OO scale shelf layout

Ian’s been in touch with his OO scale shelf layout:

“Dear Al

As it was getting rather cold operating the layout in the garage I decided to build a shelf layout in the office.

The size is 7’ 6” by 1’ 6” and is set up over two cupboards. The layout has come after I have studied a number of layouts in the Railway Modeller magazines.

The backdrop is in Cumbria but the layout is not really based on any particular place. And yes the bus is from Glasgow. I have fond memories of going up there to see my Scottish grand parents and have always liked the trams and buses from that time.

There are seven points on the layout and have taken Dave’s advice in having surface mounted points, however I needed another transformer to operate them.

The tunnel could be considered as a fiddle area but I cannot get behind the cupboards to take full advantage. Hope you like the pictures and all the best to you and your readers of your great site.



oo scale shelf layout

oo scale shelf layout

oo scale shelf layout

oo scale shelf layout

“Hi Al,

I have had very good progress building out the new Farland Layout. I finished the farm, I got Far Moor Village built, Far Cliff Beach with it’s Caravan Park, Car Park and camping coach are now installed. So, I am turning my attention to the completely unfinished side, the Howe Street side.

The first thing I decided needed to be done was to clean up the track going through the station. When I originally put this track in, it was a bit haphazard.

I didn’t know yet what I would be doing on this side of the layout, so the track was just laid in to get the trains through and make continuous loops. One loop each going both ways for the passenger trains. Which I am most interested in and one loop going both ways for freight. My intent has been to run the freight as a single line.

More recently I have added a crossover from the freight to the down main and another back again to the freight line in Far Moor. There are also crossovers going both ways on the passenger lines just outside of what will be the Howe Street Station (HSS).

I have installed a run around in Far Moor so that a locomotive can come around to the other end of the rake and pull it back to HSS going in reverse. By adding one conventional crossover in the Howe Street Station and using one of the others just outside of (HSS), service to and from Far Moor from HSS can be continuous. Therefore, I am removing the X crossovers in HSS.

The distance between the passenger tracks was dictated by the X overs in the beginning and now they can move closer together. That will free up more space for the freight yard and the steam shed and diesel maintenance area.

Here is a link to a short video as the process begins and I fill in the first passenger loop after ripping out virtually all the track in the HSS area.

One question that is always asked is why, as a North American, am I modeling British outline trains and scenery. The answer is that as a very young and impressionable boy, I lived in London for a time. We as a family spent a great deal of time traveling the UK by rail and it just stuck. The more I have learned, the more interested I have become.

Thank you, Al, for all you do for us in the modeling community. I think I can safely say, we all appreciate it greatly.

Rob – Farland Howe”

Latest ebay cheat sheet here.

A huge thanks to Ian for sharing his OO scale shelf layout, and to Rob too.

Hope you enjoyed Rob’s video as much as I did. He really does pack a whole load of tips in to his vids (his last post is here).

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.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

25 Responses to OO scale shelf layout

  1. Alan Batcheldor says:

    Just shows what can be done on a shelf. well done Ian.

  2. Bob C says:

    Hi Al,
    I really liked Ian’s clickable expanding photos. Can you or one of your subscribers tell us how to make photos expand like that?
    Thank you,
    Bob C

  3. Ian says:

    For Bob C. I used an iphone to take the photos that is why they can easily be expanded. Very useful to see the details. Regards Ian

  4. Cary B says:

    always look forward to Rob’s Farland Howe updates.

    Cary B aka cbgadget

  5. Rod Mackay says:

    Nice work guys. Ian, at the end of a little bay platform like that you would often see just a buffing plank fixed to the end wall, most stations had somewhere you could load or unload road vehicles into end door vans or flats, it would save you the space that buffer stop takes up, get an extra wagon in..
    Rob, we have lots of stations on the Western with platforms further apart, which were built that way to fit Mr Brunel’s 7′ gauge tracks, still noticeable today in places.

