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im trouble planning my ho layout the room is 16 ft by 11ft. One wall has a closet and the entrance it on the 16ft side. the closet has lever doors and take 4ft of space. from the wall to the closet is 5ft 8inchs of space. I have a bad back so i have trouble with a duck unders I want to make a the layout a so i can leave it on and run but dont have the space to do 22 degree curves to double back to 3 foot wide layout away from the wall. was thinking of useing double mains so i wont need to worry with a reverser. im using dcc. so any ideals i am stumped. heres a few pics of the space.


Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
im trouble planning my ho layout the room is 16 ft by 11ft.
First, does the closet have to remain a closet? That is could you take off the doors and just make it an alcove to the room? That is make the closet part of the layout.

Is the door to the room on the same long wall as the closet and there are three windows, or are there only two windows and the door to the room is opposite the closet?

Oh, and I presume you mean 22" radius curves and that you are planning on working in HO scale.
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both doors are on the same wall with a little over a 2 ft space between them. theres a window on ever wall not going to be a issue they are up higher enough i can work under them. we rent so my bench will need to be moduler so when and if we move i can roll them out out the door to the next house. the closet door can be removed be a major job to do it. my wife thinks i should put my work bench in the closet but im not cofortable with that. plus there are no plugs close to the closet for power to a light or power tools. so i need to place that as well.


I'm actually just planning on starting a 'modular' HO layout that may have some applicability to what you are doing. I've decided to start with modules 32" x 48" that way I get 3 surfaces cleanly out of a 4x8 sheet of plywood. I may make 48"x48" corner modules to allow for 22" radius corners of the dogbone. Still working on the details of the track plan (first module will be primarily a switching yard) I'll probably run double track along the front edge and at least one main along the back edge.

I would suggest taking the doors off the closet and storing them. It looks like there is an outlet beside the closet door you could run a power strip from there to the workbench in the closet area. In my garage I have a 25' heavy extension cord with a couple outlets built in at the middle and the end. You could run that from the outlet and have power at each end of the closet

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
the closet door can be removed be a major job to do it. my wife thinks i should put my work bench in the closet but im not cofortable with that.
Ok, I was thinking a stub end yard could be put into there as the orange lines in the picture. But will probably not work if it is a major job. Our folding closet doors take about 20 seconds to remove.

Here was my first thought of a general location. This is with 22" radius. Seems the big decision would be the upper right and how much of the closet one wants to overlap, and how much of a reach/crawl under to that particular back corner. The more the closet is overlapped the less distance can be created to the upper right corner (grey or red track). The less overlap the more difficult to reach back corner (yellow or pink). Plus the whole thing would have to be adjusted to allow for the eventual easy sectionalization.
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new guy

Active Member
Looking good. There is a table design in this months Model Railroader mag that looks adaptable to your needs. Just change the size a bit and allow for semi-disassembly, BAZINGA, there are your modular sections!


Well-Known Member
I don't care for duck-unders any longer myself, so my next one will be around the wall with a peninsula,...removable or fold-down bridge for entry.

Here is a pretty simple track plan I had sitting in my files:

I plan on doing a very similar size layout, but more involved,...will start subject thread soon.


Stuck in the 1930's
John Armstrong's book is still the best tool for your track planning. "Track Planning for realistic Operation". The book is very good, with lots of info and ways to design the layout. So good and full of info I suggest reading it through 2-3 times.
Thanks for the input. As for the closet its the hardware is built into the frame and the door don't just sit in the track to open and close its in rollers formed into the door real heavy duty never seen the like and I use to build houses. Iron horseman your plan and mine thoughts are very close. I was also looking at the reach issue what's gave me pause. I may takes some points. Like use the red line or I thought I may cross over in the middle of the room and put a small lift out or door to get in the middle. That way I can have a area with single track and sideing and a double track area that nots as large. The bench work will be no larger than 28" by 4 ft to be able to get out the door and down the halls. The bench works easy the track plan and wiring is hard.


Well-Known Member
Here is another option for supporting 'around-the-wall' layout without relying on much wall support.


  • custom benchwork.jpg
    custom benchwork.jpg
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