Downsizing the following kato N layout to fit my 26 x 60 bench?

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

So I Im setting up my first N scale layout on a 26 x 60 bentch top. I really like the Woodland Scenics Scenic Ridge 36" x 72" layout on the kato website
For the setup savvy folks on here....Can this plan be downsized fairly easily to fit or work on a 26"x60" bench? Any obvious, glaring pitfalls or roadblocks that should be anticipated? The one that sticks out to me is fitting the raised track for the figure 8 inside the main outer line. Perhaps keep it all ground level? Maybe I could help by adding some more cut plywood around the edges to increase the usable space.?

If this doesn't work I might resort to the kato World's Greatest Hobby Layout in N-Scale! (PDF)42" x 84" and downsize that as a second option.
Last edited:

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
It is very tight in every respect of the word. This is drawn with 11.5" and 10" radius, moving to 11" and 9.75" would help a little but... Forces the straights to be exactly parallel with the edge of the bench. Boring to look at. Very close clearances for tracks that would have to be different levels. It needs the extra width. I don't think you would be satisfied with it.
Do you have any engines and rolling stock already? I think tight curves are ok for industries but it's always nice to have broad curves on at least the mainline just in case you get that one engine that requires it. Maybe some big steam engine pulling passenger cars.
Do you have an era in mind, or just want to run whatever. Also, will you be using mostly Kato Unitrack?
Thanks Iron horse that helps alot. Looks tight and Id rather not stuff 10 lbs of chit in a 5 lb bag..Leva I have 3 engines and 6 frieght cars for now. No era in mind yet really but yes I have lots of UniTrack that Ill be using only. As I continue to this process I might just add another foot in width and length to really open up my options ..Im going to look over my basement and see if I can work a 3x5 or 3x6 layout somewhere that makes sense.
Last edited:

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I'm going to look over my basement and see if I can work a 3x5 or 3x6 layout somewhere that makes sense.
When space was tight for us I made a layout that was the size of a twin mattress. Then we put it on the top of a bunk bed. Made a special chair so the children could climb up and sit at the right height to play with it. I know I have at least one picture of it, but I think that was back in the film camera days, so it is probably a slide.

Then also as a child, my parents made me a layout that was 4x7 or so that was hinged to the wall over my bed so we could let it down to play and put it back up to sleep.
What sizes of curves do you already have for the UniTrack?

Here is a railroad that fits your space. Interchange on the left; quarry, gravel, sand sort of thing to the center right, and 4 other tracks for whatever industries are of interest.
View attachment 34193
I have both the 12' 3/8 and the 11" radii Unitrack, right now I just have a single line setup thats a copy of your kidney bean line above to run something in the interim & appease the kiddos. This plan looks pretty good to me. I think my struggle has been trying to cram a bunch of stuff into my 26x60 layout and its just not going to work so at this point I think an industry heavy layout like what you've mocked up will be what I go with so running a compact set of lines makes most sense. Definitely need to add some yards and spurs to make it more interactive for me bc the kidney bean line is already getting boring for ol dad. :)

Does your planning software output the specific track pieces needed for layouts based on brand ?
Last edited: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to