Atlas N scale code 55 track plans – Steve’s

Steve has been in touch and added to the Atlas N scale code 55 track plans on the blog.

(As always, it’s the comments at the bottom that shed the most light.)

“Hi Al,
I am fairly new at model railroading & are in the process of planning a second layout that I hope to be able to show one day.

Like most I guess, I am very constrained for space.
The idea is to have a realistic junction with trains able to enter from both ends with some shunting.
Below is my current proposal. 

Atlas N scale code 55 track plans

Atlas N scale code 55 track plans

Atlas N scale code 55 track plans

Overall dimensions are 4500mm x 700mm  (will fit a small bukkie. (“pick-up” in american))
Track is atlas code-55
Minimum radius is 11.25in: 
All switches are #5
DCC will be used
There needs to be plenty of storage so a variety of rolling stock can enter without to much delay.
Continuous running must also be possible.

Comments and criticisms from your users will be appreciated.

I include some images from my existing layout


Steve Perlman”

Atlas N scale code 55 track plans

n scale model railroad

Atlas N scale code 55 track plans

model train n scale

Atlas N scale code 55 track plans

model railroad

Atlas N scale code 55 track plans

“Hi Al,

Here are some pics of my n scale layout, a work in progress. Once this side is finished I intend adding a similar sized section and having a walkway in the middle betwwen sections which will be joined at the far wall in the poc.

This is the Byron Bay to Lismore lone in northern NSW Australia, near where I live. The actual line has been a topic of contention and debate in this region as a section, from the town of Casino to Murwillumbah via Byron Bay was shut down due to it’s poor conditon and the then governments shortsightedness in not paying to maintain it.

Now there are bridges being demolished and not replaced as the debate over what to do with it continues. Being what was once a large rainforest area which is recovering from over clearing I have tried to make the scenery as lush and ‘wet’ looking as possible. Hope you like it.


Mike Mizzi”

N scale

n scale

n scale

n scale

Thanks to Steve for adding to the Atlas N scale code 55 track plans and to Mike for sharing. Can’t wait to read your comments on Steve’s plan.

Please do keep ’em coming folks – it’s all getting a bit thin on ground this end. Just mail you pics to me and I’ll do the rest.

Don’t forget, what ever type of layout you want to create, this will point you in the right direction.



PS Have you seen the latest ebay cheat sheet? I have no idea why at this time of year there are so many deals.

32 Responses to Atlas N scale code 55 track plans – Steve’s

  1. Rod Mackay says:

    Mike, the scenic work’s very nice, lots of character, but those curves look pretty sharp? What’s the radius going to be? Bigger the better for reliable running.

  2. Don J says:

    To Mike Mizzi; I am sorry if you do not like my views. The way I see your layout is == a single track square circle with more water ways than railroad track. Are you modeling boats & water-ways or a railroad line for trains to run?. Which Is your intention?. You have no town buildings or industry to switch . This might be accurate for where you live and that is OK.. Good Luck with your construction plans

  3. David V. Corbin says:

    Steve, I don’t see (could be the angle of the SCARM view) who trains would enter “from the left” or continually run (in the visible part of the track.)

  4. Bill says:

    Steve, We speak ” English ” Here in America……Good Idea on your layout.

  5. Ken says:

    Nice work I am sure it took a lot of time.

  6. David says:

    Mike, I don’t know where the person that didn’t like your plans live, but I had 31 years on the Railways working over a fair area of New South Wales and knowing the area you going ok.
    The only suggestion I can make is put a few farm houses and other buildings around your layout.

  7. dave c says:

    I have A PROBLEM —can one tell me why after installing new points that Im still having the same problem where when I switch from the main track it shuts off power to the hole track would it help if the side track was supplied with its own supply
    Id be glad of any advice you could give me
    thanks in advance dave c

  8. ED GOLDSTEIN says:

    Nice concept. Checkout Kato website for nice examples of layouts which might suit your needs.

  9. Joe says:

    I love the original layout. Great detail. The new layout will give you a lot of real railroad operation. Good Luck.

  10. Tim Morlok says:

    Steve, nice pics. Re new layout: Is the upper level just an industrial area with a station that dead ends on the left? You could put it on its own shelf and eliminate all the supports. This would give you room to develop a continuous run loop and more layout on the lower level with the helix hidden in a mountain.
    good luck. Tim

  11. Denny L. says:

    Looking at your proposed it a shelf? I would consider possibly using a helix for interest, maybe two level shelves. Possibly 2-3 trains running all at once.

  12. good work guys
    interesting layout ideas on both
    keep ’em runnin’ fellas

  13. Jerry says:

    I like your plans. Being a geographer I enjoy seeing the various landscapes presented on each lay out. The only thing that drew a question for me was the picture of the waterfalls emptying into the the stream below. How are you going to simulate the steam, water vapor, or spray that accompanies most falls,(in fact with all water sources that fall as far as yours appears to fall) around the world? What planning program are you using, I would like to generate my ideas on such a program.

