Case Study - Track Plan

The 6.2.1 Track Plan

On the face of it, the 6.2.1’s track plan is very simple:

It is merely a simple oval, but with the addition of a station track (with passing siding) and two sidings for industries (upper left and lower right). The “gravel pit” uses an older Kibri kit, one that is currently not available; however, it turned up on eBay at a reasonable price.

The 6.2.1 uses the very sharp 8510 curve, again pointing to the need for this railroad to use small equipment. Larger locomotives and cars would look silly going around this sharp a curve.

 As designed, the 6.2.1 uses an 8940 semaphore to control a track segment at the station. In practice, however, the 6.2.1 needs an additional controlled track segment so that two locomotives can be on the railroad at the same time; while one is stopped in a controlled siding, the other can be operated and vice-versa.

I suppose that a third control segment could be added at the gravel pit, but I think that a third locomotive would be too much for this very small railroad.

The 6.2.1 is meant to be viewed from one side of the railroad, the same view as the perspective view used to illustrate the railroad in the 0294 book. That said, I have always tried to avoid having long stretches of straight track running parallel to the edge of the layout.  A long stretch of track running parallel to the edge of the layout causes the viewer to look at not only the train running on that track, but also to look at the edge of the railroad and its relation to the rest of the outside world. This causes the viewer to realize that they are looking at a model train, destroying the visual impact of the layout.

By slightly twisting the railroad on its support platform, the viewer’s eye remains on the train rather than the entire environment. The 6.2.1 has just such a long straight track segment:

In this particular case, I chose to leave this stretch of track parallel to the layout edge because I wanted to retain the general perspective view of the railroad as shown in the 6.2.1.  Note that in the perspective view, trees and other scenery elements are used to conceal this long tangent:

The other important scenery element is the tunnel at the back of the railroad. This tunnel shows that this little village is connected to the outside world.  Trains come into the scene from one tunnel and exit the scene at the other tunnel.  The fact that the train will soon come out again is not “noticed” by the viewer.  This short tunnel segment breaks up the train action just long enough that people don’t really care that the train is chasing its tail because it doesn’t look like that.

In short, with clever placement of scenery elements, the tiny 6.2.1 railroad gets much bigger.

[Home] [Guide to Z-Scale] [History of Z-Scale] [Structures] [Planning] [Track] [Electrical] [Building a Layout] [Scenery] [Maintenance] [Narrow Gauge] [Catalogs] [Some Final Words] [Time Flies] [Sources & Credits] [Model Railroads] [Proto Railroads] [Collecting] [Miscellany] [Links]