Scale Drawing

When designing any type of model train layout. it is a good idea to take the time and create a detailed scale drawing of your model railroad layout track design, which includes the turnouts.

What is a Turnout?  A turnout  allows the train – no matter what the scale to switch tracks and direction when the software or manual switching is applied.  In the real world the turnout is called a switch.

Turnout information, such as detailed size and curvature can be acquired from some of  the turnout manufacturers like Atlas and Pico and possibly various other manufacturers. 

I personally designed my entire layout using  PECOs. I simply e-mailed the company who in turn mailed me a free catalog which contained  life-size templates of every turnout they manufactured. With these templates I was able to create a fairly accurate hand drawn sketch of my planned railroad track layout.  I also took the templates of interest, made several copies of them and placed them directly onto my layout train surface and drew the rest of my proposed track placement.

Since I also planned to use flexible track exclusivly, I developed my own paper templates for the required Track radii.   In addition companies who specialize in scaled down trains such as ATLAS provide  free software to assist in your layout design.  They provide this software in the hopes that you will purchase turnouts and other components necessary to create the train layout of your dreams.

 The following drawing depicts simple 4 x 8 ft table (Typical Plywood Availability). Notice there are markings every foot on each side of the drawing. Each mark is actually 2 inches apart on the paper. On the drawing  2 inches = 1 foot.