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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 9:05:00 AST.)

HOn30 SCALE: Marble Mountain Quarry Company

I was asked by Marshall Stull to come up with an entry for a challenge he has opened on his Small Model Railroads website. The challenge was to design a micro layout to fit in 13" x 9" x 9" helmet display case that he had just purchased. Since I have never designed a layout for such a small space, I was intrigued by the idea and agreed to give it a hook.

I have to admit that it was quite daunting at first when I tried to use readymade turnouts. It wasn't long before I realized that not very much would fit in the space if I used traditional design methods and standards. So, I tossed out 20 years of design experience, and took on a new approach to layout design.

The first new element that had to be added was a turntable so the entire space could be used. The turntable had to be small (its only 4" wide) so the rolling stock had to be small as well. A small loco and a 14-foot railcar will just fit. I also had to go with 6-inch radius (Yes, I cringed at that too) and #2 turnouts. Once I accepted all that, I then focused on developing a theme for the layout, and I finally settled on a granite quarry and stone cutting mill with a small dock area.

Incoming supplies come in by water, and are transferred from the wharf to the company stores. When supplies are needed at the mill, they are transferred in a small box car from the warehouse to the mill's supply track. Raw cut granite slabs are loaded into either small gondolas or on flat cars, and taken to the mill for finishing. The 4-inch turntable is hidden inside the mill building, and serves at the run-around track for the complex. Finished granite products can either go out via the wharf, stored in the warehouse, or left on the ground outside the cutting shed until shipped out.

In the end, I was quite surprised at how much I was able to fit into the space, and still leave some room for scenic elements. While I don't like the standards used in the design by any means, it was the trade-off that had to be made to get what I wanted in the space. Overall, I am pleased with the result and it was a great change of pace for me.

The track plan:

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Track plan with grid (Green squares = 1", grey squares = 1/4"):

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Wharf side of the layout:

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Quarry side of the layout:

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TAGS: Design Feature: 3 - Turnout Layout, Theme: Industrial Railway, Layout Size: Micro Layouts, Design Feature: No Run-Around Track, Theme: Single Industry, Design Feature: Turn Table (Train Length), Theme: Waterfront, Types of Industries: Quarries

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