Strictly urban

This layout is located in the Orlando area and was originally built by another company. However, somehow, that company did not manage to finish the layout and so it was sitting untouched at the customer's site since September, 2011.

We now closed the deal with the customer to tear down his current unfinished layout and start all over. The work is divided into a couple of work-steps:

  • 1. Dismantle the current layout and salvage as much material as possible
  • 2. Design a completely new, strictly urban layout. This will loosely be based on a computer game titled "Mafia" and is set in the Chicago/New York area of the 1920's and 1930's.
  • 3. Construction of the new layout. Operation will be DCC.


[03-02-2012] [03-05-2012] [03-06-2012] [03-07-2012] [03-08-2012]    

Day 1

Today, I went over to the customer site and had a closer look at the site to determine the work flow. I also shot a couple of photos to document the current state. Here they are:










Since the space requirements changed a bit, the customer is contemplating to switch from H0 to N-scale to have as much action on his layout as possible. Until this decision is made, this project will be featured in the H0 section of our "Current Projects" pages.

Dismantling the layout should not take more than about 40 hours and will start on Monday, 03-05-2012.

Day 2

This morning, 9 AM, we actually started dismantling the layout. We, that is my fiance Rosie and my humble self. I calculated about 40 hours for this job.

We started with the unfinished section of the layout - or should I say: with the more unfinished section? Laughing Anyway, the first two rows of benchwork were down and gone at about 4 PM. Almost all track and the electronics could be salvaged and were stored in bins for later use.

Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera so you have to wait for pictures until tomorrow.

Day 3

This is the state, we left the layout in yesterday:







Today we tackled the center section that once was supposed to host New York and an elevated line. Since there was not much track in this area, we made a short job of this:


Layout tear-down day 3
Yep. it is a Ford Model A hiding here!


Layout tear-down day 3
Salvaged buildings


Layout tear-down day 3
The job for tomorrow


Layout tear-down day 3
Salvaged track


Layout tear-down day 3
DCC-components and switch motors


Thanks to the great help I got from my fiance, we are 2 days ahead of schedule and will finish the tear-down by tomorrow afternoon.

What's after that? I don't know yet. It totally depends on the customer. It seems that he wants a new layout; the question is wether it will be H0 -scale or N-scale. Once this point is clarified, I can design a new layout and eventually build it.

Day 3 1/2

It's the third day and we started late today since I had some errands to run. No problem though, as we are much ahead of schedule. The last row of benchwork sections with the almost finished scenery on it had to come down. By 1:40 PM the task was accomplished and all that's left of the former "layout" is a pile of debris ready for pickup. The garage floor is swept clean and the customer can actually see his Ford Model A again Smile.


Next up is decision time: Will the customer stick to H0 (which means a much smaller version of the "Mafia" theme and a single track main due to the new space restrictions) or is he going with N-scale (which would allow for gentler curves and a double track main in the given space)? We will see...

If any news come up, I will post them here and continue the project diary with the latest updates...

Layout tear-down day 3
Unobstructed garage floor...


Layout tear-down day 3


Layout tear-down day 3
A layout is history



No pictures for today. Actually, I drove over to the customer to determine how we will proceed with his new layout.

As for now, we decided to move his Ford Model A further into the garage to free up some space along the walls. The customer also wants to stay with H0-scale which limits the layout to a single mainline and a branchline for freight traffic. Also included will be a working streetcar line, as well as an elevated line.

The space occupied with this strictly urban layout will cover an area of about 8' by 12'. These dimensions are not set in stone yet and design work will start in about two to three weeks (after his second vintage car arrived and is parked in the garage).

I will make an announcement in Facebook and/or Google+ when this project gets its "Go" - signal.