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Active Member
Here is my present 4X8. Powered by NCE DCC. I used Atlas code 83 track along with 16 Atlas snap switches. 14 of which are 18"radius ( I think they are Atlas 540 and 541). The two turnouts on either end of the mainline outside oval are Atlas 22" curved snap switches. All turnouts are remote. Despite what I read before construction, I did install a number of feeder wires around the many turnouts. The bench work is on casters for mobility. Don't ask it a compromise with the wife.


I would like to expand by building a 2' by 7' separate bench work addition on casters (see compromise above) and attach it to the spur on the bottom right. Here is a close up of the spur I want to extend onto the new section. The plan is to move the NCE control holder and power pack powering the turnouts to the left along with the turnout control panel to leave 24 " from the outside edge of the current 4 X 8. The 2 X 7 addition would then attach on the bottom right with the outside edge lining up with the outside edge of the current 4 X 8. The 2' edge would attach to the current 4 X 8. The 7' length would extend towards the camera in these photos. I want the expansion to be mostly yard with possibly one industry. I am looking at the Walther's saw mill kit to compliment the lumber yard on the right side of the original 4 X 8.

200Expansion spur.jpg

The questions I have regarding the proposed expansion are:

1. 7' overall length is going to mean the yard will have to be "stub end" type. Does anyone have a good track plan for this type of yard? I will need a run around and AD tracks since the locomotive will have to pull straight in and out of the addition...I do not see where there will be the room for a loop on the addition. Which means one yard lead ( the spur at the bottom right) for in and out bound to the yard.

2. Turnouts and power: I am wanting to avoid having to install a number of feeder wires to the BUS to power all of the many tracks in the yard. I am thinking of using Walther's code 83 turnouts that are built for DCC power. Eliminating the need for all of the feeder wires. At some point I am going to want to install some type of switch machines and make them remote. But for now, I am fine with ground throws. Any thoughts on this? Would I be better off cost wise using Atlas remote snap switches on the addition even though I would need to run a number of feeders down to the BUS. I know that installing Walther's turnouts would lead to more expense when adding switch machines later.

Any thoughts...suggestions....and advice are greatly appreciated.


Well-Known Member
Some of the Atlas books have yard design diagrams. As I'm currently DC, I have no idea which manufacturer's switches to get. How about replacing the current switch you're using for what will be the future yard lead, with a 3 way swtich. Looks like you have some room between the layout edge, and the current track. As for A/D track, and being able to get the loco out, how about some #4 cross overs with about 18" from the far end of the table? I think in 7' you're yard will have to be single ended.


In a relatively short length yard, I would consider using a switcher to pull cars instead of a run around. Plus it's an excuse to get another​ locomotive. I recommend using #4 turnouts.
Your yard will basically be a staging yard anyway. Remember that a few longer tracks are more useful than many short tracks.

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