is to build your own track but very workable and detailed models have been built with commercial track so don't worry. As ever, it's all a compromise. For example, from the GWR again, Reading's platform 4 will comfortably hold an express loco and 15 Mk1 coaches and would need a length of around 16 feet (in OO) to model accurately but a model around 10 feet (holding only 11 coach trains) will still look right if other details, station buildings etc, are correct. Even a tiny single platform Halt would require a length of around 12 feet to model properly.
Take a sheet of graph paper and draw your layout to scale (it will surprise you how much you need) then work out where you can reduce it. It's very simple with practice, like so much else.
Good luck,
Greg H.

· Registered
2,202 Posts
''selective compression' is another model railway trick, when attempting to copy the prototype.

However, how faithfully one follows what is on the ground, in one's chosen scale , really depends on whether one is intent on building a ''model of a railway'', or a 'model railway'?

what Greg H has alluded to above is selective reduction of certain dimensions so that the 'effect' is not lost.

It is perfectly feasible to copy the prototype's track formations , using the likes of Peco, etc...without having to slavishly follow alignments, or detail.

Thus one can emulate particular operating circumstances at a given location...without the hindrance of finding loads of extra space for what may be considered, 'wasted' platform lengths.

Other features could be considered as 'surplus' to ''operating' requirements....deleting additional platforms, for example....or reducing the overall number of goods or carriage sidings, so that whilst capacity may be lost, basic operational detail isn't.

An alternative, if intent on producing a 'model of a railway', is to obtain large scale maps of the chosen location, then use a software program like ''Templot', which can superimpose directly onto a scaled map, the correct track and P&C work for that location......although here we are stepping into the realms of handmade trackwork.

Another way at doing things might be, having chosen one's prototype station, to obtain an operating timetable for one's chosen timescale........having worked out what trains are needed, and where/when.....then take a look at the prototype trackplan and decide what is the minimum you could get away with to run that timetable?
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