You are here:

Model Railroads/HO layout with size restrictions?


Hello John,   I have limited space to set up an HO train platform. Can I get a decent layout with a platform that is 3'-6" wide by 5'-10" long?  I originally had a 4'x 8' platform but due to space restrictions I need to scale down to the smaller size noted.  Can you make any suggestions?  Thank you.

Hi Steve,
Funny thing, I'm working on a client's layout within that size range in HO Scale. The layout is 42" X 66". Very close to your layout footprint.
My only concerns is your limited footprint for track radius. Providing your freight cars do not exceed 40' length and using four axle diesels;
your fine with tight radius track. That entails a mix of 15", 18" and 22" easements. I would go with Atlas code 100 track and use Peco code
100 short length turnouts. Limit your industries to a handful (2 or 3 max.) Leave room to hide some of your track. It makes the layout appear to be larger. Good luck with your project

John Schaub

Model Railroads

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John Schaub


I can answer the following questions: Almost anything about the hobby, except complex electrical questions. Anything about table construction, model kit building, layout scenery, weathering and painting, adding lighting to structures and scenery. I cannot answer questions about the value or appraisal of an item through an e-mail question. The only true method to valuation is having the item in front of me. I will not answer any questions about complex wiring for signals, DCC, or switch motor installations.


Model railroader since childhood. And that's quite a few years ago. My experience includes: Planning, Design, Benchwork Construction, Trackwork, Conceptualizing the placement of the basic scenic shell and future structure placement. Developing a "vision" of what the layout' them will be. Historical research. Model builder. Painter, Detailer and Weathering. Scenery Artisan, Model train room decorator. Freight car builder. Engine detailer. Turned my passion for model railroading to a full time career in 1998. I now design, build and construct model railroads. Focusing my skills on planning and design, model kit building services, scenery and structure installations, painting, weathering and detailing.

Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Rutland Railway Association.

Classic Toy Trains, January 2013

Self-taught Model Railroader turned professional consultant New York Institute of Technology, Communication Arts Degree C.W. Post College, Computer Graphics-Desktop Publishing Certificate Program Molloy College, MacIntosh Computer Studies-Certificate Program

Past/Present Clients
Sorry, I can not reveal their names. I will tell you that my clients range from 5 year olds to 75 year olds. My layout commissions are in private homes, hobby shops, hotel lobbies, libraries, museums and historical societies.

©2017 All rights reserved.