Rokuhan Shorty Shinkansen Layout

Posted by Chris Carpenter on

I’m working on a small (3’x2’) Rokuhan Shorty layout. I plan to put it in a suitcase sized case so it will be portable and easily stored.  The layout is going to be based on a modern city.  This is my first time working with Z scale and I really like it.  The layout has an inner  and outer track with switches and fits in a pretty small space.

I have the track layout done and the mounting board.  I designed a city block with an intersecting road to lay the track on.  It’s printed on glossy poster paper. To keep it looking nice I’m covering it with some thin plexiglass sheet.  The plexi and paper are both mounted on some 1/4” plywood.


I’m 3D printing the buildings hollow so I can light them.  I’m hoping to use thin tinted acrylic sheet mounted on thin side to mimic a lighted office building.  I also have some Z scale sized streetlights and lighted cars to put down.

Road intersection on the layout


I’ve built a custom control box to control the two trains that will run on the track.  I thought about DCS control but it’s not cost effective.  I’m using two very small speed controllers and a couple of switches to control the speed and direction.  The track switches are controlled with a clever capacitor equipped two position switch.  Best of all it can all be powered with a 9v battery.  Makes the layout very portable.  I’m going to use some rechargeable 9v batteries to keep it cost effective.

 Control boxControl Box with battery cover open

I wanted to use an actual suitcase but I didn’t find one for a reasonable price that would fit.  So, I’m laser cutting a box out of 1/4” wood.  I’m toying with the idea of covering it in faux leather to make it look like a suitcase.

Be sure to check out part 2 of the build.

Until then, here's a video of the trains on a test run.


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