BranchTRAK Industrial Module Designs

Industrial Module Designs

HO Scale BranchTRAK Modules

Standards At A Glance

Layout Theme: Branchline
Layout Type: Modular Layout
Size: Straight 16.5"x48", Corners 30"x30"
Scale: HO Scale
Era: Any
Track: Code 83
Turnouts: No. 5
Min. Radius: 24"

Article by: Jim Spavins
Published: March 15, 2016

All railroads need customers to serve.  BranchTRAK modules are well suited to model smaller industries.  There are a lot of interesting prototypes available to draw upon for a module design.  Plus, with the smaller footprint of the module, it is possible to put in substantial, focused effort to detail and animate these models which might not be practical on a larger layout.

While these industries might not be large, if a concerted effort is made to build a layout with a good mix of scenic and industrial modules, there should at least a little space between switching areas to make potentially operating the layout feel a bit more prototypical.

I have prepared a set of three different industrial module plans - ranging from past to present - which one could consider for a layout.  Of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other possible ideas - but these are enough to get the thought process started on your own design.

To see more designs, head back to the BranchTRAK design gallery >

Industrial Module Gallery

MP Bottling Plant Module Design

MP Bottling Plant

A few months ago I developed a standard module design for a friend of mine based on the design of corn syrup tank car unloading at a bottling plant.  This design basically shrinks the concept down to a BranchTRAK size module.  The track capacities are much smaller - a total of 4-6 cars would fit on the module - but the basic feel remains the same.  Adding smoke machines to simulate the steam from the unloading process would be a nice touch for this industry.

A100 Scrap Yard Module Design

A100 Scrap Yard

Over the years, I have accumulated quite the scrap box of miscellaneous old parts, sprue, and plastic.  At a certain point it takes so long to find anything, it just makes sense to clean out all these scrap items and start again. A good way to use up everything - without throwing it all away - is to simply turn the scrap box into a model of a scrap yard. The scrap piles would surround the two spurs onto the scrap yard property off the mainline.  A short tail track would allow a small company switcher to move gondolas around the property as needed to help with the loading process.

Alberta Wheat Pool Module Design

Alberta Wheat Pool

The look of a wooden grain elevator has always fascinated me.  About 15 years ago, I built a module of one of these prairie skyscrapers and it is still up and running today.  The track plan is a very simple concept but the details which can be added to a module like this can really set the scene.  One nice part about this module is that it would be easy to backdate the scene to the 1940s and turn it into a scene from the early 2000s.  Just change the vehicles, rolling stock, and a handful of details and this module can work for a variety of eras.

To see more designs, head back to the BranchTRAK design gallery >