    Good Luck,

  14. Tim Morlok says:

    Dave C. It sound as if you are using insolated frogs on your turnouts. This causes an open circuit on the whole layout when the point moves away from the stock rail because the power now has no continuous path back to the power supply. You can test this by placing a jumper wire between the out side rail of the siding and the same rail on the main line beyond the frog. If this solves the problem of power, then yes you need to power the inside rail of the siding and permanently wire the jumper in place under the track near the frog. If you want to have the siding isolated from the main line you will need to gap the stock rail beyond the jumper and power both rails of the siding through a double throw on – off switch. I hope this helps. Tim

  15. tracy penman says:

    I like what you have done. I don’t switch much myself, I just like to watch trains run.. Your mountains look great. I guess you have all ready decided but get a painted backdrop for your layout. I would paint mountains 6 to 12 inches taller than your mountains (15-30 cm). If I was doing your layout, I would move the mainline back and add in a couple of farms or a small town just to add variety. Cattle or sheep loading place or a small town with some type of industry~ wood or something else from the area you are modeling. Historic places would be a great addition. Then you can show people about places that actually existed and share the story behind it. Well, there is my 2 cents~LOL

  16. Howie weiss says:

    Nice layout I would like to know what scale, I assume ho

  17. paul Otway says:

    Hi I like the plan mate, Here is asuggestion how about the line joining the main line having an interchange yard, and make the junction a meeting between 2 companies.?

    Paul from QLD 4670 Australia

  18. Chris Hughes says:

    It does not appear to say but I trust Steve P’s layout proposal is for N-gauge if he intends to use 11.5 inch radius curves.

  19. Daern Parseghian says:

    hello.. nice layout..have you thought about “Criss Cross” intersections..i have a small 5×4 ft layout ..Its nice having 2 main lines run continuos with no Reverse loops..I have three of them ,,all different degrees..two of them are inside [hidden] check out my layout on Utube..”N Scale Bachmann Set Part 1″..or part 2..I know Train intersections are uncommon and do not look realistic..[thats why i hide them when i can]..But it is a QUICK way to turn a train around and use the main line it came in on without watching a turnout…hope this opens some ideas..maybe my video can help you out..Good Luck

  20. Grant says:

    HI Steve.
    What is the program you are using to make your 3D image?


  21. John Ortis says:

    The rocks look like apple pie filling. They need to be made a different color. John O

  22. Wayne McClelland says:

    The fella with the track power going when he changes points? sounds as if you have ‘Frog’ problems are you using Isul-frog or Electro-frog?

    Wayne Mc
    Downunder Kiwi

  23. For Steve, I do not know why you are going to all the effort of a helix and a hidden underpass for this layout. this is a lot of work, when you could have a flat layout , with the return track either visible or hidden behind the backdrop. Building a helix, and all that “underworld” seems like a waste of time, and frightfully time-consuming and expensive.. I’d try to maximise the visible, and minimise the secret stuff (coz it’s boring) .

    For Mike, I grew up in Lismore, and rode the train between Lismore and Casino, and Lismore and Byron Bay many times in the 1960s and 1970s, when the line was in its heyday.. It was characterised by green hills and farmlands, tiny railway stations like Bexhill and Clunes (among others) and lots of curves to negotiate the hilly terrain. Small wooden bridges, road overbridges, lush sub-tropical foliage, and lots of fieldstone fences. Not forgetting the licenced bar at the Byron Bay station ( now called “The Rails” pub!) . And here’s where I hesitate to say it, because I don’t like to put anyone down who’s having a go, but.. Sorry mate – you haven’t captured any of that – just the twin Iguazu falls and a raging river reminiscent of the Colorado in flood. and some very tight, and unnecessary, bends. Suggest you go up to MInyon Falls and see what a NSW North Coast waterfall really looks like.

    For you Mike, keep at it – it’s all about having fun and learning as you go.

    For everyone, here is a perfect example of why Al’s website and offerings are so valuable. It’s too easy to go it alone and make basic errors, which will impact the way your trains operate, and how realistic they are (if your thing is modelling the real world). And yes, it’s very hard to get it right first time, and even tougher to produce scenery which approaches reality! If you want to do that, rather than just do a layout that you can enjoy without needing to be realistic in every respect, take the time to go to the area you are trying to model, and get a feel for the special qualities of that landscape and scene, then try to capture the essence of that! Not easy!

  24. Gregory Schaefer says:

    Nice pictures Steve. I was wondering about the brick building in the first pic is? It also shows up again in the pic with the John Deere tractors. Was it a kit or did you scratchbuild it? It would look right at home in Chicago. Thanks.

  25. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Mizzi……are those twin waterfalls a model of a real place? Great job with the scenery.

    Steve Perlman…… Love the detail on your existing layout. What software did you use to create the plan for your second layout?

    Dave C….. I had same problem. Tim Morlok hit the nail on the head with his explanation. You need to provide electrical power to the sections of track and the frogs.

  26. Robert Brady says:

    To MIKE; I would remodel the two twin towers in to one and one wider water fall.Good effort though but they look like two pairs of boots over flowing.
    The Critic

  27. Robert Brady says:

    Also to Mike; Take up the road bed the radius is much too tight the wheel flanges will jump right off the track.Besides the only track that will match that curve would be Flex track,maybe.if ur running steam engines it’ll will derail every time.
    The Critic

  28. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Steve. Like the look of your new layout design. The trick of placing the station and fiddle yard on a curve really adds to the design. Look forward to seeing the progress pictures. well done.

    Mike. I assume you have more of a backdrop to place behind your twin falls which will blend them together and into the layout. An alternative would be to add a 3rd set of falls in the middle leaving the originals in place. I think the Victoria falls are similar with multiple drops.

  29. Erick says:

    Pretty neat.!!!!

  30. Philip Pridmore says:

    To Steve,
    Keep up the good work. These are only suggestions that are posted. It’s you layout to your rules and you will work out any problems as you go along. To Al, please keep going. I read your blog every morning.
    From Phil, a true English man living in Ohio.

  31. TJK says:

    Interesting commentary with this mornings posts.

  32. Tom Provo says:

    I like it a lot and with the addition you are planning I’m envious of the fun you will have.

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