Curt LeVan's Home Layout - (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3)
by Curt LeVan

Track Plan (click on plan to enlarge)

I've been interested in Japanese model railroads for more than 20 years, but regular relocations have limited me to building two small and never-quite-finished layouts. Now that I have a stable location and a finished basement it seemed like the perfect time for a room-sized layout.. But let's be honest, I'm a scenery guy. I really enjoy detailing scenes but carpentry and electrical work are skills I just don't have. I could try to develop those talents, but I also don't want to spend the next 20 years down in the basement slowly building; I want to have years to enjoy a nearly finished layout.

I decided to work with Custom Model Railroads to develop a layout which incorporates many of the features I've thought about but could never achieve on my own. My goal is to recreate what I remember from Tokyo and nearby areas when I lived there in the late 1980's. Essential features include an elevated commuter line, a big Shinkansen station, an industrial port/container area, and a more distant rural destination. I'm not looking for a layout which requires many people to operate, I just want to watch trains run while I work on small details. I'll limit myself to 0 and 100 series Shinkansen trains, plus other trains which could have been seen in Tokyo in my day. Another essential element is some iconic buildings from the Yurakucho/Ginza area - buildings that I remember well. Overall it will be what I call an "alternative reality" Tokyo; some real, some imaginary.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Here are a few of the initial custom structures. More to come! These and more photos can also be found in Curt's Layout Photo Gallery.


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