A portable, lightweight layout

 A portable, lightweight layout


As part of rejuvenating our garden railroad club ( www.sdgrs.com ) I have wanted to make a modular oval, preferably double track, that could be EASILY transported to our monthly open houses.


  1. light
  2. sections small enough to fit in small trunks or back seats
  3. 10 foot diameter on outer track

Clearly the modules need to be about 4' or less long, which means breaking the "ends" into 3 or 4 modules.

Probably use Split Jaw connectors

I've been thinking of using 2" thick foam with luan plywood on at least 3 sides, and end plates of maybe 1/2" ply with locating pins.

Legs could be done like our Z scale, with adjustable screw feet in 2 x 2 inch wood legs and only one pair of legs at each module "joint" - saves the number of legs and overall weight.


I'll be sure to document it.

I'll lay out the ovals with 10' diameter on the outer, and get clearance for 1:20.3 locos on both the outer and the inner.

Then I'll draw out what I need and see the size of the corners, as pentagons. If the size looks manageable, then I'll make up a couple of straight sections.

I'm thinking now 2" foam, skinned on 4 sides with very thin luan plywood glued to the foam. The "end plates" will probably be 1/2" plywood, with some kind of locating pins to align them.

If this works well, a single clamp will hold the modules together

I like the idea of the 1-1/4" conduit for legs.

I think I have a start... now to research the numerous threads on clearances on curves with 1:20.3... I guess a Bachmann K-27 is the worst case test?

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