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US Model Railroad Layout in TT Scale

Deutsche Version

Blog article on this layout at Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine

After several visits of the USA, I came up with the idea to build a small model railroad following a US theme. In TT scale, this is a real challenge since nothing is available from commercial manufacturers. Even the range of small manufacturers that make small batches for TT is quite poor. To get a layout within an acceptable time, in difference to my other layouts, I did not follow a specific prototype. But the layout should look as real as possible under the given circumstances. As my other layouts, this layout follows the principle "long & narrow". It is a real micro layout consisting of two modules that can be folded into a transport box of which the backdrop plates form the sides. This way, I can carry the layout even in public transit.

Size: 150 cm x 15 cm (59" x 5.9")

This picture shows the layout in an early stage in November 2006: Here is the layout folded into a transport box:

Tracks for American layouts are some problem in TT scale. The TT scale Special Interest Group (SIG) of NMRA officially recommends Tillig track which is a European product. In a small scale it is quite acceptable, at least for light tracks. The theme of the layout is a single track line through an industrial area in the Chicago region in the late 1950s. The track running along the front edge of the layout is a dark territory main track operated under Timetable & Train Order. Except for a short stretch on the right end of the layout it is yard limits. All other tracks are industrial spurs. The two crossovers very close to each other from a small loop that allows to turn around a single car. Thus, the track configuration forms some kind of a "micro timesaver".

Comprehensive photo gallery on Flickr


As a preview to the gallery, here a few photos showing the main parts of the layout:

US-Anlage_07-12_2 The right part of the layout shows the level crossing and the depot. The F unit was built from a kits produced by German manufacturer Tillig as a small batch series for members of the German TT Scale Association (AKTT).
US-Anlage_14-07_06 On its way to left part of the layout, the line passes some industrial buildings. The SW1200 was made by Czech manufacturer MTB.
US-Anlage_07-12_9 The left part of the layout provides industrial atmosphere in front of high rise buildings. The excellent model of an Alco FA/FB was made by a German small batch manufacturer.
US-Anlage_14-11_07 On the left end of the layout we find the loading dock of the 'Great Lakes Machine Company'. Waiting on the loading track is my other SW1200 in NYC paint scheme.


Article on this layout in issue #111 of Carl Arendt's "Small Layout Scrapbook"

Article on this layout in the Layout section of TT Scale Online.


Books on realistic US model railroading


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