Mini Project: The Potentially Perfect Layout

Guildford SidingsThis morning I came across a potentially perfect small track plan for a shunting layout.

On the way to work this morning, by train where I get a lot of modelling ideas, I happened to take a look at the sidings at my local station: Guildford in Surrey.

This station was, until 1967, a significant rail centre in the South. Thanks to its location, Guildford was a large depot, complete with a roundhouse, turntable and engine sheds and lots more.

Old Railway Tracks

Trackside debris at Guildford.

The good times have long since gone however and now it’s just a busy commuter station at the interchange of the line to Southampton, the South West via Reading and London. The site where the roundhouse was is now a multi-story car park 🙁

Four sidings are still present and on looking over them as my train waited to depart, I realised they’d make a great, potentially perfect, mini-project. Points, buffer stops and various track-side structures to build and operate.

What makes this sidings track plan appealing is that their relative simplicity and size will be quick to get operational.

I’ve knocked up an initial track plan in AnyRail (available here) as below that will fit on a simple small oblong baseboard.

Track Plan - Guildford Sidings

My mini project track plan – a simple siding. The entrance line could be extended turning this into an Inglenook shunting puzzle.

As track plans go this is far from accurate at this stage and there’s plenty still to work on but you can see the basic shape.

With four siding lines, it’s also got the potential to double up as a small fiddle yard for a future bigger layout. Whether this actually happens is another matter but the thought is there.

With a little more work this could also become an Inglenook Sidings shunting puzzle, first created by Alan Wright, and described here.

I’d love to hear from anyone who builds a layout based on this or similar sidings.

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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