Aerial view shows the layout arrangement.

Since Model Rail issue 212 appeared in July, a number of readers have been in contact asking for the plans for the track layout of my modern diesel depot. As this layout-cum-diorama was built more or less off the top of my head, I wasn't sufficiently organised to draw up any proper plans, so an assortment of images will have to suffice. 

The baseboard measures exactly 4ftx2ft and the Peco Code75 track enters the scene from a twin track fiddleyard, fanning out to five sidings via two short radius and one long radius points. The two small points are Peco left- and right-hand units, while the larger left-hand turnout was hand-built from a DCC Concepts Legacy kit (see MR206). Spreading the lines out at various angles and staggering the turnouts adds depth to the scene, as well as creating a more organic appearance. It can be tempting to have everything straight and parallel but such an approach, while probably more prototypical, tends to make a layout appear cluttered and lifeless.

As the above image shows, the right hand end of the baseboard has yet to be completed in terms of scenery. My initial idea of a tunnel and hill has fallen by the wayside and I'm now planning for the tracks to disappear beneath a modern concrete road bridge, which will better suit the period and urban setting. 

I hope these images prove useful to those inspired by my layout...

The lined tunnel will have to go, now that I've changed my mind about the scenic break.

Although only 2ft wide, the layout still manages to cram a lot of visual interest into the available space.


  1. Thanks for the useful aerial shot George and the other info. You have a lot of track in a relatively small area plus buildings and other detail but it manages to not look crowded.
    I also note the curved backscene - as per Mr Nevard!

  2. Is this depot your first foray in DCC George?, and if so will you persevere with DCC or remain with DC. Having worked in a diesel depot it look very believable but could do with a lot more oil staining. Diesel depots and repair shops like steam depots aren't clean places. Whereas steam depots have a lot of ash and soot, diesel depots have a lot of oil and grease staining on the floors and walls and the roof area is quite black from the diesel fumes. The diesel fuel that the diesels run on is not the same grade of fuel that one buys in a fueling station like Texaco. In fact if you have a diesel car and you filled it with diesel used in diesel locomotives the injectors would soon clog up. Still making things oily and greasy is one of your specialties George.

  3. I doodled a similar plan, not as good as yours, based on a compressed version of Leith central being used as a dmu depot.

  4. I'm in the process of converting my out house in preparation for a model railway. It will need to be insulated and damp proofed. It will be my little den. I was researching ideas and taking pictures of lineside detail to inspire me. I've read with great interest your - article - and I am fascinated. I always planned on doing a modern image TMD and you given lots of ideas and things to think about. It was always going to be an autumn/winter 2020 project as I have a G Scale railway in the garden.

    1. Hi Simon. Good luck with the TMD project. Hope my article has been useful.


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