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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 14:59:57 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Mountenay Manufacturing Company

This is a HO-scale industrial complex that I just completed for a member of the Micro/Small Model RR Layouts in a 40x50-inch foot print. The track plan really had an easy button on it since I have done a few "industries in a corner" in the past. It was actually inspired by a modified and flipped version of a manufacturing company I did for a basement-sized layout earlier this year, and it packs a lot of operation potential in the space.

With 15 possible car spots the owner has a lot of options for switching, but care must also be taken not to over-crowd the layout. While 50% car movements per op-session is usually my advised maximum threshold for small layouts, I would stay below that and stay somewhere around the 33% mark for this layout. That would give 5 or 6 cars outbound, with 5 or 6 incoming. I would employ some sort of car forwarding system that determines what cars stay, which ones are switched out, and what in-bound traffic is headed to the industry.

The cassette staging track is an absolute must have, and at best should be long enough to handle 6 cars and a loco, although you can get away with three cars plus loco, if need be. The first step would be to place the loco on the cassette and remove any out-bound cars, then place the in-bound cars on the cassette (or better yet, have 2 cassettes) and switch them to their proper spots. This is easier to do if the cassette is long enough, so each move can be done all at once. With a shorter cassette, the cars will need to be fiddled off the cassette several times during an op-session.

Although the layout space is small, it does offer a lot of variety of car types: tank cars, covered hoppers, box cars, flat cars, gondolas, coil cars, coal hoppers. I numbered each car spot on the track plan and specified the type of car and commodity that flows through each one. The way the structure sits in the corner also offers a lot of visual appeal, and the required tanks and piping and loading dock scenes would really make this a visually appealing layout as well.

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TAGS: Design Feature: Cassette Staging, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Design Feature: No Run-Around Track, Theme: Single Industry, Types of Industries: Manufacturing Plant

User Comments:

Posted by Ivan Gouthro on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 5:17:05 AM.

this is amazing!!! it packs alot in the space and looking at the trackplan it looked rather cramped but it is amazing how much you put into the footprint. i just love all your small layout designs. keep it up! thanks for sharing.

Posted by Rob Chant on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 1:05:39 PM.

Hi again Ivan ... thanks for the kind words ... a few people were surprised with how many car spots I squeezed into this track plan ... I think as long as you don't eject too many cars onto the layout at one time it will offer a nice relaxed op-session ... with the potential for more complex switching. Take care, Rob.

Posted by Rick Norell on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:51:00 PM.

Very nice design, you sure packed a lot of switching in a small space! What is the reach (from the aisle) for spots 2, 3, 5, and 6? Recommended layout height? Could be a challenge to rerail or disconnect a car if the layout is built too high.

Posted by Rob Chant on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:59:57 PM.

The longest reach-in to spots 2, 3, 5, and 6 is 27-inches ... I don't think layout height would matter too much since you can always use a step-stool but I wouldn't build it at eye height ... I think just below mid-chest height would be ideal ... with the level of detailing I see used for this you would want it up close.

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