Station-less layout?

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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Station-less layout?

Postby EddScott » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:03 am

I'm currently pondering whether to include a station in my layout design (5m x 3m loop layout). In all designs I've played around with I've always included at least one station. My current design has quite a decent length station but the layout doesn't really have a section where the trains can be seen just running through countryside. I'm wondering whether to ditch the station altogether and just have a nice run for the trains. It would also reduce complexity of the layout and reduce complexity of the scenery.

So is a station completely necessary?


Re: Station-less layout?

Postby Lofty » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:17 am

EddScott wrote: So is a station completely necessary?

The only station I have ever had on any of my layouts was a disused derelict affair.

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Re: Station-less layout?

Postby robhar » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:56 pm

Go for it would be my advice! Railways have far more purposes and scenarios than trains stopping at, starting from or passing through stations! If you derive your pleasure from setting your model trains going and then simply sitting back and watching them travel through your model landscape then a station is not a necessity. If your pleasure is in controlling your models through various operations then a depot, fuelling point, factory siding or marshalling yard can provide lots of potential without a station in sight. At an exhibition I once saw a superb N-guage model of a countryside section of the East Coast Main Line - complete with catenary, overhead lines etc. The scale length trains tore through it without stopping and it was quite exhilirating to see (and hear!). So go with whatever suits you - there's no law that says a layout has to feature a station!


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Re: Station-less layout?

Postby ERMick » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:22 pm

I've seen layouts of Stoke Summit on the ECML...

and the Dawlish Sea wall...

Great layouts and definitely proof that you don't always need a station!

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Re: Station-less layout?

Postby EddScott » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:02 pm

Thank you all for the replies. Much appreciated.

The layout design as it stands is in the planning forum on here. I'm building the fiddle yard first which will take a month or two so I have time to decide which way I want to go.

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Re: Station-less layout?

Postby locoworks » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:24 pm

not having a reason to stop on exhibition layouts can be a great bonus, you don't have to worry an awkward model not moving off when you want it to. i think i read in a model mag a few years back of a layout that had a model pile driver in a scene that actually worked and when a loco wouldn't start moving the pile driver was activated and the vibration was usually enough to get the loco woken up.

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Re: Station-less layout?

Postby pete12345 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:48 pm

One alternative to a station might be an industrial yard. This can take up less space than a full-length passenger station, especially in the steam era where shorter goods trains could be found. Your passenger trains can rush past at speed, while some goods trains stop to serve the industry. Install a 'shunting spur' parallel to the main line, where goods trains can stop and from there shunt the yard without fouling the main.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

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Re: Station-less layout?

Postby ovenbaked » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:49 am

If you don't want any operations then ditching all but the line saves a lot of space allowing for more scenery.
You could also have a branch line that splits off at a junction, giving some interest of the junction while not having it be Yet another station layout. Also allows more variety in trains as you have mainline and branchline meet.
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Re: Station-less layout?

Postby MattWallace » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:23 am

If you're not worried about running passenger traffic, then you can build a freight/traction works and not have a station at all.

My layout (see viewtopic.php?f=22&t=35660#p485996 for the latest and greatest plan!) will have no passenger traffic whatsoever and is based upon a container yard.

The eventual plan is to extend out at either end and create a much larger layout, however as that will require either

a) A shed larger than my garden will acommodate
b) Moving to a new house and taking over the loft
c) A combination of a new house and a large shed

it's not going to happen any time soon... :)

I also note that you haven't mentioned which era you want to model. If you're modelling steam up to approx 1980's, you can get away with a small Traction Depot, anything after that and (so I've been told) traction depots apart from Old Oak Common are few and far between (and also on a vast scale!)

Hope that's of some help,


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Re: Station-less layout?

Postby roebuck195 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:07 pm

Hello i'm new here to the forums.There was a inspirational article in the February 1979 edition of the railway modeller called watching the trains go by.
The plan was for an N gauge shelf layout.I don't know where you would get a copie of this,but believe me,it would be well worth looking for one.

best regards Alan

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