Design Considerations

I’ve been thinking about how to start the design. Watching Youtube videos from railroad modellers and doing lots of reading I think the following are the major categories that need to be considered.

Of course, having the space defined and then the track plan are required, but they will be handled in another post.

  1. Benchwork: Any construction requires a solid foundation, for a model railroad, this is benchwork.
  2. Sub-roadbed: The materials on which the track and other visible components of the layout are constructed. This is typically some form of plywood or wooden base with possibly styrofoam or other moldable/cuttable material on top for sound suppression and modeling purposes. Usually includes a layer of cork or other material as the top level on which the track is glued.
  3. Track and railroad structures: The rails, ties, and ballast on which the locomotives and trains run. Railroad structures include signals, over-head equipment for electric locomotives, signal boxes, etc.
  4. Scenery: The components that make the layout look like the prototype. Includes mountains, backdrop, roads, rivers, grass trees, etc.
  5. Structures: This is the buildings making up the environment of the railroad. Also includes industries that form the purpose of the railroad, i.e., what does the railroad do.
  6. Rolling stock: the locomotive, passenger cars, freight wagons.
  7. Control equipment: For a DCC railroad, this section concerns the control system, command center, boosters, wiring, etc.
  8. Miscellaneous: Included here are items not directly related to the functioning of the railroad itself but additional items that enhance the enjoyment or the use of the layout. Included here would be webcams, both moving and stationary.

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