wTrak Logo

Standard Modules _

_ introduction
_ projectPlanning
_ modules
_ projectDetails
_ resourcesAndLinks
indent AirportAndTown

Airport & Town

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 1/10]

indent Everybody loves an airport (except during holidays) so this simple segment routes trains around a rural airfield and through a neighboring town. The tracks merge and branch making it easy to shift trains from one line to another through this section.

indent For those willing to invest a little more effort, it presents an opportunity to add sequentially lit runway lights, a flashing landing beacon, and lighted town buildings. A control tower and Quonset hut repair shop are great features too.

indent This module is flat with minimal trimming needed if using commercially available track, making this a great first effort.



Industrial Midyard (formerly 'Midyard Sidings')

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 3/10]

indent Switches and sidings allow other trains to pass. Short trains can pause on one of the two spurs to wait for another train to pass. Cooperative play with other engineers at the table is required. This module could be made flat – and doing so simplifies construction. But adding a half-ramp up and/or down for one siding makes it much more interesting. A few trim cuts to avoid gaps around the double crossovers may be necessary. Still, this is an easy project.



Turntable Midyard

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 4/10]

indent A recessed turntable is really special in a layout. The table could be driven by a worm gear with a button on the side or turned manually. This feature tends to concentrate passing trains and young engineers may queue up while waiting to transit through the switchyard.

indent Four track lines require the turntable to be adjusted to permit passage, with only a single path bypassing the turntable completely. The asymmetry of the turntable restricts longer trains from rotating between track lines. Shorter trains can also be shunted to three sidings branching from the table.



Bypass Midyard

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 2/10]

indent Features a redirect along the main line and several bypass options for trains to find an alternate route. Elevation changes could be incorporated to introduce a rising hill, tumbling canyon, and a series of bridges.



Mountain Village

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 8/10]

indent Designed with one track dropping below table-top level, this could be reversed to ascend to make the module much easier to construct. Recessing the track allows the base of the mountain to drop another 3" for a really dramatic segment!

indent An alpine village or dilapidated ghost-town at the base of the mountain increases depth and contrast. Adding LED white and flame lights to the buildings adds warmth. Trees (or cactii) emphasize the rugged, hilly terrain. Safety must trump creative details though.

indent The mountain can be constructed many ways. Plywood sections stacked like a contour map is especially rugged and effective. Intermediate contours can be routed into sections to create smaller steps as desired. Edges can be softened further by routing with a roundover or chamfer bit - even sanded to a smooth finish. Chiseled blocks, doweled and glued, could be used for rugged peaks and overhangs. Sharp chisels, eye protection, and a first-aid kit are recommended if you embark down this path...

indent For transport and stacking, the portion above the 2½" level can be separated and set on the mountain base using steel or wood dowel pins for alignment and stability. Lights can be added in the ‘ceiling’ of the tunnel. A miniature mine train and shaft entrance could be incorporated and lit too.



City & Subway

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 7/10]

indent Several lines skirt the edge of town, while another ducks beneath the city. A trolley line could navigate at street level while a subway line passes below (a great place for a battery-driven engine that cycles into view along the two sides of the table.)

indent To finish the town, a grouping of low, medium, and tall buildings surfaced with digital images and textures reach skyward and welcome inbound trains. This dramatic module is a hub for inbound, outbound, and express trains alike.

indent Blinking red LED lights on the corners of the taller buildings add interest - perhaps even a few lighted windows, doorways, signs, and lights washing onto the street and sidewalk. Add a heliport to serve as a destination from the airport too. Or a monorail. Let your imagination run wild!



Switchback Ridge

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 11/10]

indent This segment incorporates tunnels, elevated bridges, and dramatic, craggy hills. Trains navigate up through the hills using a series of switchbacks. Retaining walls, piers, snow sheds, and a mine operation can be built into the terrain. Tunnels are required on multiple lines and at multiple levels. This requires a lot of creative carpentry with details to be worked out as they arise. Consideration must also be given to keeping the module light enough to carry safely.

indent The geometry of this segment limits train lengths to 5 cars going up and over the hills through switchbacks – which can help constrain the tendency for trains to incrementally expand during play.



Spiral Midyard

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 7/10]

indent Extensive rerouting is possible within this compact module. One path allows trains to pass or overtake another. And a reversing loop allows for trains to change direction. Repair or maintenance yard accessories could be incorporated including workshops, cranes and storage buildings.



Spur Midyard

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 5/10]

indent Typically trains pass through, but trains can shift to a spur to bypass oncoming trains, drop cars or pick up new cargo. An engine shed could be incorporated on one or more spurs. Perhaps a loading platform too.



Classification Midyard

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 4/10]

indent A diagonal ladder yard branching off the main lines without sidings.



Bay & Bridge

[48"x18" Crossover, Complexity 9/10]

indent This crossover segment switches which edge the double-line tracks run along. A second crossover segment is required to switch them back again.

indent The paths of the tracks are clean and straightforward - a welcome break from the complexity of other modules. But the addition of water (perhaps a canvas print, digital photo, or laminate with an acrylic finish) and a long bridge add a visual focal point. A lighthouse, partially submerged ship, flashing buoy, wharf, cargo crane, and waterfront town could be featured as well. Perhaps even a simulated whirlpool...

indent The bridge could be a dramatic and custom element. A basic plate/girder construction is strong and simple, but I could imagine a swing, bascule, or lift bridge here too. For a truss or Warren bridge, use hardboard or apple-ply plywood faced with a digital print. A series of ‘concrete’ arches or 'cantilevers' could be made from dimensional lumber and surfaced too.

indent There is enough lead-in space to go underwater instead. Create a tunnel opening at each end and leave the side open and kids could shuttle the train under the bay itself.



Sorting Midyard

[48"x18" Crossover, Complexity 5/10]

indent Multiple sidings are stacked to allow cars to be sorted, assembled or dissembled. These can also be used for trains to pass or overtake slower trains. Pair with one or two ‘Entry’ modules to extend sorting options.



Marshalling Midyard

[48"x18" Crossover, Complexity 5/10]

indent Another yard with a centralized group of sidings to facilitate sorting and passage. Pair with an 'Entry' module to extend utility.



Shunting Midyard

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 5/10]

indent Multipath routing is possible within this compact and complex yard. Space for storage tanks, sheds, buildings and other accessories is available. A spur for a shunting engine could be added.



Transfer Table Midyard

[48"x18" Common, Complexity 7/10]

indent A recessed lateral transfer table set across two of the main lines and accessible from a third. Substantial rerouting between the mainlines is possible. Shorter trains can be shunted to two sidings that branch off the table.



lwrBorder.gif (1657 bytes)