Layout Track Plan Primer – End To End Layouts

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 layout.

In end-to-end designs, the track runs from one station or terminal to another. For railway modellers, they have 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. They also take up the least space, whether your’re working in Z, N, OO / 4mm gauges or larger.

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 for industrial zones and engine sheds for added appeal and interest.

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

end-to-end layout

Watch this video of another OO gauge point-to-point 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 some of the most appealing designs. They’re also easy to construct the baseboards for; a couple of modular baseboards (such as these) and you can have an end-to-end branch line layout up and running very quickly.

What buildings and industrial settings would you feature on a point-to-point layout?

> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.  
Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.
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