How Big is Your Past, Present, Future N Scale Layout

Rossford Yard Nov 18, 2012

  1. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member

    On the Trainfest thread, I commented that in the past, it seems most use N to save space rather than build big industries, despite the ability to do so.

    First, have there been any studies or stats on the average size of N scale layouts? If so please share. N trak modules count, too!

    Second, maybe we can do an informal survey, by giving room size and SF of benchwork. If you have two levels, count each in the SF total.

    My former Cajon Pass/KC Terminal/IHB was 12 x 17 overall and would require a 15 x 17 room. Single level and benchwork was about 142 SF.

    My current IHB is in a 10 x 24 room, two levels and about 110 SF benchwork each level (bottom is storage/staging) for 220 SF overall.

    I won't build another big one, so my future IHB will be whatever fits in my apt at the old folks home.......

    I hope this isn't too much trouble, and might be fun as an informal survey as to just how big N scale layouts are.
  2. dexterdog62

    dexterdog62 TrainBoard Member

    Currently I am working on a 4 x 8 foot layout set in the present. I have only recently started on the benchwork, and the track plan will feature a double track main with a large coal mine as the major industry. The layout was designed so it can be extended from two sides, so expansion is definitely a possibility, but for now, 32 square feet is more than enough to get me going. I have learned from several failed attempts at "large" layouts to keep things simple and NOT bite off more than I can chew.

    Frank B.
  3. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

    Just prior to a nasty divorce, I had a 15X15 layout, around the walls, and two islands in it to gain trackage on the mains. I also had a 4x8 that my son and I built prior to his discovering women and getting married. I still have that layout. By spring I will be working on a 8X12 layout in a shed. This size allows for a decent run, and is portable. No woman will ever cause the loss of my layout again. This will be a portable shed I can take with.
    I think that N scale does allow for a decent smaller layout, but if you have a larger layout, you can have tons of track for longer trains and more scale like scenery. I guess though, It boils down to the individule modeler and what blows his or her hair back.
  4. Jim Reising

    Jim Reising TrainBoard Member

    The Oakville Sub is a biggie. It uses nearly the whole basement, around 1000 square feet out of 1200. I've done smaller layouts, but this was/is my retirement project. I am content. And yes, there are still things to do. I am content.
  5. Bob Morris

    Bob Morris TrainBoard Supporter

    1st 3x4
    present 10x10
    future (hollow core dore) when we move into something smaller
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    For my last layout, I had started a modular double deck in a 11' by 14' room, which also had the ability to eventually extend beyond that space. Not sure how many square feet it would have been. Design was narrow, shelf like- Which allowed sufficient aisle room. I would guess about 130 total of both levels? Then a major health issue almost cancelled my existence. Now I am working with T-Trak modules on the dining. At some time in the future, I might try putting up shelves around the walls, in that same room, upon which I can set up these T-Trak modules.
  7. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

    My 1st 2 layouts were 4X8 plywood specials. My current one is 12X8X6 "U". It goes from city to country & back. It consists of 3 continuious main lines.
  8. Cajonpassfan

    Cajonpassfan TrainBoard Supporter

    28' x 21' partial double deck plus 21' x 4' staging in a separate space. Have been at it, on and off, since 1980, in a different house, so I guess that qualifies for past, present and hopefully, future. Golden spike is in the near future...:)
    Otto K.
  9. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    The Grey and Grandure runs along two walls of the dining room and continues along two of the living room walls.
    Size: 40 linear feet - 164 sq feet
    Location: Dining / Living room
    Intentions: Just running long trains
    Status: Under construction
    Needs: Wiring, Cleaning and Scenery
    Previous layout:
    Size: About 1/2 the above
    Location: Spare room
    Status: Taken down for current

    Living alone with no prospects of a romantic partner ever moving in I decided to take advantage of the space. Given the prospect of my love moving in I may cut back the size.
  10. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    Past: Have had one small "4x8-ish" startup, a couple of small shelf switching layouts, and one roughly 7x12 around the walls triple level layout in an attic space. With all the levels it was probably around 120 sq ft of layout footprint but most of that staging. None of these really made it much past track stage.

    Current: I have a 13' x 32" dogbone that roughly comes out to about 20 sq ft I think. It has some scenery and a few structures roughed in. I am going back and installing feeders for the track right now and it will likely be "the" layout for awhile. I am planning to purchase a house next year but it will depend on how much space and money I have as to whether or not I start a new layout sooner than later.

    Future: Yes, aforementioned house. I have grand plans for a large-ish layout so I would ideally love to have an upstairs game room at my disposal. So I would expect my next layout to be somewhere between a 10x12 spare bedroom and a more Rossford Yard-esque 15x17/10x24 type of space.
  11. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    Well here goes:

    Last layout was a round the room (11x11) with a 3 foot wide deck so that is about 82 square feet.

