Improving Model Train Layout with Better Aisle Design

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There are a number of ways to improve operations and maximize the space on a model train layout, many of which include better design and planning. When it comes to creating aisles for operators to move around and interact with a train layout, most modelers will first build their benchwork and create their scenes, and then consider the aisles as an afterthought. This often leads to cramped spaces and congestion, which does not make for a happy operator.

To avoid upsetting your conductors and yardmasters, we recommend beginning the design of your model train layout by first planning where your aisles will go and how much space they’ll consume. After that, you can build your benchwork. In this lesson, we teach you several expert design techniques that you can use to plan your aisles as to maximize your train layout space and give your operators plenty of room to operate.

Clear aisles make for a more comfortable train layout

Think about your favorite model train layout that you’ve operated; were you bumping elbows with other operators and planning your timetable orders with a ton of background noise? If you’re like us, you know the best train layout is the one that gives you ample space and quiet to do your job. To help you create a model train layout with aisles that allow for easy movement and site activity, layout designer Doug Gurin teaches you a range of concepts and simple techniques you can use to better design and construct your aisles.

To start, Doug introduces some of the key design concepts he considers when building an aisle for his own train layout, including ways to minimize congestion, reduce distractions and find the right width for your specific space to allow operators to work comfortably when back-to-back. You’ll also discover how to limit fascia friction and reduce foot traffic by utilizing phone systems and giving operators clear instructions. With these and other expert concepts and techniques, you will be able to create perfectly spaced aisles that make for a more comfortable and well run model train layout!