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8 Realistic Track Plans For Small Switching Layouts [Paperback]

Lance Mindheim
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 May 2009
8 Realistic Track Plans For Small Switching Layouts provides easy to follow track plans for building small but fun model railroads that will fit in a typical spare room. Each plan is designed to be visually inspiring, easy to build, and fun to operate. Included are port railroads, modern era themes, and themes for the 1950's.

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8 Realistic Track Plans For Small Switching Layouts + How To Design A Small Switching Layout + How To Build A Switching Layout
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Product details

  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (11 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442176490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442176492
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 20 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 763,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Lance Mindheim is owner of The Shelf Layouts Company, a custom model railroad building and design firm. He speaks nationally at a variety of prototype modeling conferences and is author of numerous articles for the model railroad press. An engineering graduate of Purdue University, he is a strong believer in the value of simplicity when it comes to model railroad design. Visit his website at www.shelflayouts.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Lewis
8 Realistic Track Plans for Small Switching Layouts by Lance Mindheim is a very short book, it is only 50 pages, and those pages have a fair amount of text in large font sizes, single images or even large amounts of blank space.

I bought this book as part of my preparation for building a small shelf type layout, so perhaps I was a little misled by the title. There are certainly 8 interesting track plans in the book, but to call them 'small' is perhaps not entirely accurate, all of the plans in this book are designed to take up an entire rooms, with 12x11 foot space requirements, which means you are expected to have a spare room specifically for the layout.

Lance has some sound practical advice on building benchwork and presenting layouts, but unfortunately this aspect of the book only runs to a few paragraphs.

The prototype images that accompany each layout plan are light on detail, and more of these would have been a very welcome addition, especially as the Author seems to have visited the real locations for each proposed layout in person, and presumeably has take many more reference photographs.

I came to the book after discovering Lances website, and some of the information in this book is already covered in greater detail there, so if you are already familar with Lances website about his outstanding Florida based HO layout, then like me, you might be surprised not to see more detail on that layout in this book.

Overall, this book is probably a little too light on content to be truly worth the 13 price tag in my opinion, but if the price were lower then it would be worth picking up. I haven't yet read his other books, but my experience with this one has actually made me reconsider my order for one of his other titles.
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By craig
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wish I had read in more detail the other review. This book is a 5 Min read and all the Track plans are almost identical, For a Huge Spare room, so in essence this was not what I was looking for. I anyone is thinking about purchasing this book please please contact myself and I will gladly send you my copy free of Charge and I will even post it for free. DON'T Make the same mistake I did. Look on the internet there are hundreds of free plans and web forums where rail enthusiasts are only too eager to offer practical advice and help with Layout design.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book that Can Move You from Your Armchair 8 July 2009
By Kenneth R. Heinen - Published on Amazon.com
As the guru of quality shelf layouts, Lance Mindheim gives us a glimpse at his talent for simplicity that follows prototype practices. While each of the eight track plans features a very different theme, they all emphasize realistic operational potential with plenty of room for scenery.

When space is limited, there is a great temptation to cram in as much track as possible. Most of these eight designs use 24 or 27-inch radius curves and just few Number 6 turnouts, a sure-fire formula for reliable low-maintenance operation. Every layout presents at least one form of staging or interchange with the outside world and the sidings snuggle up against industries that are actually large enough to require rail service.

All of the plans are point-to-point. There are no circles. The emphasis is on simple local freight service to specific customers without resorting to switching puzzles. Neither the Broadway Limited nor 100-car unit trains will grace these tracks. However, each plan has enough destinations to preclude serving them all in one trip, an attribute that leads to interesting operating sessions.

Considering the superiority of today's sound equipped locomotives that will reliably creep along at very slow speeds, realistic switching can be very engaging. To see the operating and scenic possibilities of a small shelf layout, search the Internet for a connection to "Lance Mindheim East Rail," Lance's own layout where he puts into practice what he preaches. Be sure to view the impressive photo gallery to see the opportunities inherent in small shelf layouts. I highly recommend this inspiring book to move you from your armchair.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book! 25 Jun 2009
By Dr. Mario Esteves - Published on Amazon.com
This is a "cracking book"! It deals with around the walls realistic shelf layouts that fits in a 12'x 11' room. The plans are neat, simple, and, most important, prototypical.Each plan has photos of suggested industries, which is really helpful. If your'e in the planning stage of your layout and fancy about switching layouts, this is THE BOOK!

Mário Esteves
(Porto - Portugal)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice and Simple 13 Jun 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The book not only gives the reader the 8 track plans it gives you actual pictures of many of the locations which are included in the track plans.

The author also gives many operational ideas for each of the railroads.

The hollow core door benchwork idea is simple and lightweight and is one I will use for my model railroad.

I do suggest this book for anyone getting ready to build a model railroad.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informational and Inspirational 16 Nov 2009
By Paul Boehlert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Two of the main purposes behind a book such as this can be expressed in the catchphrase 'I and I'. In other words, information and inspiration. Lance Mindheim's book "8 Realistic Track Plans for Small Switching Layouts" provides plenty of both.

In brief, the eight trackplans detailed in this book are well-thought-out, practical and feasible, and offer considerable scope for having fun both in the construction and operating phases. It's been said that the first and last few hundred yards of a freight car's journey are the most interesting part, and that's what these layouts depict.

The restraint and balance shown by author Mindheim in his designs will result in a model railroad which is simpler and less expensive to build--and which can be completed in this lifetime. For instance, these plans don't incorporate much in the way of staging tracks. More staging can always be added by the modeler, of course, but the author believes that small layouts can operate perfectly well by staging cuts of cars rather than whole trains, thus saving a lot of complexity, expense and maintenance headaches.

The trackplans are all sized for a hypothetical 11-by-12-foot spare bedroom. Since I sit typing this review in a room which is a virtual clone of the space shown in the book, I suspect that many readers will be able to adapt these plans to existing rooms in their own homes.

Even these too much for your available space? There's a bonus plan entitled 'The Beginner', which would fit in the smallest studio apartment or dorm room. It looks like a blast, too.

"8 Realistic Track Plans for Small Switching Layouts" provides not only inspiration, as any good idea book should; once you're inspired, it will take you to the next step and get you started on an attainable and enjoyable model railroad project.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Track Plan Book 1 Aug 2009
By Thomas P. Klimoski Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lance Mindheim has written a simple and straight forward track plan book with prototype information included for those considering building their next model railroad layout. The book outlines construction of the benchwork and basic wiring information as well as offering eight track plans.

The track plans are designed for a spare room and still allow the room to be used for other things. It is great to see you don't need to have hundreds of feet of track to model a prototype railroad. The plans offer a lot of switching opportunities in a small space. Plans include options for a modern theme layout as well as other eras.

I will definitely use many of the ideas presented in this book on my next layout. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering building a layout.
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