A convertibale logging layout

The layout concept

Each new model train layout planing should start with the concept first…

Classic layout designs are loops for continuous running of trains or point-to-point layouts for more prototypical operation. Some designs are more complex and feature some branch lines or switch back stations. But there’s one thing that all of them have common – they may become boring after some while. Operating a point-to-point layouts needs operation to see trains run. You can’t lean back and just watch them as you can do on a circular based layout. But an oval track doesn’t feature much switching operation and will also become boring one day. For me it was sure that my Hon30 layouts needs some kind of everything by most flexibility to cover most pros, but less contras.

More about the layout technique is posted in an own category.

Based on small wooden boxes (original designed as wooden canvas for paintings), I designed my new layout concept with a modular design wich gives me up to 6 different layout plans, together with 3 micro layouts.

There’re only 7 Segments needed for the following layouts and operation possibilities. By adding another segment, the possibilities will grow even more.

Continuous running:

This classic oval style layout is just perfect to watch trains running along the line. A small station gives possibilities to pass by other trains and a little switching. The lower right corner allows to add an additional branch line. The backdrop in the middle let the line look longer.

Shelf layout:

Another classic design is this point-to-point shelf layout. By using the smaller fiddle yard, it’s only 20cm deep and may fit to nearly any wall at home. This time cames in different sizes.

Corner layouts:

Two sizes of corner style layouts are possible to. This makes the main line look longer between the ending points and this design may be perfect for exhibitions.

The switch back:

Perhaps the most operation possibilities are featured by the two switch back designs.  The terminus station turns into a classic switch back station where the loco may take coal, run around the train and head for the next station up or down the line. Both lines will end in a fiddle yard.

The operation concept

The way how to operate the layout is mostly based on the layout style itself. Usual the layout is set up for point-to-point operation, except for the continuous loop. The switching work depends of the layout style and it’s size.

Additional, this layout can also be moved to another region very easy. Running a Shay and Climax will transfer the whole scene to the U.S. for example.


  • James Carryl says:

    Hello, I found your Utube video of your beautiful Hon30 layout. I am most interested in the track plan will you be willing to share, with me in an e mail. I have been in the hobby for years. But found your layout refreshing since you are able to change geographically in ust a few short minutes by switching out structures locos and cars. Love it keep up the great modelling.

  • Jeff Peck says:

    Hello Gerd,

    This is some wonderful and excellent modeling! I am especially enjoying your modular concept. I work with TTrak but it does not allow for a branch line operation like yours does. Thank you for sharing.

    Best Regards,


  • Flo says:

    Ich fin diese Anlage genial glaubst du Mann kann die auch in h0f auf 3 Metern Länge bauen?

  • Christer Palm says:

    Thank’s for sharing your mini/micro module concept. My Model railway life will be much easier from now.

  • Jörg says:

    Hallo Gerd,
    wenn ich Dich duzen darf. Ich bin begeistert von Deiner Waldbald, sehrviel Diteilliebe. Mach weiter so

  • Alex Harper-Bourne says:

    I came across your youtube video of this system in circular format a little while ago and found it very interesting, could you please tell me of the construction of the modules (materials and techniques)

    Thank you,

  • Max Sarazin says:

    My G scale railroad is all above ground on 4×8 modules. It is presently 16 feet by 24 feet and has double track mainline loop, each loop has its own power pack and the east & west way freights have to exchange cars thru an interchange. Frixample Extra 11 East serves a slaughter house, whereas the meat packing plant is serviced by Extra 25 West. Very busy with all cars serving complimentary industries.
    Another trackplan I had was same double track, but had a short section of single track where a train had to wait for a meet with the superior train. A gantlet could eliminate the 2 switches. Been designing track plans since 1941.
    Max on Cape Cod

  • Jacques Bourdouxhe says:

    Very clever Gerd, thank’s a lot for sharing your interesting technique. I myself am interested in modular layouts, specialy those made on Ikea modulat shelves.

  • Jeff Schumaker says:

    This is a fantastic idea. What are the dimensions of your modules?

    • Gerd says:

      The dimensions of the modules varies of 20, 40, 60 or 80 cm in length, but all are 20 cm deep. This comes due to the boxes that I use to make the modul bodies.

  • Peter Haretzmüller says:

    Hallo Gerd!
    Seit einiger Zeit verfolge ich deine Threads im Schmalspur-Modell-Forum, ganz egal ob zum Thema Waldbahn oder Zillertalbahn-Modelle. Alle Achtung, was du da leistest.
    Und mit deinen Casani-Modulen hast du für mich den Vogel abgeschossen, jetzt hab’ ich endlich eine Möglichkeit gefunden, ohne großen Aufwand mir selbst eine Modul-Anlage zu bauen.
    In deinem Youtube-Video erklärst und zeigst du die Kompatibilität recht anschaulich. Nur hab’ ich leider für mich noch nicht die richtige Modulverbindung gefunden, wie hast du das Problem gelöst? Vielleicht kannst du mir weiter helfen!

    Mit bestem Dank,