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Track Plans

One of the most frequently-asked questions from modelers just getting started in Z Scale has to do with track planning. Micro-Trains' Micro-Track sectional roadbed track is very popular among both experienced layout-builders and beginners alike—which is understandable, given that it's nearly bullet-proof—and consequently there is a high demand for plans designed exclusively using Micro-Track. Here's a variety of plans that should help get you started on a layout, no matter your skill level or space constraints.

Before getting down business, beginners should take some time and learn about the limitations first—trust me, it will be worth every minute reading all of this:

  • Because of the very limited range of available Micro-Track products, it's challenging to design plans that use only stock parts. Therefore, some of these plans rely on a modeler's ability to modify track.
  • All but the first two plans will require the corners of some track sections to be notched so they'll fit on track switches—this is very quick and easy to do. (Yes, each switch includes a notched straight track part, but it can't always be used!)
  • The number of track switches indicated (SWs) is not necessarily fixed; any plan can be modified to feature fewer or more as desired.
  • Because of the size of the switch machines, powered switches are not an option in many circumstances, unfortunately. If remote control is desired where it's otherwise impossible, you may want to consider modifying the switches to bury the switch machines. These "special-case" switches are highlighted on the parts plans.
  • For layouts with grades, recommended elevations are approximate and may need to be adjusted depending on a number of factors, including the type of rolling stock, construction methods and materials used, bridge styles, and so forth. Note that increasing the elevations will increase the grades.
  • If switching will not be performed, uncouplers can be substituted with 110mm straight sections; if an uncoupler is connected to a 110mm straight, the two can be replaced with a 220mm straight section.

The following table summarizes the degree of difficulty involved in building each layout. Click the layout name to see the plan, complete with parts lists, modeling recommendations, notes on operation and more.

Layout

Size

Grades

Cut Track

SWs

Hampton Bay R M

20" X 36"

No

0

0

Simplico Freight R M

20" X 36"

No

0

2

Warren Industries R M

20" X 36"

No

0

6

Jersey City Ferry R M

25" X 44"

No

0

6

South Richmond R M

20" X 37"

No

0

9

Union & Phillipsburg R M

20" X 37"

No

0

9

Delaware & Northern R M

21" X 46"

No

0

11

Pennsylvania Railroad R M

24" X 80"

No

0

20

Edelweiss Mountain M

22" X 34"

Yes

0

1

Rockland Branch M

24" X 36"

Yes

0

3

Pacific Northwestern M

24" X 50"

Yes

0

8

Southern New Jersey R M

27" X 46"

Yes

0

10

Buckley & Onarca R M

24" X 50"

Yes

0

11

Chehalis Lumber Co.* R M

24" X 60"

Yes

0

15

Crooked Creek

24" X 50"

Yes

1

8

Port Reading*

23" X 46"

No

3

12

Aberdeen & Rockfish

23" X 58"

No

5

16

Centralia & Western

24" X 50"

Optional

4

14

Grey River & Northern

24" X 48"

Yes

5

6

Triangle Industrial Park*

24" X 50"

Yes

5

10

Franklin & Manchester

24" X 48"

Yes

7

13

*These plans feature a reversing loop or wye, which require special wiring.

R: These layouts can be built using unmodified Rokuhan track; please see the conversion chart to find out what you'll need. NOTE: If you're willing to cut Rokuhan track, you can build any of these plans!

M: These layouts can be built using unmodified Märklin track; please see the conversion chart to find out what you'll need.

Feel free to use/modify/reproduce these plans. However, if you republish my plans on another website, please credit their source. Thank you!

Want to do your own planning?

Install a copy of AnyRail on your PC. It contains complete libraries for Micro-Trains, Märklin and Rokuhan track!

Already have AnyRail? You can download the source files for all of my plans. Simply look for the download AnyRail source file link at the bottom of each track plan page.

Looking for more ideas?

Here's a whole big bunch of plans (nearly three dozen) I've done for layouts in other scales that might serve as inspiration; on top of that, I've developed several plans for T Gauge, for a grand total of over 60 track plans.

“I was really stunned the more I saw. These plans may actually be the reason I'll get started modeling.”

—Carsten Weye Jensen, Holstebro, Denmark

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