Evolution of a N Gauge - 3' x 5' Layout for the absolute beginner

Variations on a theme

Hollow Core Door

Another construction method that is gaining popularity is to use a Hollow core interior door. The plan above will fit on a standard door of 32" cut to a length of 64". For a version that uses the full door refer to the advanced plan.

 Kato UniTrack

Here is a version kindly submitted by Geoffrey Dagley.

 I saw the request for a Kato version of the layout on the n_tutorial List. Here is a quick version of the A&PA using the Kato UniTrack I did using Xtrkcad (www.sillub.com). It appears that you can still use 9 3/4" and 11" curves for the passing sidings. I did have to replace the 9 3/4" curves on the Port and Team track with 11", but that shouldn't be a problem and the rest of the layout is the same as the Atlas version. I have not worked with the Unitrack before so I don't know how possible this is, but from using this computer program to draw it up it doesn't look to difficult.


Count | Description

25 | Kato Unitrack 20-000 Straight 9.75 248mm

1 | Kato Unitrack 20-010 Straight 7 5/16 186mm

15 | Kato Unitrack 20-020 Straight 4 7/8 124mm

8 | Kato Unitrack 20-030 Straight 2 1/2 64mm

4 | Kato Unitrack 20-100 Curve 9.75R 249mm 45

8 | Kato Unitrack 20-110 Curve 11R 282mm 45

4 | Kato Unitrack 20-111 Curve 11R 282mm 15

8 | Kato Unitrack 20-160 Curve 19R 481mm 15

11 | Kato Unitrack 20-220 Turnout 4-L

11 | Kato Unitrack 20-221 Turnout 4-R

Above is a picture of the layout using Kato Unitrack (drawn with Xtrkcad) and list of parts needed. You can probably make substitutions for some of the straight pieces. I didn't try to optimize the cost.

Hope this helps.


 Two Variations in HO Scale

Several members of the n_tutorial list requested HO Scale versions of the plan and Mike Malwitz responded to the challenge with the following two plans.


Well here is my attempt at the challenge to draw the tutorial in HO with Right Track.

First is tutorial with Atlas True Track. I selected because True Track is code 83 brown tie mounted in easy (beginner) snap together base. It is Atlas equivalent of Bachman EZ-Track and Kato Unit-Track. (I worked with Atlas True Track when our club built the "St. Paul & Central" at the 1999 National Train Show!)

File ho-tutor83.gif is the tutorial done with Atlas True Track.


Comments: There is some play in the Atlas True Track to get around any alignment issues.

Outer curve is 22' and inner curves are 18'.

The run-around track is the least aligned but is helped by 1 " offset between the two switches.

The Atlas True Track version is about 9 1/2 by 6 feet.

File ho-tutor83.rts is the Right Track file for Atlas True Track version.


Next I used Atlas Custom Line #4 switches and some flex track (in orange).

File ho-tutor-M4.gif is image of this version.

Comments: I like this version better than Atlas Right Track.

It looks allot more like the N-Scale version.

It also is only about 9 by 5 feet.

File ho-tutor-M4.rts is Atlas Right Track.

Mike Malwitz







Copyright © 1999 - 2000 C. A. Roper

Last updated Tuesday, January 25, 2000

No part of this text or plan may be reproduced, in part or whole, other than as an aid to building a layout for your personal use, without the express permission of the author. For information or to give feed back contact caroper@iafrica.com.