John Allen - The TimeSaver

Construction Plans and Comments

Before you begin planning or constructing a Timesaver layout, please read the design considerations and background on the Timesaver history page.

Diagrams of the Timesaver are available in many locations on the Internet, but the most accurate (and simplest) is provided at the Model Railways Shunting Puzzles website. It is reproduced here by permission. This website has additional excellent information on the Timesaver, its construction and operation and many examples of Timesaver clones. It also features the “Inglenook,” a fiendish, simple-looking British switching puzzle with as many devotees as the Timesaver. I highly recommend Inglenook Sidings to any aficionado of switching puzzles.

TimeSaver plan

Note the single runaround and the explicit lengths of each siding. These were just long enough for the designated number of cars but had no bumpers, so a little extra “oomph” on a pushing move would result in a derailment and time penalty.

The following diagrams show Timesavers in both N and HO scales. Each can be made etirely from common, retail track components, a simple DPDT switch and an inexpensive trainset quality transformer or power pack. The key to completing these projects is the small, "fitter" pieces of track that make the lengths correct and permit the turnouts to fit correctly. The navigation panels to the left introduce a number of computerized and online Timesavers that you may wish to try.

N Scale TimeSaver

The N scale version of the Timesver can be built with commercial components, taking care to fit the turnouts correctly, adding small fitter sections to the track to achieve the correct length. This version was built with No. 6 turnouts and sized to fit 40 foot cfull-sized versionars. Notes on the plan show how to increase the sizs for 50 foot cars.

Timesaver plan in N scale

Click here for a full-sized version of this plan for printing. The plan may be saved to your hard drive and printed. Please respect the copyright notice on the lower portion of the picture.

HO Scale Timesaver

An HO scale Timesaver may also be built with commercial parts. This one (and 24 other identical ones!) was built by The Prince William County Model Railroad Club for the 1999 National Boy Scout Jamboree. Full construction details are available at the club website.The plans at the site include a full shopping list, as well as more construction photos and notes.

Timesaver in HO scale Click here for a full-sized version of this plan for printing. The plan may be saved to your hard drive and printed. Please respect the copyright of the owner.

Timesaver Clones and Variants

It would take megabytes of data and hours of typing just to dent the surface of the collection of TimeSaver variants and clones on the web and in magazines. In addition ot the recommended sites in the left column, you can use the Model Railroad Magazine Index to find more Timesavers and other switching puzzles than all of us together will ever build.
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