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Scale Display Module

Scale Display Module

Intro to Model Railroading Module

Track Plan At A Glance

Layout Theme: Scale Display
Layout Type: Module
Size: 24"x48"
Scale: N Scale
Era: Any
Track: Code 80
Turnouts: N/A
Min. Radius: N/A

Article by: Jim Spavins
Published: August 16, 2016

In many ways, modular railroad clubs are ambassadors of the hobby to the general public. Quite a few people are introduced to the hobby at a train show and some of the first operating layouts they come into contact with are modular railroads. For this reason, wouldn't it be nice if a modular group or club explained some of the basics of this wonderful hobby with a few of their modules?

The design of this module is very basic but is a great way to help teach the beginner or novice about the different scales of model railroading. As seen in the picture below, this Ntrak module built by the members of the Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad Club was designed to showcase boxcars in six different scales: G, O, S, HO, N, and Z. These cars were decorated for the particular club that the layout was setup with - doubling the use of the module with a bit of club promotion as well.

Scale Display Module

A photo of the Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad Club's Ntrak Scale Display module. | Photo by Jim Spavins.


Construction of the module would be very simple. The only needs are the mainline tracks running parallel with the front edge of the layout and a bit of scenery on the front edge of the module. A piece of track for each scale the length of the box car is attached to the top surface of the module with a backdrop holding signs explaining each scale.  To double the use of the module, this would be a good place to add holders for club flyers or membership applications.  In addition, a platform could be built for a TV which could play videos about the hobby or about the organization which the module is setup with.

At the same time, this module could be a good club project if you have a lot of members who have never built a module before. It will give everyone an opportunity to build benchwork, lay track, and wire a module - plus try a little scenery.

A plan for the "How a Module Works" module. | Drawn by Jim Spavins.


Another variation on the "Scale Display Module" would be to build a "How a Module Works" module. This module would go from completely unfinished to completed scenery over the length of the module. The unfinished end could show off the wiring and roadbed materials. In between, the different levels of scenery construction could be displayed. Constructing this module would be a bit more complicated but still provide the educational experience only a modular club can provide.

For Track Plan Tuesday's, I am digitizing all of my old track planning notebooks and sharing the designs here on the website.  To see all the plans, visit the track plan home page at: jimspavins.com/jimstrackplans.