An O Scale Switching Layout

Helotes Switching Company Serving Helotes, Texas Industrial Area

Info about the build

This freelance O Scale switching layout represents a fictional company serving an industrial area in the small community of Helotes on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas. The era of the layout is set between the years 1962 and 1971. It is loosely based on the switching layout featured in Lance Mindheim’s How To Design A Small Switching Layout.

Helotes Switching Company (“HSC”) has operated a short line railroad in Helotes, Texas since 1957. HSC interchanges with the Union Pacific (“UP”) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (“BNSF”) in downtown Helotes and operates 3.5 miles of railroad within the community.

HSC serves a variety of existing customers that are shipping and receiving commodities such as Grain, Oil, Precision Fittings, and Produce.  HSC also has services for ‘team track’ and warehousing needs.


  1. This may be a dumb question but what did you use to bend the track coming from the turnouts?

    • Denman

      February 27, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      I used Gargrave’s flex track. The curve matches the smallest radius sectional track piece I had. It’s tight, but pretty much hidden behind the grain silo so it’s not that obvious. I simply laid the sectional track down, scored an outline, and then laid the flex. Tacked the track with thin brads.

    • I misread your question, Frank. The curve coming out of the Gargrave switches is the curved sectional piece that came with the switch. I then used flex track. Hope this answers your question.

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