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HO Scale Train Layout Plans

HO scale train layout plans are a favorite choice for model train enthusiasts because of its large selection of layouts, structures and rolling stock. When choosing a model train layout plan, there’s two variables that matter most.

The first one is the amount of space that’s available to construct your layout and second is the level of detail that you desire. HO layout plans are a wonderful middle ground scale between larger and smaller scales, and it allows you to fit a solid layout into a somewhat sized space.

Here’s top 5 HO scale train layouts plans for model train beginners and intermediates including the dimensions and area required for the benchwork that provide easy access to your model train layout from hard to reach spots.

If interested on building your first layout, view this complimentary copy of The Ultimate Guide for Model Train Beginners.

Marklin HO Scale Reverse Loop

Scale:HO (1/87)
Dimen­sions:295cm x 120cm; 116″ x 47″; 9.7′ x 3.9′
Area:3.54m2; 4.23yd2

courtesy of https://www.scarm.info/layouts/track_plans.php?ltp=191

This HO scale layout plan consists of a reverse loop layout track plan with double oval line tracks. Along side of the two reverse loops is a train station near the front of the layout and a small train yard in the back. It uses a C-track, which is excellent for both passenger and freight trains plus has ability for shunting and switching traffic types. 

You’ll also notice that all of the R2 tracks in the HO scale reverse loop wiring match the minimum radius of 360mm and turn-out angles of 24.3°. This allows for a high degree of maneuverability and adds more enjoyment to the overall layout plan.

Also, the easements at the outset of curves, i.e., the starting track piece have a wider radius (R2) than the “primary” curve, which is one of the advantages of this HO scale reverse loop. It will help you slightly enhance the appearance of a train entering and exiting curves.

HO Scale Tiny Layout

Scale:HO (1/87)

courtesy of http://www.cke1st.com/m_train2.htm

This HO scale train layout plan is 36″x78″ foot and can be built on a hollow-core door. Hollow-core doors can be found at your local hardware store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. The table for the layout is 48″x48″ and does not require a substantial size benchwork.  

In terms of details, this HO scale tiny train layout features chemical works and a team track at the front. It uses a Pikestuff’s Milton A. Corporation kit that includes some tanks and piping. The backside of this HO scale track layout plan features a bridge over a stream that can be utilized as a nice country scene depending on the HO scale scenery that you choose.

Although the layout plan is on the smaller side, it still has the potential to incorporate several different prototypes such as the Skaneateles Short Line.

Marklin HO 4×8 Layout

Scale:HO (1/87)
Dimen­sions:274cm x 122cm; 108″ x 48″; 9′ x 4′
Area:3.34m2; 4yd2

courtesy of https://www.scarm.info/layouts/track_plans.php?ltp=52

This 4’×8′ HO scale train layout plan is a medium-sized experimental layout designed with C-track system. It contains a turntable with a small 3-stall roundhouse, yard with storage and cargo areas, and main oval with a small train station in front.

The 4’×8′ HO train layout also has a short cross line that runs to the yard from the station and another cross line that passes around the roundhouse before going over a bridge and across the yard in this .

In addition, the upgraded version of this layout is also available to you. It duplicates the original track design but removes the left side tunnels, adds some scenery, and extends the right side to make room for the right tunnel.

4′ x 12′ HO Scale Model Railroad Layout

Scale:HO (1/87)
Dimen­sions:4′ x 12′
Area:6′ x 14′

courtesy of https://www.jamesmodeltrains.com

This 4’×12′ HO scale train layout plan is a medium-sized railroad layout plan that’s intended for both changeover and continuous operations. Its dimensions are 6′ x 14′, which allows for plenty of room for adding exquisite scenery and model train buildings.

It’s important that the layout is placed in a decent size room that allows for you to access it from all four sides. If not, you may have issues reaching the back of the layout.

Given the substantially larger size of the layout, it offers you with the ability to add a prototype dimensions of a 1000-foot rail, a shipyard, a coal mine, and a full-scale intermodal yard on it.

You can also add a gritty industrial changeover scenario on one side of the 4’x12′ layout plan and highland scenery on the other side with a massive trestle, waterfalls, or anything else.

Large HO Scale Train Layout Plan

Scale:HO (1/87)
Dimen­sions:5/16″ = 1′-0′, 24″ grid
Area:11 x 22 feet
courtesy of https://www.trains.com/mrr/how-to/track-plan-database/ho-scale-union-pacific-daneburg-subdivison/

The Union Pacific Daneburg Subdivison is one of the best prototype HO scale train layout plans and features a mainline that extends 60 feet that doesn’t include the staging line.

The prototype version of the layout plan uses Flextrack with spurs, sidings, and main lines and scenery using an extruded-foam insulation board. It also features two people standing facing a green river, a cow pasture, a cornfield, an abandoned barn, and a lift gate at the corner.

The backside of the layout features a safety Kleen, a grain elevator, Railroad Street, a quick plus railroad café, a hair parlor right behind the Daneburg subdivision, the main street just behind a garage for lease, a pawn shop, the locust street featuring an eye care center and Yany insurance company, as you will notice for yourself.

Furthermore, the HO scale railroad layout plan also has five standard straight sections and three non-standard corner sections.

We just reviewed a variety of different sized HO scale train layout plans including a Marklin reverse loop, 4′ x 12′ layout and tiny HO scale.

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