Model Railroad Shelf Layout Plans

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Model railroad shelf layout plans are best for those looking for space saving model railroad ideas while still building a layout that is enjoyable and fun to build.

A typical shelf model railroad layout tends to utilize the smaller scale sizes such as N scale and HO scale because it provides most value given the limited space requirements. There’s various track plans that can help you choose a shelf model railroad layout that works best for your individual requirements.

If you are looking for a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a model train layout from start to finish including ideas about space saving layouts, multitude of track plans to get started and 7 bonuses on everything from benchwork, wiring to scenery. Take a look.

N Scale Shelf Model Train Layout

n scale shelf model railroad layout

Here’s a complete view of the model railroad shelf layout plans If you have limited space and still want a decent amount of track for rolling stock this is the best choice. 

The end to end section of the track also switches to the upwards line near the water tower and has enough track for up to three trains at one time. One additional feature that would have been a good addition is a switch signal to make it seem even more realistic.

N Scale Shelf Model Railroad Track Plan

n scale model railroad shelf layout plans

This n scale model railroad shelf layout plan is built around a very popular zig-zag switchback design track plan design called the Gum Stump & Snowshoe from an old popular railroading magazine. The size of the shelf track plan is 7.5 feet by 1 feet or 7.5×1 ft (228×30 cm) and contains an end to end track type with three loops plus a one line for switching.

N Scale Shelf Layout Center View

n scale model railroad shelf layout plans center view

The center view of the n scale shelf layout consists of the barn house scene with farm animals that are surrounded by trees. The trackwork on the above part of the scene shows the switching part of the layout. It also contains the bridge that’s positioned in a realistic position and held up by a detailed mountain ridge style edifice. 

N Scale Shelf Layout Left Side View

n scale shelf layout left side view

The left side of the n scale shelf layout features the depot where the locomotives start their journey. This end of the layout also shows the favorite part of the trains switching from one track to another and then going over the bridge past the farm house. It’s a more pleasing part to view and enjoy. 

N Gauge Shelf Layout

Here’s a perfect example of long the track run can be for a shelf layout. This particular N gauge has enough track to run up to 12 trains as long s the operator is switching the layout track sections on a regular basis.

HO Scale Train Shelf Layout Plans

ho scale shelf layout track plan

This HO scale shelf layout plan has two layers and a total of three tracks. Its dimensions are 17 inch wide and 36 inch long shelf track plan and can easily sit on a shelf without protruding too much outwards. The inner tracks run on the top level and the two outer tracks run on both. This provides about a total of 100′ of total track for the trains to run on.

HO Scale Shelf Layout Turntable View

ho shelf layout with turntable

Sometimes model railroad turntables come in kits from brands such as Walthers or Peco but this one is a basic custom made turntable to easily mode trains to the different tracks. It can fit a variety of trains such as engines, steam locomotives and even diesel engines.

HO Scale Shelf Layout Train View

ho scale shelf layout track plan

This view shows how the shelf layout can push up to three trains. It can easily run two trains on the same track. The intervals are about 60 seconds per loop and easy to switch. It also contains digital sound and represents Austrian mountain range theme.

Here are Free Resources to Help Build Your Model Railroad

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Free Track PlansClick Here
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