Model Train Layouts & Track Plans
Home What "Epoch/Era" means
When talking for model railroading, one of the most important things that should be considered in the beginning is the layout's "epoch" (also "era"). This is the time period, which is represented in the layout and is determined mostly by the buildings, trackside items and accessories (i.e. signalling) and the rolling stock that will run on the tracks.
In example, if you wish to run steam locos and old-type trains on your layot, you will need to focus on a epoch I-II-III or Steam era. Such track plans may contain smaller stations with turntables and semaphore signals on it. It will be confusing to have modern buildings such as skyscrapers or modern cars from 80's and 90's on this type of layout.
Opposing to the old times, you may wish to search for a present time layout where modern trains will run. Such track plan may have double main lines, modern-style station buildings with long tracks and large platforms, color light signals and so on. This time period is represented in epoch V-VI or Modern era.