Layout Track Plan Primer – End To End Layouts

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point to point s bend track planIn the first of a new series looking at different track plan designs that you can use for your model railway we start with one of the most popular, easiest to build yet most versatile layout formats – the end-to-end or point to point 

In end-to-end designs the track runs from one station or terminal to another. For railway modellers it has the advantage that it provides a complete self-contained railway system rather than just being part of a larger circuit for which you need to imagine what lies beyond your layout boundaries.

The plan below shows this versatile concept in its most basic form – just a straight section of track with stations at either end – but the fun of this type of layout is that it can be added to even in its simplest form, with points of interest between the ends.

track plan basc end to end

An end-to-end track plan in its most simple form but even this has great room for added interest and challenge


You can supplement it with extra track and buildings to give sidings, bigger stations, loading areas and engine sheds for added appeal and interest.

The track plan here for example is of one of the layouts by my local model railway club (the Astolat MRC) that shows what’s possible. It features station, engine and goods sheds, cattle loading docks, level crossings and a viaduct!

end-to-end layout

Watch this video of an another end-to-end track plan for more ideas.

They can also fit a variety of surface areas. Obviously, they’re ideal for narrow rectangular spaces but there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate curves or S bends between the two ends to fill L or square shaped spaces with a plan like this:

point to point s bend track plan

More ideas can be found in Peco’s 60 Plans booklet. Although small, the 60 plans within it will give you plenty of ideas for your layout.

For me, the easily expandable nature, variety of possible features, small space requirements and self-contained nature make end to end designs the best layout. It’s only because my current layout was based upon a prototype design that fitted which an oval track plan, which I’ll cover in future,  that I didn’t chose it for my current model railway. For my next shed layout however…

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