Switchers World



The Switchers World is the third layout I'm building. But this one is completely different. The first (serious) layout was a track plan published be the German model raiilroad magazine "Eisenbahn Magazin" in the middle of the 80's. Some mistakes were made at the transition from model railroad beginners to a serious model railroader. Consequently this layout has been replaced by another one.
This second layout has been build as a modular layout similar to the concepts the "FRiendship of European MOdel railroaders" (FREMO) propagates. The track plan came from a great model railroad enthusiast called "Pit-Peg". I converted his stationary layout to a modular one and removed some parts. In principle does this layout already exist but is now under my fathers responsibility. And in my appartment there's no room for a big model railroad. Therefore I started to search through different magazines and the internet to get an idea of what to do.
The search had an end as I started interesting me in US model railroads and becoming familiar with John Allen's Timesaver. In this context I found the Micro Layout Design Gallery by Carl Arendt and the Layout Design by Emrys Hopkins. And there i found my track plan: The TimeWaster 5:40 (look on Carl Arendt's site under Shelf Switchers >> TymeSavers). I call it Switchers World (Part1). Why?

Picture 1: Trackplan of The Switchers World (Part 1)

Very important or critical are the track lengths. They are:

Table 1: Track lengths of The Switchers World (Part 1)
Track description Length in 40' box cars
top left
top right
main track left
main track middle
main track right
team track
tean track hidden in street


The main purpose behind The Switchers World (not only mine - this has been the originating idea of John Allen's TimeSaver) is to enable switching fun in small spaces. That's something very important: I don't like people saying: "I'd like to build a model railroad but I don't have space." That's nonsense! If you have the space for a baseboard then you also have the space for a model railroad (see Model Railroad Planning 2003 from Kalmbach Publishing). That's my credo.
The second purpose is that model railroading in every facette is a good business after a long working day…

Era & Location

The chosen era and location are the transition era from late steam to early diesels and The Switchers World is located somewhere in the Chesapeake & Ohio's railroad imperium. Perhaps somewhere near Ohio because diesels from the Baltimore & Ohio have been seen around this switching area.


At the moment the operation ideas are only theoretical but I'm planning to use some card and waybill system which is restricted to The Switchers World's industries.
The amount of cars which can be used varies from one (practising purposes only) to seven (heavy stuff). The most common number of cars could be four to five. I will decide this after my first operation sessions - and some practice of course.

Card and Waybill system

For each car on The Switchers World will exist a card containing informations of the car which allows an easy identification (incl. a picture) and a bag for the waybill. the size of the card will be DIN A5 (for my previous layout I used these sort of card and made good experiences).
The waybill will be smaller (around DIN A6)and have four areas. Two on the front side and two on the back side. Each area has a colour which correspondends to a industry on The Switchers World. This allows an easy assignment of industry and freight car. Additionally the industry is printed on the waybill.

Starting a session:

From a stack containing a sufficient number of waybills (the reservoir) for each car a waybill is taken randomly and put on the car card. At this point it has to be prooved that the cars is allowed to carry the goods which are printed on the waybill. E.g. it makes no sense to switch a flat car to the gas tanks. If this happens the waybill is put back to the reservoir or turnde around for 180 degrees - another origination is used.
The same principle is used within a operation session. Therefore it may happen that for a car only three or less originations are used. This means that if a waybill is finished the freight car will stand for the rest of the operating session on its last position.

The session:

After the cars is switched to its origination the waybill is turned around for 180 degrees so that another origination is at the top of the waybill. After the freight car is switched to ist second origination the waybill is turned the other way round. After the last switching manouvres the waybill is put back to the reservoir.

Ending a session:

An operation sessions end if the last car is delivered to its last originiation. All waybills are put back to the reservoir and a new session can start.

Rolling stock


The Switchers World is designed for the use of 40' boxcars or smaller ones. But it seems possible to use one bigger car, too. I'll try to use a 52'6'' flat car also. But this seems to be heavy stuff. Also possible are tank cars and gondolas. The correct mixture is crucial. At the moment I prefer to use three boxcars, one tank cars and one gondola for my first session.


Powered rolling stock (so called locomotives:-) ) have to be small and good running. The Switchers World can only have one locomotive at a time. All locomotives are C&O: a GP-7 and a SW9.
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