Recently I got interested in the very compact Z scale trains. Z scale is 1/220th the size of the real world. The engines are 50 to 75 mm long. A human being is about 8mm tall. N scale humans are about 11mm tall and HO scale humans are about 20mm tall. I did not really want to invest in a new train layout, but the compact and portable size of Z scale got me excited.
In the photo, you will see a small prototype layout set up on a kitchen island which measures about 4 feet (1.2 meters) by 2 1/2 feet (0.7 meters). As you can see, you can have an oval, switches and a branch line in a very small space.
The blue Mopac GP9 engine and two cars are from American Z Lines (AZL) trains. The track is from Micro Trains Line and consists of the expansion loop and a few stretches of 220mm straights. The power supply is an analog Model Rectifier Corp (MRC) transformer with throttle.
The buildings are paper models from Scale Model Plans. At this scale, the buildings look great and the printing gives them lots of three-dimensional character.
The software allows you to model elevations and helps you calculate inclines. I have marked the incline ramps in tan color. Risers (elevated sections with no slope) are shown in green color. Additionally bridge supports and tunnel portals are shown in dark gray.
Some train enthusiasts like yards and switching, but I very much like long and loopy runs. This layout has a big outer loop, and a longer inner loop which doubles up goes round. Feel free to use my AnyRail layout file and make your own Z scale plans.
This is essentially the same layout before with some styrofoam ramps from Woodland Scenics who makes an extensive line of train subterrain and scenery.
I found my small train had no trouble with the 4% grade, so I went back to my plan and adjusted all my ramps and elevations.
Other articles in the scale train series include:
Thanks for reading my articles. More train layout photos and articles will be posted in the near future.