Layout Planning in a Small Space

I started doing some layout planning in the APA box.

Basically this is playing with some point (switch) templates, some track and some stock to see what might be possible. Lots of fun 🙂

There’s not a lot of space, the plywood base is roughly 650mm (25.5 inch) long x 300mm (12 inch) wide.

Yet people have created great layouts in these boxes. I am very impressed by Geoff Potter’s ‘Deer Valley Vegetables’ On18 (O-9) layout. Geoff has managed to include an oval of track inside the APA !

(There’s a video of Geoff discussing the layout here, start at 7 minutes 57 seconds for Geoff’s interview.)

To create an oval I reckon I’d need to use 5 inch (127mm) radius curves. That’s sharp – even if it is On18 or O-9.

A quick test showed that short, four wheel wagons fitted with Peco 009 couplings will go round this radius with no problems. I was surprised and impressed !

Next I tried a couple of Kato N gauge chassis. These are the workhorses under many On18 / O9 locos.

The Kato 11-104 and 11-107 chassis negotiated the curves with no problems.

Perhaps, the 11-107 (on the right) will be slightly better because it’s a bogie chassis. This gives less chassis overhang on the tight curves. That may lead to better coupling alignment.

I’m encouraged by these tests.

I think it might be possible to have an oval of track and a shunting puzzle….

One comment

  1. It is surprising just how tight you can go with curves! Certainly opens up possibilities for micro layouts and interesting to see your thoughts Steve. Sounds as though you are wanting both an oval and shunting puzzle which in the size of an APA box is not impossible but the oval will limit your siding layout. For what it is worth you could have both to their full potential in the available space if you separate them on different levels. Whilst the APA box may not have a big foot print it does have a fair night which you could use to advantage with two levels. Would make an interesting micro. Hope that is of use? Woody.

    Liked by 1 person

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