QUICK FIX: FULL-SIZE PLANNING
What’s the best method for planning a track layout? I’ve heard about scaled-down plastic track sections but I’m struggling to visualise what will fit into the available space.
Chris says: Scale track sections are available from Hornby, while there are plenty of layout planning software options to explore. However, I prefer to plan my layouts full-size in a very simple way, using lengths of track, a selection of buildings, plus the trains themselves. Rolls of cheap wallpaper are a handy base to work on or, if you already have a baseboard erected or sheets of plywood ready for cutting, they can be laid out and the plan formulated on top. Peco’s free track and point templates are a great help, allowing you to decide on the exact geometry before spending any money. With a track layout drawn out, we can then push the trains around to mimic the possible manoeuvres, ensuring effective operation. If something doesn’t fit or look right, the plan can be easily altered. We can also gain a clear idea of what will fit where, with the number of carriages or wagons accommodated in a siding or loop, for instance, ensuring adequate clearance for trains on adjacent tracks and at junctions. Web: www.peco-uk.com
Setting out a full-size track plan, with the aid of Peco point templates, gives a clear idea of what can be fitted into a specific area.