Lost in the Woods Switching Layout

Sir Robbins

Well-Known Member
This is an L shape HO scale switching layout built in modules of 48" x 11.25". A total of 4 modules for this build per the Microsoft Paint Drawing I composed below. This is a rough and will be modified from time to time as things progress or if I change something.

L shaped layout.jpg

The location is "Somewhere in the Woods". The theme is "lost in the woods" relating to my use of old power units from various railroads that will make their appearance including some still in USA by Class A and Class B railroads. Lots of inspiration and use from Pennsylvania and Ohio lines. There will be 3 station areas for freight. Box cars are a heavy emphasis on this layout with a few hoppers. The forestation will compile use of Timber and Snag trees and will mostly resemble an early winter for the season. Some patches of snow, dead trees, dying trees and yellow grass.

I am starting with the bottom right module first. This will be heavy in the landscape department with trees, grass, snow and rocks.
A single box car will occupy the turnout for ground loading by use of a forklift. Pictures to follow next week of the board and beginning phase.
I like it!
If I were to start over I’d do something quite similar.
Two suggestions tho, switch the warehouse and church with each other and maybe give some thought to a double ended siding where the blue and red boxcars are for operations?

An additional thought: put the building where the two cars are on an angle along the track to break away from the layout edge?
Get rid of the church altogether and have another industry there, instead...Where the blue boxcar is, extend that track around to the spur in front of the church and have the double ended siding Rico mentions... Maybe have a small trestle under it on the curve with a small stream, dry river, or dirt road..
It's all rough at the moment and still deciding on that later section of the module. The guy I buy trees from is out of town through the 18th and will likely take about 2 weeks to get me more trees to put on the first section of the layout. I just ordered the foam risers for the track to be elevated 1/2" from the base.
Foam scenery hint:

Don't cut your foam where you want the scenery to be. Trim the foam to be a bout 1/2 inch or more further away from the tracks.

You will be applying plaster, sculptamold, rock casting, foliage, etc. to the face of the embankments. If you cut the foam to where you want the scenery to be, then when you add the scenery it will make it close clearance to the tracks. If you cut the foam back a bit, then after you apply the scenery, you will still have clearance to the tracks.
Nothing but soil and leaves will be where the slants (cuts) are. Trees will only rest on the flat surface of the foam and it will still be cut back more from the tracks than you see now. I hope within 2 weeks to have the hillside formed. I can't get many of my trees until my tree guy comes back from vacation on the 18th so the trees will be awhile.
Better hope a car at the warehouse doesn't need to go anywhere else! wink wink
I've seen some pretty sweet 4x8's, theres a video of one that I can no longer find but it has two levels and signaling and is not crowded.
That was the plan. Simple and easy to extend when I have the space. I do try and plan ahead with additional modules and dimensions to ensure it will work out the way I want it to. It's heavily based on various areas of Pennsylvania. Telford, PA where Penn Northern is based has a basic switching yard I'll be putting on here to go with it
Since the layout is based heavily in Pennsylvania and I have loads of Penn rolling stock and power, my locations will be all around.

Here is a stock photo from Telford, PA for the Pennsylvania Northern Railroad taken by Dan Davis. The yard features a Wye connected to a Right Hand Turnout and a Left Hand Turnout.

Here is roughly what it looks like on one of the modules I'm constructing.
Telford 1b.jpg

Telford 1d.jpg