Seeking a good yard design

yellow_cad Jul 8, 2018

  1. yellow_cad

    yellow_cad TrainBoard Member

    I would like to build a small N scale stand alone yard layout (DCC) just to perform yard operations. I want to be able to reach all of the switches and uncouple by hand. I currently have 2 - Shinohara yard point right hand triple turnouts. I sort of want to use these as the base of my layout. I found available a 2 ft X 4 ft balsa laminate that would give me rigidity and light weight, but I'm not sure if 2x4 is big enough. I really wouldn't get any bigger than 2.5x5 so if 2x4 is doable, then I would like to use it. My terrain will be completely flat so foam is of no real benefit. I have read some of the basics for yard track layout, but I'm still sort of stuck in the mud as to exactly what to do. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Jim
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  2. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

  3. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

    I think if you can get the extra 1.5 ft in length you'd be doing yourself a favor. The suggestion above by bremmer might be a good place to start. Really, for track layout I'd be asking what you mean by yard operations and what you're envisioning. Do you want to shuttle around locos? assemble trains with cars for outbound or move cars to tracks from inbound trains?

    I would think being able to "work" the yard is where you're going from your post, so I'll see if I can find some info on yard designs that might help spark some creative planning. I think I recently saw an article or book from model railroader or another source about yard planning and ops.
  4. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

  5. RBMNfan

    RBMNfan New Member

    The layout design sig has a lot of information.

    My yard doesn’t fit half the ideal parameters listed due to the small size and single person operation. It helps to understand how an efficient yard works and then size your design to your needs. My yard fulfills all the necessary functions, just not as easily as a yard with a separate track for each function.

    I will add one other thing. What does your yard do?
    Yards exist for a reason. They mostly break up and make up trains so they don’t normally exist without additional trackage. Either nearby industries, a mainline or terminal of some sort.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  6. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    The standard yard is never standard. Look at any real plan throughout history and you'll find everything.

    As a stand alone, one of the more common plans is a simple three track stub yard. you can always add a track for locos and other equipment.

    This plan design shows a yard with a run around track:

    I have always been partial to the track plan on this yard as a small layout area.


    There is also the small inglenook switching layout:

    All yards are essentially the same thing, just more track for more cars.

    For a small layout, you could just lay out the track and play with it. And if you want structures it might be worth leaving a little space on the front and back for that.

    And for more fun, you can always add a turntable. ;)
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  7. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    It depends how in depth you want to get. You can focus on switching problems and do a timesaver style thing, or you can work on building trains and sending them off onto an imaginary layout. That may take up a little more space because you will need a yard lead and arrival/departure tracks, depending on how your yard is set up. The yard lead should be as long as the longest yard track, so if you have 5 feet available, then the yard would be 2.5 feet.

Share This Page