Shelf layout – Alan’s railway

“Hello Al: railway shelf layout.

We don’t see many narrow gauge shelf layouts on your website, so I thought you might like to see my little shunting shelf which is nearly complete.

As you know my 00 gauge South Wales layout is in the garage but I don’t always want to venture out on a cold rainy day so I’ve built this railway shelf layout so I can get my “fix” in the warm. I have a few off-cuts of MDF from a job I did. They are all 4feet by Varying width so I used this as a base. I already had the track and points, so apart from the timber frame it cost nothing.

At first it was just 4feet X 8 inches, that was fine, but then I decided I wanted somewhere ‘off scene’ to send the trains, so I added another 17 inches either end which are non scenic I then decided I wanted another siding so I had to add an extra 3 inches to the width at one end.

All the points are remotely operated by brass rods, part of a paper lip soldered to one end and bent at 90 deg which fits through the tie bar. There are also 6 isolating sections as I have 2 locos.

About the locos, they are both MINITRAINS , a Baldwin which was used by the Americans & British to move ammunition and troops to the trenches during WW1, the other, a Brigadelok which was used by the Germans for the same purpose! I bet they never met in real life – but that’s part of the fun with a shelf layout, or any layout in fact.

I still have more to do, fit a back scene and add a bit of foliage etc.

I did start a 009 shelf layout on the highest shelf in the garage, but I abandoned it, that’s where I got the track for the one I just described. But this morning I took the Baldwin to the garage and it looked quite good. So I think I might have another go at it.

That’s all for now, best wishes


OO shelf layout

model railroad shelf layout

00 scale model train shelf layout

I’ve lost count of the number of railway shelf layouts on the site now. Those who are already on the newsletter will know what I mean.

Here are just some of them:

John’s shelf layout

“My shelf layout is On30 — O scale narrow gauge running on HO gauge track.


John shelf layout

You can see all of John’s pics and narrative of his shelf layout here.

Peter’s shelf layout:

The layout has two layers… and three track and is 11×15.

The inner track runs only on top level.

The two outer tracks run on both layers…[with a double gradient at one end]


You can see Peter’s shelf layout here.

Bee’s shelf layout

shelf layout

You can see all of Bee’s shelf layout here.

John’s stunning shelf railway

“Amaranth Falls is built on a simple raised plywood table covered with a one-inch foam slab. Dimensions are 8 ft. x 16 inches similar to a long wide shelf.


You can see all of John’s stunning pics here.

It just goes to show, lack of space should never be a reason for starting on your layout. And when you do, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

A big thanks to Alan (again).

That’s all this time folks. Keep ’em coming and don’t forget the ebay cheat sheet. Still going strong.



25 Responses to Shelf layout – Alan’s railway

  1. david howarth says:

    Nice little layout ..Dave

  2. Steve Lewis says:

    Nice little layout all we wait for now is Heljans 00-9 L&B 2-6-2Ts to arrive
    Not too long now I am informed poss April 16 or even earlier.

    Wonder if bachmann’s Baldwin 4-6-0T will materialise soon?

  3. John says:

    Superb any excuse Allan

  4. Rod Mackay says:

    Lovely job! Like the vegetated trackwork a lot. Seen those brigadeloks, very nice but pricey, whose is the Baldwin? That’s delightful. We are going to have a short 009 line on the club layout presently under construction, so I fancy one of those.

  5. Ken Stramel says:

    Very nice. It’s amazing how we find the space when we want to. Great job.

  6. Alan roberts says:

    The Baldwin is by Minitrains as is the Brigadelok. Baldwin is £99 to 009 society members, theBrigadelok £104. I hope the Heljan L&B is out soon, the prospect of that is what got me into 009 in the first place.

  7. Soren Lippert says:

    Hi Alan, Really nice looking and very interesting layout. I think I’m not the only one to wish for a far longer video showing both locos and some shunting of your waggons and coaches – please!

  8. Bruce Taylor says:

    Amazing the lengths that we will go to get our ‘fix’! I can just imagine that the hike to the garage in the rain would be a deal-breaker without this option.

  9. Frank Mucciolo says:

    You know I never thought of this kind of set up because of my limited space but now y’all got me thinking, why not? So now I’m thinking, where? I will be giving it much thought, thanks guys.

  10. Ralph says:

    An inspiration Alan
    That might be my answer to the problem of what to do while my Railway shed is being upgraded.

  11. Tom says:

    Neat concept and planning and then building. It is great!
    Some of the scenery you talked about; was that in picture 3 on bottom right side … the row of buildings?
    Best wishes,
    Tom, Central Maryland, USA

  12. John Reynolds says:

    Very nice little layout…

  13. Ron says:

    Truly a Heeresfeldbahn… Ron, So. Cal, USA

  14. Arnold Robert Lee says:

    In retrospect, I wish I had gone for the ‘N’ scale as apposed to my OO scale. I have a loft which I figured would be ample, NOT SO!! I had a PLAN, but that has been modified-a few times. I now realize my best bet are not a Circuit but individual Dioramas. That might appear odd to those reading this, but I do have a plan and will be doing the same as many, putting it on YouTube. That will some time yet, but I don’t want to make it too obvious that I’m a beginner.

  15. Russ says:

    Is this a timesaver plan? I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a puzzle layout for a while but haven’t found one I liked that would fit my available space.

  16. Rod Mackay says:

    Takes an AWFULLY long time to fill a loft with N gauge, and the dust up there stays 1:1 scale despite the trains being smaller. I’m puzzled by the dioramas suggestion, the usual greatest benefit of going into the loft is the space to have a realistically large layout, with large radii, sweeping curves, long trains. If you go for, shall we say, the big picture, you can still have a lot of little cameo scenes within that, particularly in an urban scenic setting.

  17. Raymond Appenzeller says:

    Interesting shelf concept. Have you ever decided to expand it’s length and with more scenery? I could not help to notice on one of the photographs it showed a series of homes on the third shelf I beleive, Faces of homes actually, were they ever a part of the layout?

  18. Fred Franke says:

    Al I just wanted to say your membership deal is a great deal. The book you sent is great, keep up
    the good work.
    All the best Fred

  19. RJ Sappelli says:

    Your shelf layout is really great. With some added scenery it will be wonderful. and you can do some switching between tracks. Way to go to get the inside warm fix. congratulations for sharing and thanks to Lee for his tremendous site.

  20. charles says:

    this looks n scale

  21. Joe S says:

    Thanks for this site and it’s wonderful content.

  22. Alan,
    Very clever little layout.
    About the Baldwin meeting the Brigadelok, When the breakthrough finally came a lot of German equipment was captured and taken to rail yards on the Allied side of the front. Given the photos of German feldbahn equipment in both American and British NG yards, the idea of a Baldwin meeting a Brigadelok is not an implausible scenario.
    On another note, there are differences between the American Baldwin trench locomotives and the Baldwin’s built for the British. The do look similar but the American locomotives had a 2-6-2 arrangement while the British ones were 4-6-0 locomotives.

  23. Erick says:

    Great layout but small..

  24. Brian Olson says:

    Just got back from a trip to England, and our son-in-law is Welsh. Great to see our hobby providing challenges and fun across the pond!

  25. robert dale tiemann says:

    way to utilize what room you have, nice layout.

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