MODEL TRAIN BUFF
An HO scale layout by a retired modeler
I have been active in the hobby of model railroading since 1984. I started in N scale but switched to HO after a year. I partially built a number of layouts that never seemed to reach a completed state. This time I decided to do the job right and have a layout with a complete look.
My wife and I have spent about 2 years bringing this layout to the point that it has that complete look that I wanted. It still needs a lot of detail put into it, such as figures, vehicles, and signs. We have a space 10x16 feet in our basement that is now our rail empire. The track plan is a folded dog-bone style stacked over a four- track pull through staging area. It is a walk-in style that puts the operator in the middle of the action.
The line is a single -track main line with a large industrial switching area I call Olean, named after the town in upstate New York where my wife was from. The action is centered on a setoff track that feeds and collects cars from the eight locations that are served. It also has a three- track mini-yard located there. Olean has a mini mainline looping the area and it is a complete layout within the larger one.
My benchwork is the box style that sits between 45 and 51 inches above the floor. I like a higher layout with an eye level view. I use Ĺ inch plywood and cork for the roadbed. The track and turnouts are Atlas code 100. All of the turnouts are remotely controlled. Power is supplied by three MRC packs with switch machines powered by a separate 5 amp filtered DC power supply.
The mainline is 120ft long, thatís 2 scale miles. Small layouts force a person to make choices and require a lot of planing. I made a list of the things I wanted in this layout and feel I achieved my goals. I was careful not to put too much track down and have a maze.
I call my layout the Joint Line that sees Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, Burlington Northern, SOO, Grand Trunk, Conrail. ,Union Pacific/Chicago Northwestern and Indiana Harbor Belt Traffic. The time period is the late 80ís and is set in the midwest between two large cities. I keep 2 general freights,an intermodel runthru, a small unit coal train, a work train, and an executive train on the layout. Sound is provided by a CMI digital system feeding an old audio amp and four speakers under the layout Lighting is fluorescent with soft tubes and 8 mini spotlights.
I have been a member of the Tanana Valley Model Railroad Club for 15 years. We have a large layout at the Alaska Railroad Depot in Fairbanks. While living in Chicago I was a member of the White Pines and Wilmette Model Railroad clubs. I have learned a lot and enjoyed the friendship that a club provides.
Last update 1/21/04