    Current layout is 384 square feet (C shape sectional, each section is 16x8) with 56 feet of Ntrak modules to round things out. (3 car garage)

    Next layout is under construction at my place outside of Showlow AZ. Not sure of the square footage because it is not done, but as a starting point the re-creation of the Barstow yard is 22 feet by 74 feet. and then is slim down to a nearly constant 8 foot width. until it gets to the other end of this point to point layout. Winslow is a lot smaller than Barstow, but it also is the main staging area too. This is being built in a custom layout building.
  12. traintodd

    traintodd TrainBoard Member

    I had a 9'x5' Kato Unitrack layout at a previous house, a 3'x4' test track, also gone, and have a plan done to fill a 45'x14' basement room in my current house, which I will be starting in January.
  13. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    I have two the N scale layout is on a 3.5' x 8' resembles Tucson, Az. This is located in my Spare upstairs bedroom and due for an expansion that will probably be an additional 6' run to join up with the main so I can place a Amtrak station that is located downtown.
  14. k-59

    k-59 TrainBoard Member

    My former layout was about an 8 sp ft shelf with second shelf about 6 sp ft for staging that was suppose to be developed into a second scene.
  15. Dwyane

    Dwyane TrainBoard Member

    Past layout (HO) was a round the room (11'x11') with a 18"-27" wide single deck, 51" height, about 70 square feet, lift bridge access.

    Last layout (N) 36"x80" door (in storage)

    Current layout (N) round three walls (11' x 17'6) with a 21" wide single deck, 51"-54" height, about 93 square feet (C shape) with 42" wide deck at ends, walk-in.

    Future unknown but most likely door size or smaller.
  16. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    While the family was growing up I never really had the room for a layout except for the Christmas tree platform. But those were my HO years. Sometime in the middle of raising the family I attended a Greenberg Train Show and witnessed the Ntrak phenomenom. Long trains on a large layout, far larger than I could ever hope to have and the local club had a home with room for a large layout. So I joined the club. Still didn't have the room at home for the layout I wanted but the Ntrak club did provide me with the ability to run long trains. As life continued on, the kids got married, grandkids came along and retirement approached. Those were the good times. Betwix and between I got downsized three times and retired early. We then bought a new house with a dry basement which provided the room to build a large layout. Along the way I decided to drive a school bus to keep active and the little spending money it generated didn't hurt either. Then came the planning on how to fill up a 30X20 foot space with a railroad and once the plans were done the building would comsume all of my non driving time. Or so I thought. One would be amazed how much stuff other peple can come up with for a retired person to do. This idea that when one retires one will have all the time in the world to do as one pleases is a lot of malarky. I am busier now than ever. And that layout to fill that 20X30 foot space got downsized more than once. Now I'm going to build two layouts. One for me and one for the grandkids. That's one of those things that other people will come up with because they think you have nothing to do because you are retired.
  17. rick773

    rick773 TrainBoard Member

    In my previous house I had a 22'x32' basement. Starting with a 4' x 8' layout, it grew to an 18' x 19' L shaped layout (Nov/Dec 2011 N Scale magazine and ).

    Two years ago we moved to a 55+ community with a 12'x17' loft. Only the 4' x 8' (Sept/Oct N Scale magazine) and part of the yard survived the move. The 4'x8' got in the way of my current PRSL project ( ) and it moved (sold off) from NJ to AL. I am currently well along Phase 2 (of 3) of my new layout and have (4) 16" x 6' modules and (2) 2' x 4' modules pretty well done with 5 modules left to start.
    PRSL MR Track Plan 121030.jpg
  18. garethashenden

    garethashenden TrainBoard Member

    1st: 2'x4'
    2nd 2'x5'
    3rd 1'x4'
    Nothing at the moment but thinking about a 12"x16" city scene...
  19. omatrack

    omatrack TrainBoard Member

    1st n scale: 10x 8 dogbone that I had to tear down due to a relocation in 2007
    2nd: 15x12 that I had to tear down before I could power up the track due to a relocation (2011)
    3rd: 19x12 around the room with center peninsula and bottom level staging built with an eye towards moving
    Future: unknown but maybe ntrak if the moves keep coming

    I've learned not to dawdle due to moves every 2-5 years...hopefully now staying put for at least 5 years so I can get trains running and play with scenery.

  20. WPZephyrFan

    WPZephyrFan TrainBoard Member

    I've had a lot of layouts of different sizes. The largest was a 5 1/2' x 9' HO layout in a garage. Now, I'm "working" on an N scale HCD as it's about all I have room for in my apartment. Of course, I'm buying locos and cars for what I will hopefully build sometime when I get room, a WP Third Sub Division layout from Oroville, Ca. to Portola, Ca.

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