A Mining Colony Layout on Mars

The featured project is a fictional modular display layout in N scale, representing future mining colony on Mars, created in SCARM by David Boxall. Read the article and download the track plan from the links below to see it in details.

The layout will be arranged on two modules with overall size of 2400mm x 800mm (94.5″ x 31.5″) for easy transportation. Here are the 2D and 3D images of the whole layout with both modules assembled. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.


The trackage consists of Peco Code 80 sectional and flexible tracks. The rolling stock may be collected from some current high-speed passenger train models in N, which should be repainted to fit to the future era on Mars. The following is a short explanation of David’s idea:

The Left module

This module has a landing pad for ships to bring in/out freight with a line that comes right next to it for loading & unloading and control centre (yellow building built into the outside of the crater wall). There is a station for passengers as well. The track will be covered with clear plastic tubing (this cannot be displayed with the current version of SCARM). The buildings I added are 4 hydroponics greenhouses (2 each side with light blue roof). There is a power supply array of solar panels in the upper left corner to help powering the site (I intend to use real solar cells on the module to hopefully power some LED’s in the layout). The long slim buildings are connecting corridors between the passenger station and administration building (Admin is red, station is Purple). The big red panels are shutter doors for vehicles to come and go by. Finally the blue tank could be an oxygen tank or water tank. I hope you like it. I know that I am looking forward to building it as well as the other modules, but till then I shall be using SCARM extensively to try to pre-plan as much as possible what I want.

The Right module

The second module has 2 houses, a main terminal station with passenger and freight dealt within the area. There are two warehouses (light green), retail outlets, etc. (pink), a station building (yellow) and habitation (orange). Under the crater hillside there is a fiddle yard which I will access by either making part of the hillside removable or adding a backing board so uncovering a percentage of the track for access.

Note that the terrain surface color on the 3D image above is edited to match the color of the ground on Mars. At the moment, SCARM has no option to alter the colors of the landscape in 3D and when viewed in the 3D Viewer, the terrain will be in the default green color like most places on the Earth.

Thank you, David, for sharing your layout idea with all other model train fans and SCARM users :)

Download the whole layout from the links below or see the two modules in details on SCARM Layouts & Track Plans site.

Featured layout
Mars Mining Colony Layout (combined).zip (99 KB unzipped SCARM file)

See also
Left Layout Module only
Right Layout Module only


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