What Are Some Different Model Train Layouts?


Quick Answer

Basic model train layouts include loop tracks and point-to-point tracks. Variations and expansions on these layouts include loop-to-loop, out-and-back and point-to-loop tracks. Components such as loops and points are combined with switches, crossings and trestles to create more complex layouts. Loops allow trains to complete laps of the track layout, while points provide a beginning and an end to the train's route.

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Full Answer

Combining loops and straight sections of track lets modelers create loop-to-loop layouts. This layout consists of two loops that are connected by a straight section of track. The track is continuous, but modelers can incorporate stops at either of the two loops. This allows the option of running the track as a point-to-point or as a continuous route to display the trains.

Out-and-back layouts have single points that serve as starts and ends. The train follows the track around, but at some point it reverses back to the start. Out-and-back tracks often have extra sections that allow the trains to complete several laps before they return to the start points.

A point-to-loop layout features a loop section with two spur lines that feed into it. The spur lines act as the train's start and end points.

Even more complex layouts involve recreating real stations and train routes. A track plan for the Euston to Manchester route is available at FreeTrackPlans.com, along with plans for stations such as Skipton and Berwick Upon Tweed.

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