show me your 2x4 layouts!

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by theskunk, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. theskunk

    theskunk TrainBoard Member

    Well, i saw a hollow core dore request, and figured i'd follow up with this one. In the near future i'm going to request 4x8's as well.

    I'm about to start building a 2x4 layout of my own based on a few other designs and i figured i'd take a look at what everybody else is doing. I know that there are books out there that cover design, but i'm more interested in how others have interpreted, modified, and scenic'd their layouts. so keep 'em coming and maybe we can out do the current 101 posts of the hollow core door layouts ;)

    I see and hear of people begging for 2x4 ideas all the way through, and mikes track plans page is great, but for those wanting a 'layout tour' of sorts, i think showing an actual working plan, or constructions phases may be better off.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2008
  2. Will Ayerst

    Will Ayerst TrainBoard Member

    Here's my idea - just knocked it up!


    Roughly based on the layout of Etter Meat Packing plant in Texas. Randomly order half a dozen cars on the spur leading to the mainline, with the switcher loco at the tip (since there's no runaround). I have put cars on the spots on the layout to show an example of how they'd end up.

    Boxcars go to the hide loading or package unloading. Stock cars go to the cattle unloading, reefers go to the meat loading and coal goes to the powerplant in the top corner.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2008
  3. cuyama

    cuyama TrainBoard Member

    I assume you are looking for N scale:

    Here are three variations on the theme of a shops area.




    These use Walthers kits, some of which has been discontinued but are available now with a new name. You can read the full story of these 2X4 N scale layouts here:
    Ops at the Shops in N
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2009
  4. GregK

    GregK TrainBoard Member

    Here's my layout design:


    I've been working on it off and on for about 2 years now.

    Here's a photo I took tonight:


    Never mind that switcher sitting off the tracks. :)

  5. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I couldn't resist.......I just couldn't..........

    Oh, no problem- I just thought you were taking the concept of "road switcher" to another level for a minute there.......:tb-biggrin:

    Yes, yes, I know..........shaddap Bob...................:tb-rolleyes:

    BTW- nice little plan there. What make of track did you use?
  6. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Supporter

    Oh, you wanted 2x4. Sorry this one is only 2x3...

  7. theskunk

    theskunk TrainBoard Member


    2x4 or not, your plan continues to amaze me, what you've fit in a 2x3 space, passing siding or not has been an inspiration to me. I'm planning on doing something similar to that, only i'm going to take the left over board and make a folding shelf for staging, another industry, etc. You've got a PM requesting the rest of your pictures on that layout.

    Greg, I love that! you've fit so much operation into a seriously small space, withought making it look like a spaghetti bowl -- 6 industries + team track? absolutely awesome.

    Keep them coming guys, i know alot of new modelers are looking at this thread as inspiration (i'm heading to lowes today for benchwork material!)

  8. GregK

    GregK TrainBoard Member

    The industries that are on the right side of the photo of my 2x4 layout are based around the timesaver switching puzzle.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008
  9. BrownBear45

    BrownBear45 TrainBoard Member

    Very nicely done considering the small size of the layout! Good operating potential as well.
  10. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    OK, now these aren't 2x4 either; they're actually a lot smaller. The Hickory Valley was in the August 86 MR; track plan is there. It's only 18 x 36", and is a hidden loop-to-loop with a 4% grade. Basic theme is a sawmill with a log dump, a lumber loading spur, a company store spur, shop tracks, and a storage track. All based on prototype, scratchbuilt structures:


    The lower loop has a staging track, as well, that doubles as an off-layout interchange

    Now, I've designed and built (through roadbed, at least) the stand-alone / companion "Ross Run" module, which attaches to the HVRR and achieves a lot of goals:

    1) It's only 21 x 42 inches, so it fits in the same space
    2) Slightly wider curves 9 3/4 to keep the Atlas Shay happy
    3) Eastern Logging theme from woods to log pond
    4) lots of hidden storage tracks underneath to allow all my logging power to have their own train
    5) a switchback to show off the RH side of a shay climbing uphill
    6) 4% grades max
    7) Works by itself or tied to the existing HV; either way; totally portable.
    8) provides continuous running for the two layouts tied together (nice for shows)
    9) provides a link to the next module in the series; the West Hickory bridge over the Allegheny River and the interchange with the PRR - but off the lower level from the original HV so everything is in sequence.

    See why it took so long to design???? Getting all that in took some work! It looks like a bowl of spaghetti but most of that track is hidden under the scenery.


    That doesn't include the storage yard underneath though. Remember I'm working with single small steam and 4-5 25' log cars on this.


    There's a bunch of wierd features. The width difference lets me put the tail track for the upper switchback BEHIND the existing HVRR layout, mounted on the back of the backdrop. The upper level connects at the log pond, the lower level at the hidden spur, and the lower level track 'off' in the center leads to the next module....someday.

