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Model Train N-Scale Track Plans for Shelf Layouts

The author has been enjoying model trains for decades and enjoys helping others with his hobby and introducing newbies to it.

Wrightsville Port

Wrightsville Port

N-Scale Track Plans for Shelf Layouts

At a proportion of 1/160, which is almost half the size of the more popular HO scale, N-scale track plans are ideally suited for space-saving shelf layouts. Mounting such shelves at shoulder height or higher leaves plenty of room underneath for the workbenches, bookshelves, furniture and other demands of everyday living. Perhaps some of these designs will inspire you to finally build your own pike.

N-Scale Track Plans From the Sheils

N-Scale Track Plans From the Sheils

T. Sheil and A.Sheil presents six N-scale track plans on shelves ranging from 10 to 18 inches wide. They don’t include scenery, structures or hints for operation, but they do list the Atlas track pieces needed to create these designs. This makes them easy to construct for beginners. One eight-footer packs a dozen turnouts into a foot-wide space offering extensive possibilities for the hobbyist into operations.


Sumida Crossing

Ken Shores, a model railroader who specializes in Japanese prototypes, describes three 1-by-4 shelves that can operate separately or be joined together to form a 12-foot-long pike. One module has eight staging tracks that disappear under a bridge scenic block. Another has a double-track run-around with a run-around for switching, and a third has a station plus a freight yard with an Inglenook puzzle design. He also shows a list of the Kato Unitrack pieces needed to create the sections.


Wrightsville Port

The Wrightsville Port website by Kaustav and Mouli Chaterjee shows several N-scale track plans built around a harbor, but only the fifth one qualifies as a true shelf layout. It ranges in width from one to two feet, sprawls over three sides of a 6-by-9-foot space, and includes a 3-foot long, three-track staging yard. The effort features a river, several ship models, a car float, a town, oil storage, a trestle and a lift bridge. Be sure and check out the builders’ final port track plan. Although it’s not a shelf layout, it’s still a beaut.

Rolling Hills Railway

If you have a 4-inch-wide space, such as in a hallway, foyer or family room, you can have your N-scale layout, as shown by micro-layout master Carl Arendt. You’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the site page to see the Rollaway Hills Railway, which measures only 6 feet long. This small-town terminus of a US branch line contains a passenger station, wharf, team track and an industry. Five turnouts ensure operating variety. It even boasts a transfer cassette that represents the “rest of the world.” This device is long enough to support an engine and several cars, and is a convenient way to bring new consists into the railroad.

Southern Railway

Though located in Germany, the Southern Railway and Graham County Railroad is based on a branch line set in North Carolina. It consists of several modules connecting to the main shelf, which measures just under 1-by-4 feet. The website details the construction of the layout. Click the links on the left side of the site under Southern Branch Line, for more information and photos of the other modules in the line.


© 2011 Aurelio Locsin


Kaustav on January 29, 2012:

Hi there... you have a great hub - it's fun to see so many model railroad resources here... and thanks so much for putting our Wrightsville Port layout in your hub - glad that you liked it... :) Stay tuned for latest updates... :)