NSLBF20 is a compact N gauge model railway layout measuring approximately 108.5cm x 65.5cm which can also be used to operate very long full length trains.
Many of the model railway layouts I design are constructed with a track plan and scenery which will permit the scenic baseboard to be connected to additional fiddle yard boards. I designed the track plan for NSLBF20 with two sidings on the outside of the branch line oval, one on each side, which have removable buffer stops. If the buffer stops are removed a large fiddle yard board can be connected and used to allow very long trains to run in and out of the scenic baseboard. Full length passenger trains, block freight formations such as MGR wagons or mixed freight workings can be operated in this manner without the need to own/store a very much larger layout.
This scenic model railway can be used as a self-contained layout if desired to run shorter local branch line goods and passenger services. The passing loop is very large in proportion to the overall size of the layout and can hold a locomotive and 6 coaches/20 short wagons whilst another train is travelling around the branch line circuit. The two sidings inside the oval of track are quite long and can each hold around 7 short wagons. The long outer siding can hold 3 coaches/11 short wagons. Shunting can be performed using the inner track of the passing loop as a headshunt whilst another train is travelling around the layout.
The long siding connected to the passing loop can be used to store a full train or diesel multiple unit when out of use. At the end of the siding is a goods loading platform which could alternatively be detailed as a locomotive servicing point or a tiny station halt. The short siding on the opposite side of the layout baseboard can also be used to store a short train.
This country branch line themed layout has two main railway related features, a branch line station and a large goods yard area.
The station on this layout is modelled with a large curved platform plus a large tarmac area at the rear for car parking and to allow buses and commercial vehicles to collect/drop off passengers and goods. The station platform has fencing with colourful imitation enamel advertising signs added. The platform is 6cm deep at each end from the front to the rear fencing, the middle is 8cm deep at its broadest point and can accommodate a suitable station building, shelter etc.
The large flat area of tarmac next to the two sidings within the branch line oval could be used in a variety of ways such as a goods yard with a goods shed, crane, storage buildings, vehicles etc. Alternatively, the area could be used to create a rail served dairy, brewery, or manufacturing facility if appropriate buildings and accessories were added.
Various scenic features have been added around the model railway layout for trains to travel through. The model landscape is elevated and lowered where appropriate to create realistic scenes. Hills with trees have been created where practical to provide height which allows trains to partially disappear behind them whilst travelling around the layout. Part of the scenic area is lowered to create the ripple effect pond. Most of the scenic areas are covered with imitation rock formations, scratch-built trees, bushes and weeds.
Additional focal points have been created to add interest. A level crossing with movable gates allows road vehicles to pass over the track to access various parts of the layout. Between the station and the goods yard, the very detailed fully modelled garden has a vegetable patch and flower beds with conifers and topiary, plus a flat square of imitation concrete 8cm x 8cm where a house can be placed. The garden is intended as a location for a station masters house. Two of the corner areas on this N gauge baseboard are modelled as the edge of a field, one as a sloping hill and the other flat. A house or barn could be placed on the flat corner field or both could be used for livestock.