*Question by Geno S*: how many model train locomotives i could fit on a 50×100 inch board? i am an h.o. scale modeler.?

i am planning to model after the burlington northern santa fe railroad and i am asking this question for some help. i am also planning to have around 24 to 26 freight cars on the layout or should i go for n scale model trains instead. please tell me and my name is eugene.

**Best answer:**

*Answer by mariner31*

A 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood is always a good START, but for HO scale you can do little more than a basic oval with a siding or two (STILL FUN).

Todays standard gondola car is 40 feet long, the box car is 50 feet long, and most passenger / container / auto carrier cars are roughly 80 feet long. So in HO scale (1:87), those would equal:

40 feet = 5.52 inches

50 feet = 6.89 inches

80 feet = 11.03 inches

So 10 coal-cars (gondolas) will be over 4 1/2 feet !! N-scale is 1:160 (or roughly half the size of HO scale… so you get almost TWICE as much railroad for the space !!

Now what to PICK (scale) depends partly on what you wish to model !! You COULD do HO scale on a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood if you are ONLY doing a small yard with no run-trough trains (20 gondola cars would go from end to end of your “layout”.

I spent the last decade working on an N-scale “Shelf” layout (runs around the walls of a room) modelling the Union Pacific Stockton Yard. I went with N-scale after doing some sketching and realizing HOW little room a 10 x 12 foot room would allow.

Just think that a STANDARD coal unit train today is 50-60 cars long… that’s 23 FEET in HO or 12.5 feet in N scale.

GOOD LUCK and feel free to ask anything else that strikes your mind Eugene.

**Add your own answer in the comments!**