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So, something that was just meant to turn into a test layout has now become one of my greatest creations... It's not much as yet, but the scenery and electronics involved is a lot more complex than I thought I would ever create and I'm really glad as to how it's coming along.

Here's a gallery of the initial track plan I intended on using and then 3 evolutions of it. The final layout is not actually listed there. You can see that it started as a single level basic loop, with options for expansion. As I realised the time required for building just this module, I decided to do away with the extension options (although things can always change) and then added a second level. This was just to be a ridge down the middle of the board, but it now has transformed into 1/4 of the overall surface area. A town has now grown on top and a nice siding for single-car vehicles.

Underneath the board is a birds-nest of wiring for all the tricks I've tried with the Arduino (see all the previous posts...) and I'll show you this in a later post.

For now, just check out the photos and I'll get back with more information as I create it. I'm currently working on street lights for the top town and also automation of the points. I've been through around 5 iterations for the control circuit for the points and damaged quite a few TomyTec FineTrack Points in the process. Not fun.

Here's a link to the whole album.

Model Railway Model Railway Model Railway
Model Railway Model Railway Model Railway
Model Railway Model Railway

Update: The streetlights are painted and in... I still need to work on the light end, they need some sort of cover/compartment.
Model Railway Model Railway Model Railway

Meanwhile, I also need to learn nighttime photography :)
More to come as I light up all of the houses; although one is already lit!

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About stevenh

Trains... trains... trains... + Electronics + Japan.
Comments (6) Trackbacks (0)
  1. This is looking quite good! What kind of LEDs are you using for the streetlights?

    • Standard 2.5mm diffused white LEDs. They actually have a creamy-yellow appearance when not lit.
      I’ll post an article on my quick-and-cheap light post techniques soon.

  2. Hi! My name is Martin and I’m from Argentina. I found your site when looking for N scale buildings and immediately caught my eye. Really wonderful work. When I saw this small layout I was amazed also, really good distributed in so little space. Is there any chance you could send me some layout plan or the code of the tracks you used? I hope you don’t mind. Thank you very much and regards.

    • Martin, the track is “Tomix Fine Track”. PlazaJapan is a great store on eBay to find it.

      See the track plan gallery here (http://modelrail.otenko.com/photo-album?itemid=10), but the exact plan isn’t there. You can see the curves used though. This link (http://modelrail.otenko.com/photo-album?itemid=6610) will show you the track piece numbers. There are three types of curves from Fine Track, I’m using the second-smallest (1112) for the inner circle and then one size larger (1113) for the outer.

      Note that larger locomotives will have trouble negotiating the corners.

      • Thank you so much for your reply. I have only three 2-cars commuter trains(17m, 19m and 20m) You think they will be ok on the curves? Love the fact I can operate small trains and make a semi-urban layout ;)

        • You’ll have no issues, especially if they are Japanese vehicles. Just make sure you don’t put scenery too close to the tracks, all vehicles have a tend to over-hang.

          Meanwhile, the main issue I had on the curves was with a DD51 Diesel. It couldn’t take the smaller curve. My EF66 handled them well though.


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