An 00 Gauge/4mm Scale Shunting Puzzle

Inglenook South is an 00 gauge/4mm scale shunting puzzle. The layout measures 5ft x 1ft, it features an island platform, a hidden storage siding and a head shunt with three sidings. Inglenook South is a fictional location, although very loosely based somewhere in Sussex during the 1990s.



Inspiration for the layout came about due to a lack of space and from a superb website about small layouts and shunting puzzles at

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The baseboard surface is 5ft x 1ft sheet hardwood on a 2″x1″ timber frame, with supports across the width of the frame every 1ft. The vertical back scene and hidden siding is also on sheet hardwood.

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Track, Power & Control

The track is by Peco, from the Code 100 Streamline range, with non insulated (Electrofrog) points and fitted with motors. The houses and depot cabins have interior lights. The buffer stops are from the Hornby range, but have been modified to save space. The signals and buffer stop lights are from the Train-Tech range, all powered up by a single Hornby Select DCC controller. The switches to control the points, lights and signals are all on a Peco switch mounting positioned beside the hidden storage siding.

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The platform, depot walls and terraced houses are Metcalfe kits, the signal box, portable cabin and depot accessories are from the Bachmann Scenecraft range, the station building above the platform is scratch built using plastic card.

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Because the layout is small, it means that a number of details can be added to the landscape. The back scene is from the Peco range, it features various buildings such as shops and houses. On the platforms, people are placed sitting on benches or standing waiting for the next departure.





The layout is first and foremost designed to be a shunting puzzle of the ‘Inglenook’ type. However, it has also been designed to include a small railway station, with two platforms and an ‘off scene’ hidden storage siding. The layout design means that the station platforms and hidden storage area can be operated independently of the Inglenook puzzle. The railway station platform is an island design, which can accommodate two, two carriage length trains.

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A full description of how the Inglenook shunting puzzle concept works can be found at this very good and informative website


The shunting puzzle features three sidings and a head shunt. The three sidings can accommodate a total of 11 wagon lengths, one siding has a capacity for five wagons and the other two sidings have a capacity for three wagons each. The head shunt has enough capacity for a locomotive and three wagons. A five wagon train order is decided at random using coloured counters, from a maximum of eight wagons available, then the eight wagons are shunted about in order to make up the five wagon train, into the randomly selected order, in the siding that can accommodate five wagons, hours of fun and over 40,000 different train combinations are possible.


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