    Yeah, I'm nuts.
  11. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Trotting out the old layout

    Sorry to those who have seen this way too many times.

    An old layout. 2x4, has a yard - 2 tracks, engine service - 1 track of three track yard. Industrial area. 2 long spurs to serve as staging or other towns for a local or shorty passenger train.

    I think this layout would be perfect as a door layout. I sometimes regret the amount of track I put on my door panel. I think this layout would have served just fine too. although the new door panel layout is an upgraded version of this plan. And of course the original layout is a variation of a track plan that was published in Mr's Student fair back in the seventies.

    It seems like most people opt for 2x4 because materials come pre cut to 2x4 size. I always advise people to consider other sizes. 2x4.5 or better yet 2.5x3.5 is good too. I only say this because I found my 2x4 had tracks so close to the edge that it always risked disaster as well and limiting radius and structure placement.
  12. theskunk

    theskunk TrainBoard Member

    Well, after a few months i've finally got track work down, and even a few trees/scenery started! A little bit is left, but here's the main track plan:


    and here's where I'm at right now:


    Forgive the horrid lighting and that the track plan doesn't exactly match what i did... but then again, they rarely do...
  13. theskunk

    theskunk TrainBoard Member

    Made a pretty major change that reflects one of the plans from 'mikes small track plans' but i absolutely love the change. Only problem right now is that the layout is not level, so the upper tracks will currently not hold cars unless i de-rail the first car intentionally.

    The 'fresh painted area' toward the 'back side' as i'm calling it actually takes the inner loop up a 4% grade to get to where it can cross the passing and main along the front.

    For industries, i plan to have a team track of sorts along with the freight terminal at the front. Cement facility where the dual tracks are, complete with covered hoppers a-plenty, and a oil dealership to the left.

    Any comments are welcome!

    Attached Files:

  14. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Looks great!
    Just some thoughts on the sloped spur:
    You could:

    • Put a "bumper" with a coupler at the end
    • Push a "T Pin" / push pin / tack to hold em
    • have a weighted cross beam of some sort you could drop in place
    • Um, er, tilt up one end of the layout. :)
  15. theskunk

    theskunk TrainBoard Member

    I'm actually looking at the 'tilt up' method right now... not sure how it will affect the rest of the layout though... We'll find out later tonight!
  16. shay6

    shay6 TrainBoard Member

    another sub 2x4

    This is from two houses and two apartments some point it didn't make the move, but if I remember correctly it weighed in at 2x3.5ish.


    The thing I liked best about it was the RC race car striping material for the road lines.

    I'm glad this thread gave me another chance to see Kenneth Anthony's airship layout. I always thought that one was cool!

  17. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Supporter

    This is from one-side of a 2x4 layout I built in about 1974 or 75, representing an exporg grain elevator and a view of the port of Corpus Christi. The scene is 12 inches deep with a different scene on the other side representing a farm town where the port RR interchanges with a trunkline.
    An elevator spur in the port scene, and a switchback to a dockside loading area. On the other side, a trunkline interchange track and a local industry spur. Entire layout had all of 4 turnouts-- manual of course. But 2 complete scenes, way to run from one place to an actual modeled other place. Traffic... etc. In 2x4.

    This one was 3" wider than 2x4, but 14 inches shorter. A 27" x 34" layout of a slice of West Berlin around 1970. Double track mainline for appearance only-- inner loop was too tight radius and too close clearance to operate. And double track elevated S-bahn line crossing the entire scene diagonally. But not operating.

    30" x 40" twice-around "idiot running" display layout with no turnouts, with a vaguely southwestern theme. Built in 10 days.

    My first N-scale layout, built in 1969 after a trip to Colorado. Built as a Christmas present for a kid. 2' x 4' and a foot high, with hardshell plaster mountains and my first attempt at zip texturing.
  18. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

    Awesome guys! I was considering a door for my son's N layout but I have a bunch of 2x4 insulation board from my old layout...hmmm maybe his empire just got more compact :D
  19. RatonMan

    RatonMan TrainBoard Member

    Model Railroader, starting in December 1970, built a 2X4' coffee table, which I believe I have the plans for. Anyone interested? PM me.
  20. pilotdude

    pilotdude TrainBoard Member

    Here is a 2 x 4 I have been working on. A mine will serve an industry in the valley and a passenger station will serve the mine and off layout cities with the tunnel simulating a trip beyond the layout. A stream/river crosses diagonally through the center of the layout. All track is Unitrack. If I had to do it over I'd add a couple inches on each side to prevent rail spillage from reaching the floor. I will add something to address that as I finish it up.



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