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Inspirational Images - A Compact Engine House

By April 8, 2013

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Steam locomotive servicing facilities, with all their buildings and operations, can be very interesting focal points on a model railroad. Unfortunately, they can also chew up a lot of ground in a hurry.

compact roundhouse
Cutting a few corners on this roundhouse helps keep this facility within a small footprint.
©2013 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

This small facility on a modular railroad is a good example of how you can create an interesting and effective facility for a small model railroad without losing too much space for other scenery and operations.

Placing the roundhouse into the backdrop greatly reduces space. One track is still functional, the other stalls are just for show. Though you might still be able to squeeze in a small tank engine. The turntable appears to be scratchbuilt using a plate girder bridge as a starting point.

A small sand and water tower to the left are more than adequate for a facility this size. A small coaling tower was just out of view to the left as well. So here in just a few square feet you have everything you need to turn a steam locomotive.  It's proof that you don't need a huge yard to have a lot of operation.

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