FAQ

How big an area does the layout use?

The space that the layout uses is half of the basement, 9m x 4m (29' by 13') plus a small area where some hidden tracks run behind the chimney foundation in the middle of the basement. That is 36 square meters (377 sq.ft.) which includes a walkway within the area.

What scale is this?

The scale of the layout is HO which is 1:87. The rails are 16.5mm (0.65") apart.

How much track do you have?

There is about 210 meters (688') of track.

How long are your trains?

The longest train that can be marshalled in the hidden staging area is 7.37m (24')
The longest train I have at present is 5.9m (19') long.
Most are about 2m (6'6") long. S-Bahn trains are 1.5m (5')  and 1.7m (5'5") long.
The main station tracks vary in length from 1.9m (6') to 2.4m (almost 8').
S-Bahn station tracks have an average length of 2.2m (7')

What is the track plan?

Here is the topological map of the layout.  This shows how the tracks are connected . In addition, the tracks that end at points marked 'A' are connected at that point. Apart from the red text, this is how it is displayed in my layout control software without any trains and UI controls for running the layout.

The lengths of the tracks in the diagram are not representative of their actual length, nor are their physical spatial relationships always true. For example, the underground S-Bahn station is actually underneath the main station.
Tracks where trains may stop have names displayed in small black text.
Tracks that are in hidden areas are displayed with dotted lines.
Red and green lines indicate current turnout settings.
Signals in hidden areas are virtual signals and are defined so that signals are visible when manually controlling trains from a browser. They can also influence distant signals which are visible.


What software are you using?

I wrote my own control software using Visual Basic 6. The arrival departure signs use my RemoteSign software which you can also download and use.

What controller do you use?

I use an Intellibox which is connected to a PC via a serial cable. The software also acts as an http server allowing the layout to be controlled from browsers on mobile devices.

How long did it take to build?

I started in 2013 but brought three pieces from my previous layout (engine yard, farm, winery hill) and built them into this layout.

When will it be finished?

Never.

Where do you buy your equipment?

In the 1980s I bought a few second hand train sets and after 1997 I bought more on eBay.
My main supplier for new items has been direct from Germany via lokshop.de