Rob’s track plan diagram

“Dear Alastair,

Thanks for posting my pictures. Some folks seemed to be interested in layout diagrams so I thought I would send them along.

I am also including a link to a couple You Tube postings you may be interested in.

I recently expanded my layout by about 35 feet of doubled track.

I wanted a mountain with a tunnel and a valley with an arched viaduct crossing it.

I have a lot of work to do on the new section, but the track is laid, the mountain is built and the viaduct is in place.

Now for the fun of landscaping.

Here are the two diagrams.

This one is the original layout began in June. The circles are the posted speeds for the track ahead of the circle and numerals.

Below in a slightly different scale is the expanded layout,


I thought Rob’s invention for moving around under the table was genius!

It was very similar to Joe’s.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming. I do love seeing what’s in my inbox each morning.

And the Beginner’s Guide is here if today is that day when you leap off the armchair and spring into action.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

36 Responses to Rob’s track plan diagram

  1. Florin says:

    Very intresting !

  2. Carl says:

    Hi Rob,
    Layout looks good.
    What are the baseboard dimensions of the two layouts?
    Carl (Australia)

  3. paul starr says:

    Great video Rob.I would be interested to know what the exact problem was with the curved points.

  4. john Brown says:

    It is good to see your emails again I have missed you greatly.

    Thanks again

  5. John Meehan says:

    Great video Rob! I like the lighting and switching ideas! How did you make those switch boxes?

    I think you could eliminate the crack problem without having to resort to dry wall compound by laying foam board on top of the plywood underlay and overlap the foam board over the adjoining tables. Shims could be used to raise the borders of the foam board where needed.

  6. Tom Walsh says:

    What scale is the diagram in. Love this all the info that all have sent in

  7. John Dye says:

    Hi, Rob, what are the dimensions of your benchwork. Thanks, John

  8. Rob says:

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the encouraging comments although my wife doesn’t think I need any more encouragement. The original table was 15ft x 12ft in an “L” shape and the current table is 12ft x 19ft in a “U” with the original 15ft leg and the new 19ft leg. I hope that helps. I should have put the table dimensions on the diagrams, but I lost the AutoCAD capability a couple of month ago when my ancient computer finally quit.

    Thanks again and Happy Modeling

  9. A cracking track plan Rob

  10. Tom says:

    Great benchwork Great track plan Great Layout Can’t wait for the next update … Enjoy!

    Thanks Rob and Al



  11. Roland Burch says:

    Both layout designs are excellent.

  12. Simeon S says:

    Allways enjoy your layouts and info, I have a back yard measuring 60’x48′ and would like to use your layout mentione d here. Can you assist me in the type of rail, and turns that I would need to make this possible. Thank you looking forward to hearing from you.
    Great layout.

  13. Alan Martin says:

    Loved your video. Would like to know your reasoning for using individual point switches rather than coming directly off the Select controller.

  14. Dingo Sharp says:

    Fantastic layout BUT I agree did with Carl until I got to the end of the comment and found the layout size, it’s just perfect for our spare room so if you have no objection we’re going to use it as part of our new N gauge run.

  15. Charlie says:

    Outstanding work and layout! Love that little seat, very inventive

  16. Austin Wilson says:

    Awesome job Rob with the expansion. I just went from an L Shape to a U shape myself by adding another sheet of plywood in just for my railyard. I have a ten track wide rail yard for all my engines and boxcars, cranes and the sort. I run HO Scale using EZ track. My left and rights work fine. I love working on my layout.

  17. THOMAS says:


  18. kevin blake says:

    If you mix some PVA wood glue with your filler you will find it might not crack at all as it gives it some flexibility.

  19. I love the look of both plans & am thinking of laying out a new one. What amount of space do they take as mine is somewhat limited. THANKS

  20. terry powers says:

    79 by 2 feet? Boy, I wish I had that kind of room!

  21. Peter says:

    Hi Rob, well done, it is great to see how the variety of ideas all seem to work well.
    I have a suggestion that might cure your curved turn out problem. Many years ago I had a Peco small radius “Y” turnout and it used to tip some of my locos and rolling stock off! The cure was simple, glue styrene (10 thou, 0.010″) to the insides of the check rails. This stopped the wheel flanges from picking up the V in the frog.
    I never have the problem now as I custom build all my turnouts, curved, double slips, whatever. It is not hard to do, I have taught several members in our MR Club to do it and they would not buy commercial product now! Have a go, if you stuff it up, just unsolder it and go again. My first units were a bit ropey, but they only cost a bit of time and effort. Very rewarding.

  22. Ian says:

    I used to have problems with derailing at Hornby curved points, but a simple narrowing of the gap between the check rails and the running rails solved the problem in every case. Just a careful squeezing with pliers along the length of the two check rails keeps the wheels away from the point of the frog, which seems to be the derailing point.
    Quite why Hornby can’t rectify it at the manufacturing stage is a mystery to me.
    I have five curved points on my layout, including three that are ‘underground’ so extra important not to derail there.

  23. Bill Baker says:

    Can this be done for HO trains? It looks like what I want to Do!!

  24. Thierry Pochet says:

    Very nice job. Congratulations.

  25. Neil Webster says:

    As that was my first comment, I now understand how it all works, regarding me receiving these tips with comments on them.
    Senior moment, my excuse anyway, Great tips.
    Regards, Neil.

  26. Gerry says:

    To eliminate cracks between boards try using silicon based painters or bathroom caulk. Simply lay a bead bewtween the boards while sandwiching them together and then use a putty knife to smooth it out (do a section/side at a time). That way when things move due to heating and cooling of the room etc. it will flex.

  27. tom in az says:

    Could you explain what a check rail is? Thanks

  28. Thanks for the commentary and the video of your first run on the new layout.

    Have you ever thought about using Flex Seal in its paint format? That could stop cracks from forming on any layout changes you make in tthe future.

    Thanks again.

  29. Bill Holt says:

    Like the track diagrams !

  30. Mark Gilbert says:


    I am receiving Video Unavailable from the posting and when I try to view on YouTube, I get, Video removed by user?


  31. David says:

    Looking very interesting those track plans Rob

  32. Bob Schworm says:


    I seem to be unable to spot the discussion of how you managed to easily move about under your benchwork. Can you direct me to that discussion?


    Bob – Brecksville Ohio

  33. paul kerzner says:

    would like to receive info on your under the table maneuverings.; also your recent tips.
    Thanks paul kerzner, New York City

  34. Paul Case says:

    I saw mention of Rob’s invention re moving around under the table but don’t know where to find it. Do you have info or a photo?

  35. Paul Lichau says:

    I also did not have a video link or the information about the under the track moving around. Any help out there?

  36. Don L. Renner says:

    I think I have missed a great deal of what is being talked about. The two YouTube videos that are mentioned never showed up for me although some have apparently received it as they make comments about them.
    Do I need to do something else Al to get the full offering? I love this work you do as I learn a great deal and follow the pictures / videos continuously. Now that I am turning over 85 years of messing up a lot of stuff, these train layouts are perfect for me to keep up the procedures.

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