The Ruston Light Railway layout is a micro layout 2.67 square feet in size, measuring 28.5 inches long x 13.5 inches wide which is designed to fit in a storage box only slightly larger than the layout measurements. The original idea was to see how small I could build a micro model railway layout, using standard (that is, un-modified) motive power, rollingstock and trackage, that was still interesting to operate.

The layout will model both ends of the line, rather than the trackage in between the ends, so the layout will represents the fictional locations of Ruston Junction at one end of the layout and Ruston Town at the other.

The layout track plan is shown below.

Ruston Light Railway Layout Track Plan

The layout has a only 2 turnouts (2 Peco Setrack left-hand turnouts), and about 33.5 inches (85cm) of other track. The turnouts were purchased specifically for this layout, and the other trackage is recycled from previous layouts. I had thought of using a double slip instead of two turnouts to try and add some extra siding length, but as the cost of the 2 turnouts was much less than the cost of a double slip (or even a single slip, for that matter), I decided to sacrifice any extra siding length I might have gained by using a double slip in favour of less expensive track.

The layout will depict a British standard gauge light railway that interchanges with the mainline somewhere between London and Bristol. Motive power is very small switchers such as the Ruston and Hornsby 48DS. A Hornby DCC Ready 48DS and flat wagon was purchased specifically for use on this micro layout.

Hornby 48DS shunter with flat wagon, being tested on my Petra “Pizza” layout..

One thing I did notice during testing was that the Hornby 48DS did not have very good slow speed control with the controller I tested it with (an old Hornby P5P controller). So in the otherwise very simple wiring for the layout I added a 470 ohm 10 watt resistor. This dropped the voltage to the track roughly in half, which has produced good slow speed control for the 48DS.

For passenger services, either a single brake van or a short 4 wheel coach will be used. For freight services, a small collection of a few 4 wheel freight wagons will suffice. I have the flat wagon that was included in the 48DS purchase, and purchased a 4 wheel ventilated van, and might order one or two other wagons.

As far as testing of the concept of this layout, I have run the 48DS and flat wagon around the layout, and with the few more carriages I plan to purchase, it should be an interesting little layout to operate providing about fifteen to twenty minutes so of operating time. I am thinking I might also add a auto reversing module to the layout for the passenger services so I can activate it and just watch the trains go back and forth on the layout if I want to.

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