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  1. This is just a little exercise I did for the sheer fun, a little layout to run Z Shorties on (indeed, I have a serious crush on those little critters!). And this is my reasoning behind it: Most microlayouts seem to consist of a mere continuous loop, which at times can become a bit boring in terms of operation. So people sometimes also include a siding to add a possibility for some action (like, e.g., on Takashi's adorable southern coastal railroad). A train, however, can depart easily from that siding, but to arrive you'd have to reverse direction. Therefore I've added yet another siding, which gives the possibility for point-to-point operations. And, because it's not easy to build a believable scenery with two termini on such small layouts, I've cheated shamelessly and put the two end points into one single station! Furthermore, I've added a yard of a respectable size, so while one train happily turns its circles others can be conveniently parked in sight. And here's the result of my little execise: For this execise I wanted to use standard track only - no flex nor cutting to length. The upper variant turned out a bit stiff in its appearance, but the lower one already looks quite ok. The length of the various sidings should be sufficient for 3-car-trains (this seems to be the standard for EMUs/DMUs), and the platforms a dawn with 150mm length. Of course, these track plans work much better for EMUs/DMUs than for locos, but even then you can abuse them for the odd game of inglenook sidings! Michi
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