00 Gauge Layouts From Planning To Construction Stage
00 gauge layouts are arguably the most popular scaled layouts in the UK. This is mainly because of the manufactures Hornby and Bachmann provide a big range of ready-to-run stock and starter sets for people to enjoy. Also, 00 originally came from HO but changed because the large propulsion mechanisms in HO scale models would not fit into the small British prototypes, so the scale was changed without altering the gauge. 00 gauge is similar, but not exactly the same size as HO scale. This has caused some complications with modeling, but 00 gauge is still preferred in the UK.
Considerations for your 00 gauge layout:
• Who is the layout going to be designed for? If the layout is going to be designed for your children’s enjoyment then you can pay less attention to detail and more to just the fun of the layout. Think about what children like. Normally they bridges, tunnels, roads running along the track too. The more realistic it is the more fun they will probably have. Your children can be a great judge of whether your layout is good or not.
• If the layout is more designed for adults then you will want more functionality and realism. Paying attention to detail is more important for adults. Really consider which audience your 00 gauge layout will be for, because that determines the amount of features you include and the size of the track.
• If you are going to include a Station, then its size and position will be important. Your station is likely to be one of the focal points of your model, if not the only focal point, so consider your station wisely. After you know the size and style of your station, consider where exactly you want to place it within your layout. Think about whether you are going to include siding or a roadhouse where trains can be rested or serviced. After you have worked out the positioning then you can begin your track at a central place and also know where you need to finish.
• Your train and cars somewhat dependent on the size of your station. This depends on if you are a serious modeler. Most trains need to be within the boundaries of you station or yards, otherwise you have train sticking out awkwardly. However important this may be, it is still a matter of opinion.
• The track that you build and the amount of turns you incorporate will dictate how many trains you can operate. Normally with 00 gauge layouts the more ovals you have the more trains you will be able to fit and run simultaneously. Incorporating turnouts and turntables is also key to the amount of locomotives you will have on your track so that you can switch them between tracks. Have a look at some 00 gauge track plans and carefully consider the various 00 track configuration options as that will affect the space used and the operation of your trains.
Laying your layout track:
• The process of laying your track is actually a very simple one compared to the wiring of the track. Take your ties and railing and nail them into the board that you have chosen with track pins. It is recommended that you lay an entire oval of track before you pin it all in. This is so that you won’t be frustrated when you get halfway done and it doesn’t line up the way you wanted. As you begin to pin the track down, don’t pin it on every tie at first. Skip to every other tie or more than that, this way you can stabilize the track in the board and then come back when you it aligned well enough and finish pinning it in.
Maintaining your 00 gauge layout:
Like any layout, it is important that you keep your 00 gauge layout well-maintained. This means that you clean it often so that you won’t have any weathering that could disrupt the electricity because the wiring and the rails. You spent a lot of time on your 00 gauge layout, so don’t let it go to waste by not cleaning it. Some regular maintenance can save you a lot of time and frustration, especially with derailments.
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Robert Anderson is the author of Model Railroad Scenery & Layout Construction Ideas.