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The Model Railroad
My old layout (1995)

This is a re-run of my old homepage. For some reason it is still hosted on the danish ISP, even though it is YEARS ago I terminated my subscription with them...

Thank you for showing an interess in my beloved classic hobby! ;-)

I have been collecting Märklin ever since my grandparents gave me a starter set one christmas at the age of 8. However I have never had the chance of actually constructing a layout on a permanent base. But ever since I moved into my own apartment in Helsingoer, I have been working on the layout described in this page.


The layout is concentrated on what appears to be a double tracked main line. But in reality it is just an oval that has been squeezed flat on the mittle. I beleive the system is called the "dogbone" layout. From the main station in the middle of the "bone", two single tracked lines extend out to each end of the layout; The left goes to a city centre with storage tracks for freight cars and locomotives. As the sliding brigde shows, this layout is for modern trains (German era IV, to be more specific). The right line extends to a small station in a mountanous area. The trains climbs the mountain in a 2½ circle to gain altitude (You can see the ramp on the last picture on this page.)

The system is to be controlled by conventional methods. That means NO computer controls! (I have enough to do with computers already, thankyouverymuch! ;-) The main line is divided into 6 sections, each controlled and protected by a signal and a switch embedded in the track. The system is called "self-blocking", and allows for up to 5 trains to run automatically on the main line, without hitting each other. At each end of the "bone" is a small storage area for 2 trains each. The storage area is not autmoated, but allows for storage of quite long trains.
Each of the two single lines has automation for 1 reversing train each, the trains can either alterneate between the terminal station and the main station, or between the two terminal stations, crossing each other at the main station. This is done be means of the good old Märklin 6600 controllers and the embedded switches in the tracks.
All tracks will be "electrified", but only in the visible areas. The caternary-wires will have no electrical function on the model.


You may not find this very impressive, but please bear in mind, that I have only a fraction of the space needed to fit my entire collection of Märklin. The room available to me for this layout, is only 3.75*2.85 m²!!! I would like at least twice that space, but STILL be cramped for more space!
Of course I have done the classical mistake of wanting to fit too much into one layout. I guess this is normal since this is my first layout ever. In order to manage to get THIS much track into this little space, I have used TrainCad for the design.

It was very important for me to try to incorporate as many classic aspects of model railroading into this minimal space as possible. It has been a fun challenge, with an almost impossible result. Here is what I have actually managed to fit into the layout:

3 visible stations; One 5-track drive-through Grand Central Station, One small terminal mountain station and one small terminal for city commuters.
2 hidden 3-track stations for train storage and variations.
A modern main storage area for locos.
A small storage area and fiddle-yard for coaches. (this was my most important point, and I would make this a lot bigger if only I had the chance...)
A rocky mountain with steep clifs.
A small factory with track connection. (Located on the mountain)
A city, or rather; the illusion of a big city by means of background pictures.
A "long" visible and uninterrupted part of the main line, to enjoy the trains wizz by. (This is the second most important point that I would like to have made MUCH longer...)
Except for the main station, all visible tracks are with Märklin's beautiful K-track. All other parts are made up with old M-tracks.

The next pictures show the current state of the construction. It isn't very impressive, if you take into account that I have had 3 years to work on it...

First is how the room looked after I began to install the base of the construction

...and here is the same view, one year later

The parts with the city and the storage area for locos and coaches, can't be installed yet until ALL subterranian work has been finished! ;-) The rather abrupt change from the city background to the mountain background can't be helped, but the final result will be less obvios, I promise!
The self-blocking system on the main line is working, and I am running the trains to iron out all the faults now, before buliding anything more, as this will obstruct any work on the main line.
I have made it possible to access all parts of the layout through the bottom of the underlying frame, but it will not be possible to do any major alterations that way. The small space and the many tracks makes it difficult to service trouble-areas properly. Another classical mistake...


The picture above shows the right part of the track, with the big 2½ circle ramp to the mountain terminal station. From the big 5-track station, the main line decedes down to one of the hidden stations at one end of the "bone".

Well, this concludes the tour of my layout. I hope to get more work done on it soon, but I seldom have the energy for it these days. Be sure to write me your comments also, please! ;-)

The work on this layout was done during the years 1995-1999. The layout was a failure in many aspects. The basic track-plan however was a success, and is still notable in the layout I work on today.