Cameron’s track plan

“Dear Al,

A few of your readers asked for a track plan of the layout.

Following is a track plan and a series of photos of the layout during construction.

The layout of the buildings and roads changed a bit as I went along but the track layout is pretty much the same.

You can run two trains at once with another shunting in the yard. It is far from being a prototypical layout but it is fun to play with.

The whole layout sits within a large box which helps keep the dust off and perhaps will limit the fading over time. If I was doing it again I would try and make the box a bit lighter as it now weighs over 200kg!

Happy modelling,


track plan







Wonderful to see Cameron’s track plan and how it took shape.

If you missed his fantastic film, it’s here.

Have a look at the comments below too – Cam seems to have struck a chord.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

37 Responses to Cameron’s track plan

  1. Nigel says:

    Great idea putting a lid on it, never thought of that..!
    The track layout detail raising it up must have taken some time.

  2. You have done a nice job there Cameron , its looking very good .

  3. Peter Evens says:

    Excellent track plan, lot of operating potential in a relatively small area.

  4. Chris says:

    Nice job Cameron. Thanks for the track plan.

  5. Bedros Anserian says:

    Cameron Well done. Thanks for the plan and photos.

  6. Duncan Galbraith says:

    Thanks for the track plan and the pictures of building up the layout. It turned out very well and the box is brilliant. Thanks. D/

  7. builder Kim says:

    That’s so cool.Nice work. thanks

  8. Ray Suckling says:

    Thank you for the track plan Cameron, I do like your layout and am impressed by your dust cover. It may be a little late to modify my layout but I will certainly look at fabricating a similar type of cover. Getting the weight down may be a challenge, maybe I should ask my wife………….

  9. Anthony Morris says:

    Really like your Cabinet.. Dust Free ?

  10. Helmut Jacobi says:

    I have an L shaped surface 13 ft wide 5 ft deep on the right side ,
    9 ft deep on the left leg with 3.5 ft width of the left leg.
    there is no access to the back wall.
    I am starting to set things up but have an issue reaching 5 feet deep without ruining the front once everything is completed.
    Has anybody ever faced the same problem and found a solution ???
    I realize that I can build the rear works first and shove it back and then complete the rest ,but it seems to be a pain. Access from the bottom is also limited.
    HELP !!!! SOMEBODY…..

  11. jim c says:

    Now this is thinking out of the box. Lol. Very nice indeed

  12. Rod Mackay says:

    Re the L shaped space: firstly, no-one says you have to use all of it – there are some good “dog-bone style” track plans that use a loop at either end and are narrow in the middle, maybe you could just use the full width of the 5′ side at the outer end for a loop, so you only had say 2’6″ to reach in from either side?
    Another way would be to use a baseboard solid enough to crawl/sit on, and have strategic areas of scenery on removeable “trays” which you could lift out to create a safe access space to get to any fault/rework needed at the rear? Any fixed tracks at the front could perhaps be overlaid with a piece of stout board carried on low supports either side of the line, to save catching your legs etc on the track? If there is access from underneath, a few lift-up trapdoor style hatches might do? Good luck!

  13. David Raedeker says:

    High marks for you and your great layout. I really like the lid too. You did a very good job to make it look real and fun to operate.


  14. I had the same problem, i cut 2 ft square access holes in the middle of the
    area.i was able to hide with scenery, My layout at that time was about the
    Arizona Desert , it was a special project

  15. J Dentner says:

    Great idea Cameron. I can see how that set up would come in handy if you wanted to take it to a train show or just to move it to another room. 1 question. Are the legs foldable or removable? Keep the great ideas coming!

  16. Bob Segaloff says:

    Great layout. Is the size a 4×8 or a little larger.

  17. Rich Reed says:

    Is this N or HO?

  18. David Wibbels says:

    I never thought of putting a lid or top on a layout, but it makes a lot of sense to me. Good job and keep up the innovations.
    David in Georgia, USA

  19. Peter says:

    Great layout Cameron, really like the way you have contained it. One suggestion why not put mirrors in the roof of your box which will give you a different perspective of your great layout.

  20. don blackmore says:

    Hello 5 foot wide, I had a similer problem put casters under each leg good luck don .

  21. Rick Lochner says:

    Reference the L shape Help request. I have two 8′ x 4′ platforms in the shape of an L that I am working on in my crawl space with 40″ clearance. Both platforms sit on 6 casters and are bolted together to form a large mobile layout. I can access the back merely by moving the entire layout as if I were moving a piece of furniture on casters. Hope that helps!