  6. Cary B says:

    oops, almost forgot to mention Ian’s commentary and photos. The shelf layout looks great and nice to enjoy in the warmth of the home. Thanks for sharing

    Cary B aka cbgadget

  7. David Hannan says:

    Great video Rob! Love the time-lapse sequence!
    Dirty Dave

  8. Jonathan says:

    Rob, just got power back here in the Eastern US after that bad storm. Thoroughly enjoyed your video, especially the time lapse speed up. Funny and well done. Your layout is really going to be wonderful!! Jonathan

  9. Ian says:

    Thank you Rod that is a good idea about the buffer stop I will consider your idea as I could get one more wagon in. As for the vans I would need to alter the platform a fair amount and have an incline where the coal office is unless you have have any other ideas. Regards Ian

  10. Bill Houghton says:

    Al, I have been following your site for some time and enjoy it very much. One thing I would love to see folks on here do is make some kind of sketch of their layout. The on posted today of the shelf one is what I’m going to try to get built here. I have a 1/4 in scale trolley layout which I’m trying to get to, but it is just a figure 8 hand laid rail and two sets of wye switches also hand built. So I’m not a novice in building. I’m wanting to build a small switching layout.

  11. John Reynolds says:

    Great stuff there
    I especially like the little layout and the reason for building it…
    Well done all..
    John from Cali

  12. dave sheets says:

    how do you bend the track bed? I’ve tried with no luck. nice layout !!!

  13. Dr. Bob says:

    Ian-Love the shelf layout! You have inspired the indoors with aspiration of not freezing you’re kiester in the winter time.

    Rob-This just advocates my point of the never ending hobby, eventually, something is going to need to be redone or complacency sets in. I see this as a good thing because it keeps us interested in model railroading and sharpens our talents and skills. Love the redesign!

  14. Ian McDonald says:

    nice shelf layout. the changes your making are the same i am making ,I picked up some hints and good changes thank for sharing. nice to see trains running.

  15. Stephen Gispanski says:

    Hello Al, still watching and reading all the great e-mail’s that are on your sight. Great information. And Ian, much sun layout. That is exactly how I would like to do mine. Nice detail, like it a lot. I like everyone’s layouts. Can’t wait to get mine going. I am fixing to get the wood for my layout. Ten by ten and I will be going around the room. I will be making 2 x 3 tables but the corners will be 2 x 2 x 3. That is on paper, you know how that can change. O gauge on top and HO on the second shelf. I wonted a big table with HO in the back ground and O gauge up front. I had to desire on what table I was going to go with, otherwise I would keep going back and fourth and get nothen done. Lol. I will keep you posted and film on the start up.
    Stephen G, Saint.Petersburg Fl

  16. Rob Shuman says:

    Ian, great work, great photos and great backdrop. Keep going!!!

  17. Doug b says:

    Ian great shelf layout. How do the train go around at the end of the shelf? What is the minimum radius for a ho gage train? Or does the trains simply reverse like a trolley train?

  18. Paul Case says:

    Rob both the fishplates you showed are most likely stainless steel just different types. Martinsitic stainless is Magnetic and Austinitic stainless is none Magnetic. Easy to remember since Martinsitic starts with an ‘ M ‘. The joiners do grip the rails and it is doubtful that some none steel material would have that property.

  19. John Reynolds says:

    I love small shelf layouts.
    Ian’s is a work of art. Simply perfect.

  20. Erick says:

    Looks great? I hope mine comes out that good.

  21. Brian Olson says:

    Space, or lack thereof should never stop you from having fun in this hobby.

  22. robert dale tiemann says:

    when you need to use shelves. i have a friend that has turned his house into a train museum, more or less, and uses shelves to take his trains from the basement o the 3rd floor, by way of elevatores on shelves. he has a huge electric bill.

  23. Marklin ed. says:

    If I could move as fast as Rob, my small layout would be finish NOW! THANKS ROB, I look forward for you name in the body of the emails..

  24. Kenneth Fox says:

    No offense, shelf layouts can be nice, but the fact is, they don’t go anywhere. Trains are supposed to go somewhere, even if it’s in a circle.

  25. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome switching shelf layout Ian, looks really great, well done. A lot of switching ideas.

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