Return to the Bay Area Layout Design and Operations Meet page.

Every year, the Bay Area Layout Design and Operations meet has a layout design challenge where we ask modelers to design to a particular theme, solve a particular design problem, or work around some challenging constraints.

2023 Layout Design Challenge

This year, we're going international!

In Britain, many modelers build "exhibition layouts": portable layouts that can be set up at home or in a clubhouse, but that can be brought to meets and shows. Exhibition layouts often have a finely-detailed scene or layout design element on a shelf (2 feet by 8 feet), joined to a separate staging and fiddle yard that's hidden from view. Trains come from staging onto the layout, perform switching, and return. Exhibition layouts usually model prototype scenes (often the terminus of a country branch line). Realistic operations fit very nicely on these sorts of layouts.

Need some examples?

Your challenge: design an exhibition layout for a North American prototype. Overall dimensions of the layout should not exceed 24 inches by 16 feet, broken into multiple sections that can fit the vehicle of your choice. The fiddle yard should contain sufficient tracks for operation. Dimension constraints are flexible; just have a story about how you'd store and transport your layout.

Sharing Your Design at the Meet

We will share the challenge and all your designs during the clinic session of the meet on Saturday, February 4. Participants can either attend the clinic in person, or share their ideas via Zoom.

We'll ask participants to spend 10 minutes talking about their choice:

Participants can present either on-site, or remote. If you're not planning to attend the Layout Design meet clinics on Februrary 4, 2023 at the Golden State Model Railroad Museum, then the organizers will help you record a video with your remarks beforehand that we can show at the meet. We'll also ask you to be avaiable via Zoom to answer audience questions.

Need some inspiration?

Need some ideas for a layout that'll fit on an exhibition-style layout?