Bruce Jahn

I've for some time taken an interest in micro layouts. Generally the guidelines for these layouts restrict the overall size to four square feet and that works well as most micro layouts are built to HO or smaller scales. However I wanted to use 32 mm (two-rail O) track and a vehicle closer to G scale so my micro layout is eight square feet, 2 ft x 4 ft.

I'm guessing my layout will contain about 26 feet of track. The concept is a double dog-bone configuration where each dog-bone is hidden allowing a rail vehicle to travel back and forth all day long without the viewer seeing the turn-around. The layout will be a hill-side with the lower dog-bone inside the hill and the upper dog-bone being hidden "somehow". The sketch is complex but as long as I can remember what goes where, it just might work.

The layout is being built on a portion of an interior hollow core door cut to my 2 ft x 4 ft size. The rail vehicle will be battery powered to eliminate the electronic circuitry required of a dog-bone. In order to fit my thoughts on that small footprint, my minimum centerline radius is six inches. My little critter traverses those curves OK...not wonderfully, but it works.

The drive system of my little critter is from I.P. Engineering in the U.K. (lots of nice kits for the G scaler) and I installed wheels from an old Faller 0-6-0. I built the front pilot to ensure bad/uneven track wouldn't be a problem. I turned the wheels from brass and installed two ball bearings in each wheel. The whole assembly can swivel right and left and each side (pair) of wheels can swing up and down to accommodate any bad track.

The dog bone on the "floor" of the layout is comprised of an Atlas switch in which I've made into a spring switch so it won't need to be dealt with. All track so far is code 148 Atlas in 40" lengths which I've removed all the ties to curve the rails, then re-installed about 1/2 of the ties to make the track look like it belongs to a "less than successful" endeavor. Where the track rises off the floor I've mounted it on 1/4" Luan plywood, then temporarily used blocks of Styrofoam risers to make sure the little critter can actually climb the grade.