A Traction Micro Layout

Built by Stumpy Stone


Stumpy built this On30 traction micro layout to bring to shows and to see what could be done with On30 traction in a really small space.


At 24x26 inches thereís not much room for a layout but I tried to make this On30 layout as interesting as a tiny oval can be. The theme is a run down Depression era narrow gauge trolley line in a small town.


I started with a piece of 2" thick "Green Guard" brand extruded Styrofoam. The track is common Atlas HO scale code 100 flex track with every other tie removed to get the look of very light trackage.

The switch is a Peco HO Electrofrog type to minimize wiring. The track was curved to 10" radius and held down with T pins. Next I used white glue to fasten the track in place with ballast and ground foam.


Woodland Scenics "medium cinders" was used as ballast because many real trolley lines used cinders from their power plants to ballast track. All rail joints were soldered for electrical reliability and the rails were then painted with dark tuscan red to represent rust.


The street was made of joint compound layered up and sanded smooth to represent concrete paving. The sidewalk and gas station pump island were O scale cork roadbed covered with Woodland Scenics "Flex Paste" to smooth out the cork surface, then painted gray when the street was painted.


Gray HO medium ballast was glued down with straight white glue to represent road edges and a parking area at street side.


Ground foam was applied to the rest of the layout the same way. The reason for this seeming "over kill" of glue was because this is a display layout that will often be moved.


The three multi story buildings are MTH prebuilt structures as is the gas station building.


Trackside poles were cast from resin. The pattern was made from a ľ" dowel and strip wood. RTV silicone molds were made and Micro Mark resin used. These poles are removable for moving the layout. Half inch long pieces of plastic tubing are glued to the layout and the poles are "plugged in" to the tubing for set up.

No overhead wire can be used of course. While the overhead work is a fascination for many, Iíve found over the years that building the overhead wiring is a reason many folks decline to build a trolley layout. This is an alternative.


The buildings are slightly modified and painted. The station is a kit by Buildings Unlimited.


The vehicles are common die cast cars and trucks, also repainted. Structures, vehicles, and line side poles are weathered as well.


You are visitor number:


Click here to return to the On30 Articles Index


This page updated Aug 31, 2006
Webpage © Lawrence Rickert
Title and contents © Stumpy Stone