Karl Hilse’ Layout Gallery

During a recent chapter meeting, members got to observe the cleaver way that Karl Hilse displayed his vintage Märklin HO scale train collection. Karl’s home is built at the edge of a beautiful lake in New Hampshire, but lacks room for a conventional floor-based layout. So, Karl mounted his track on a trace that runs around the ceiling of the sunroom (see above). Special hangers were crafted to support the track and trains.

(Click to enlarge)


Karl designed the layout using modern C-Track, but retained use of his vintage semaphore signals. The layout consists of a large rectangular loop and two passing sidings at both narrow ends of the loop. Using turnouts, detector tracks and brake modules, three complete trains make their way around the loop, taking turns at the straight sections.


As the “shelf” layout is most visible from beneath, Karl had to tuck all the wiring amid the tracks (see above).

(Click to enlarge)


The entryway to the room dictates a somewhat reduced floor-to-ceiling clearance. The track at this point makes a slight uphill run over a see-through glass plate, over a vintage Märklin metal truss bridge. A close up view of this bridge appears on the “Members Layouts” page.



Another view of Karl’s unique layout. Karl is working on a method to incorporate some his equally vintage structures. We’re sure he will nicely incorporate these in the near future and get many hours of enjoyment watching his collection encircle the room.