This is not for the man with complex, large and expensive plans.
Few of us have the space, let alone the money and free time to really have a large layout. Anyway what do
you even want a layout for ? To run trains, enjoy making, any fixed requirement for a specific prototype location
or just go freelance and create your own world.
First, you should enjoy being able to use it.
Second, it should look good
Third, run well.
Fourth, consider storage options if not always up and available.

The rest is up to you.

I was bored today and made a small video on my permanently available garage layout. Then in a moment of
nostalgia looked back to almost 10 years ago when I started building what became known as 'St Oval'.
It had to be compact, but moveable and give me some scenic options. I dislike layouts made on flat boards
where there is no landscape beneath track-bed level hence my risers to have the track around 90 mm above
baseboard datum.
All it is is a simple oval, with a short passing loop behind a scenic up-stand with a very short siding by a small
'halt' sized station. This was built for 4 wheel coaches and goods wagons operated by small mostly tank

A rough drawn plan.

All of 6 feet long and just 3 feet wide
Built on two 3 foot square pieces chip-board with lightening holes to try and keep weight under control.

To get some height initially it looked rather excessive.

The short passing loop


I will now jump forward about 5 years for you to judge if it worked out O.K.

Then on to this year when adding trees at the bridge end.


The great thing is it sits on a frame in the garage under which I keep bicycles, lownmower and other bits
that require floor storage. It means this is always there to run a train at any time. It usually has a GWR
57XX and my latest kit built wagons sitting on track, power-up and away.

It will probably NEVER be finished, it's there to use, if not every day, then certainly every week.
Remember first and foremost it should be fun and not stressful. O.K no Pullmans, or 4.6-0's, yet
my Bachmann Jubilee will take the 1st radius curves, plus many other second radius locos, but it's
an unknown gamble.

Today's video ........

Geoff T.
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Jaz Avalley JazAvalley may be never finished.....does that matter, as long as it is something you enjoy and moves forward at a pace that makes you happy. I suspect mine will never be finished, we tore out and restarted a load, and you have here a working enjoyable area with lots of interest, the little dioramas you do have helped you fine tune small dioramas within the layout, making different areas of interest, different things o make you smile, to me this is what a layout should be interactive and ongoing always something to look forward to. Lovely layout.

Jaz Avalley

Model Railway Discussion Group
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Very nice, I like the unusual gravel road, rather a neat touch.

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I think that is one of the great attractions of this hobby, you can build anything you like from something the size of a cakebox to a huge layout.  We can modify it to suit our space, pocket, abilities and preferences and build something accordingly.  I think yours is a brilliant layout and perfect for it to be there available for whenever you want a play.
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"Finished" what is this strange alien concept. The only time a layout is finished is when it's scrapped there's always something you can do to a layout.
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I thank you all for the comments & Ahhh AltcarBob,
At times I do feel like an alien !!

Anyways this section is for 'Building Baseboards' and I did race on rather.
I've tended to do much of my planning in my head, but for this one I really did mark out ideas. Obviously the primary thing was to get height, but
to get from a road over bridge to a railway over creek in just 6 feet did require more than just a few thoughts in my head.
This is perhaps something you don't see very often - contour lines drawn on the base with approximate heights. No plan survives the jig-saw in
hand though.


It was also hoped that by using very thick and strong risers onto which the chipboard track-bed was glued and screwed it  would be rather
like a boxed section resistant to much potential movement. It was never planned to have it's own legs, but at only 6 feet long it should sit easily
on a decent sized table. In fact I used several non-adjustable trestles during the building phase, all 6 still proving their worth on many projects.

It's more or less permanent location, for the last 6 years anyway, is on a frame fixed in the garage. At times I wonder if I should have some catch
netting to hold anything that de-rails, but an errant blackbird has caused the only fallen wagon. Oh and left it's droppings in the cows corner !


Had I built in even heavier corner reinforcements I could have used detachable legs held in place by embedded furniture fixings with 6 mm
roofing bolts as I've used successfully before on a couple of 'Thomas' layouts.


As it was never really intended to free-stand this would have been a waste, but the detachable leg idea is one that someone else may be
able to incorporate. They are strong enough for very young children to pull themselves up on the supporting frame.

Geoff T.
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