Designing the layout

So if you have followed along you read the first post for this blog Starting a New Hobby. In it I documented the genesis of my new railroad, which is purchasing the engine, track, controller and some train cars. When assembled it all looks like this.

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It is a tad too one-dimensional for me. I mean if you go on Pinterest you will see tons of fabulous layouts like these:

 

Yes, I am a beginner to the hobby, but an engineer can dream can’t he? I have given it a lot of thought and decided I definitely want at least one tunnel. As I poked around You Tube I found several How To videos for building tunnels, mountains and hills. I also found some tunnel portal forms that are made to look like stone made portals. I purchased two, one for the entrance and exit.

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These come from Woodland Scenics and when you receive them they are simple white ceramic molds. The idea for doing this came from the next photo. What I did not realize was that the retaining wall pieces were another purchase.

tunnel1

So then I got to thinking about making a retaining wall that would extend down one side of my layout where I intend to have some cliffs beside the track. I am looking at an area of about ten feet. The retaining Wall products I saw in the HO Scale are priced around $12.50 +$7.99 Shipping. If I have to try to buy 4 we are talking about $80. Yes this hobby CAN be expensive, but I thought there had to be an alternative.

So I went looking again and found retaining wall molds on sale on the internet. I figured if I could find a mold I could make my own and save some money. I found these to give me a start. I also found a How To video for building your own retaining wall and might just explore that avenue.

As I began to think about how I wanted my tunnel to look I came across this, a pre-built tunnel form.

Tunnel2

I like the idea of scenery above, but think I want to make a farm or a neighborhood above mine. So with all of this in mind I got a yard stick and began making measurements and writing ideas on my plywood base.

 

Coming away from the tunnel on the back side I decided I wanted a cliff going a few feet toward the opposite end.

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The middle of the layout is still up for grabs. Since I don’t have any turnouts I cannot get out of the oval right now. That is more planning I will need to consider.

I invite you to come back to check out the progress.

 

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