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Model Train Resource: S-Scale Track Plans To Inspire Your Own Layout Designs

The S-scale diesel is the blue one in the middle.

The S-scale diesel is the blue one in the middle.

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin

S-scale represents 1/64 proportion and S-gauge track measures 0.883 inches between the rails. Because this scale is larger than the most popular HO or 1/87, it allows for larger locomotives and more detail. Because it is smaller than O, which runs 1:48 in the USA, its layouts take up less room and use smaller radii. The following plans show some of the layouts possible in S scale.



T. Sheil and A. Sheil have put together the largest collection of S scale layouts I know of on their model railroading page. All are laid out on a grid with one-foot squares so its easy to see if they’ll work for your space. In addition, each plan includes a list of the track pieces need to create the pike, with some using American Flyer and others using S-Trax.

Among the eight categories are shelf and narrow layouts, with some on two-foot wide boards; waterfront layouts, complete with docks and water; point-to-point layouts, to duplicate prototypes more closely; and S-Trax loops in as little as 5-by-8 feet.


Cimarron & Tall Timbers Railroad

For those looking for basement-sized behemoths, this layout fits in a room measuring about 22-by-17 feet. The route is set in the 1950s and costs of about 150 feet of branch line track that can be reached with a four-percent grade. Highlights include numerous mines, wooden trestles, steel-girder bridges, an avalanche scene, and plenty of tall pines.

Be sure and check out the many photos, which includes close-ups of many exquisite structures built from wood.

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S-Scale Resources



Classic Toy Trains magazine squeezes three loops, including a figure eight, into a 5-by-8 area, with almost a third of the track hidden under a hill. Three turnouts provide operating variety and the text includes a list of the S-Trax components needed. If anyone has the original January and February 2006 magazines in which the track plan appeared, feel free to add a description of the pike in comments.



Nearly every scale has modular clubs and standards, and S-scale is no exception. Lewis Street packs seven turnouts into a space measuring only 18-by-96 inches. A coal unloader, power plant, refrigeration and cold storage, sugar refinery and chemical company add operational interest. The website also includes photos of the modules and few pictures of the prototype.

Another module is Odessa, which shows only two parallel tracks in front, with some finely detailed city structures with interiors in the background. Be sure and check out the photos.


Stroudly Green

From the UK comes this elegant shelf layout with only three turnouts but with a warehouse, station building, turntable, dock and fiddle yard. The pictures show the building of the modules, which are filled with holes to lighten the load. Because the pike is set in the late 1800s to early 1900s, it uses only steam locomotives. Both the front and back of the layout are curved, which makes it seem larger than it really is.


Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 25, 2019:

You certainly do know your model trains and the different layouts. There are model train aficionados in many places.

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