  22. bill holt says:

    very nice Cam

  23. Lou Nelson says:

    I remember an e mail explaining how to make gravel out of old dried coffee grounds. I Usually save the e mail, but of course looking for this one, I can not locate.
    Have been following for several years with many great ideas passed on to us.

  24. DJfromNJ says:

    Great job, Cameron! Nicely done. The cover is a brilliant element for many model RR owners to incorporate into their builds.

    Got me to thinking that, for extra huge layouts (such as Dangerous Dave), maybe something like removable posts and window shades would protect these precious layouts. Just thinking.

  25. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Cameron well done. I wonder how you managed to keep it so clean and clutter free during construction, It is by far the cleanest build I have seen. The end result is very good.

  26. Luen says:

    Great layout Cameron. I’ve been toying with a cover for some time and your box idea is brilliant.

    You could cut the weight of the lid down by stretching fabric over a frame. Staple a web of string across it to support the fabric.
    Let the wife choose the material and you may even get some brownie points!

    Happy modelling.

  27. NJ Mark says:

    Helmut, I had a similar problem only because my plans changed over time. I climbed into the middle of the layout very carefully to complete the furthest scenery. When it was completed I left it alone and would check it out every day or so to see if I was pleased and would make additional changes until I was totally satisfied. I thought about wheels as Rick suggested but I believe it is too late for me. I should have planned better. Good luck! Cheers! NJ Mark

  28. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Very Nice Layout!

  29. Will in NM says:

    Cameron, I like your layout plan and your implementation of the plan. It looks like it’s on a 4×8 foot sheet of plywood or foamboard. I just started building a somewhat similar layout that I’m calling my “test” layout because it’s comprised of 3 more or less concentric ovals of track. The outermost over is Atlas True-Track with 22″ radius curves. The innermost loop is also Tru-Track with 18″ radius curves. I would have liked to connect the inner and outer ovals like you did, but the third oval is Micro Engineering code 70 HO-HOn3 dual gauge flex track laid on gray RV putty roadbed with a 20″ radius for the curved portions that sits between the inner and outer True-Track ovals.

    Inside the 18″ oval, I’ve added a bunch of turnouts to provide a small switching opportunity. The three ovals should allow me to finally run most all of my locomotives and rolling stock and test them out. Wiring will be flexible and laid in channels in the foamboard so I can run straight DC, DCC or even my old PFM Sound System throttle. Maybe someday I’ll be able to transition it into a more traditional layout like yours, which looks really fabulous.

  30. Steve Ruple says:

    Excellent layout Cameron and also a great video from previous email. Excellent idea on the lid to cover it.

  31. John says:

    Smart layout & lid!

  32. stephen bogert says:

    the lid on the layout solves issues with dust and CATS, I like the idea!

  33. Larry Jung says:

    Helmut Jacobi look at the topside creeper from They are used mostly for working on the engine topside of large pickiup trucks. I’ve seen youtube train videos from Mr. Muffin Trains and him using them. I have one for my truck, but haven’t used on a layout.

  34. Jerome Cooper says:

    When will you have some new printable buildings? Perhaps a Pub, gas station or hospital. A new row of shops or larger triain station.
    Wonderful web site. All my buildings are from your printable.
    Jerry Cooper

  35. Don R - Florida, USA says:

    To Lou Nelson on coffee grounds: I use them quite a bit. make great dirt areas. Be sure to dry out the grounds for about a week or two. Put them in a jar with lid, keep shaking them daily until very dry removing the lid each time allowing fresh air in. Otherwise, you will develop mold wherever you use them. When dry enough, the coffee odor will be almost non-existent.

  36. Greg Marples says:

    For the modeler with the problem reaching the back of his five foot wide area; they make an overhead creeper for mechanics to work in the engine bays of tall vehicles. You lay on a padded platform that supports you over the layout. It’s more like standing on a low ladder and leaning over on a bench that protrudes from the top. It’s on castors. Available at most large hardware/automotive retailers.

  37. Ken says:

    Excellent Idea- technically, it would be portable (if you know four teens or twenty somethings with strong backs). Its something I’m considering when I build my layout. Mine will be “module”, I’m building on banquet tables. Love your layout, very cool!

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