Model Railroad Planning 2015

Build Your Best Model Railroad layout with proven track plans, design ideas and expert advice. Model Railroad Planning 2019 is back with more small and mid-size layouts along with doable how-to projects. Featured stories include: • A compact HO layout depicting the Delaware & Hudson in the Alco Century era greets guests at a New York state B&B. • An HO tribute to the Akron, Canton & Youngstown, which provided a bridge route from the East to Midwest. • A superbly crafted multi-deck layout in O scale of the Louisville & Nashville during the steam era. • An L-shape N and HO switching railroad showcases the Southern Pacific in Oregon. • And much more!

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Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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5 min
on to the next 20!

Last year’s edition was the 20th issue of Model Railroad Planning, which Kalmbach Publishing Co. has produced as a special annual issue of Model Railroader since 1995. We’re proud of that, ahem, “track” record, but no matter how hard we work to produce a product that you’ll find useful, entertaining, and stimulating, you remain the final judge as to how well we manage to meet our, and more importantly your, objectives. Using that as a yardstick, we successfully negotiated the first two decades and are looking forward to meeting with you here each January for the foreseeable future. Our thanks to each and every one of you, and especially to our contributors and advertisers, for your support. Moving on There is a common thread in two of our feature articles this year that…

10 min
in search of new challenges

Change is coming once again to my basement, where my 1951 Santa Fe layout is slowly being dismantled and replaced with one depicting the mid-1950s Norfolk & Western in HO. Rather than repeat the two-week marathon demolition job that removed my Missouri, Kansas & Quincy to make room for the Santa Fe layout, this time I’m removing sections of the old layout only when needed to make room for the new. That way, I’ll always have an operational railroad available when I get the urge to run trains. I chose the N&W as the main prototype for several reasons. I’d never modeled an East Coast railroad, even though I grew up there and vividly remember the Pennsylvania RR and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western. Several other candidates were also on my short…

4 min
east bay in the present day

Although a detatched singlecar garage seems like a significant amount of space for an HO railroad, my client’s desire for broad radii to support long, modern-era freight and passenger rolling stock meant that the available square footage was used up quickly. On-layout destinations were desired for container cars, tank cars, lumber flats, and modern mechanical reefers, along with at least one station for modern Amtrak and regional passenger lines. Fortunately, the client’s preferred East Bay (Oakland, Calif.) locale provides examples of all these elements. I originally hoped to accurately capture a few prototype scenes. But the realities of aisle space, minimum radius, and the need for long ramps to subterranean staging meant that I could use these real-life scenes only as inspirations, not replicate them accurately. The notable exception is the…

11 min
new home, new scale, new gauge

On Feb. 5, 2009, my wife, Cheryl, and I locked the front door to our home of 37 years in upstate New York for the last time, got in our car, and drove 1,000 miles south to North Carolina. Cheryl retired from General Electric in Schenectady that January, and I had already retired from the Burnt Hills Ballston Lake school system nine years earlier. We had been discussing the possibility of leaving New York for a warmer climate for quite a while. Both sons were grown and pursuing their careers, our oldest married with two children. We were empty-nesters; the time had finally come to make our move. There was one glitch in our desire to move that seemed to concern everyone in the family but me. That was the HO…

6 min
an engine-terminal layout

Many model railroaders complement their layout and operations with an engine terminal of some kind. However, an engine terminal can be a model railroad on its own with plenty of operating potential. My engine terminal layout is freelanced, but I’ve located it in an actual place. According to John C. Dahl, writing in the New York Central Historical Society’s Central Headlight, “When the NYC opened Central Terminal passenger station (Buffalo, N.Y.) in 1929, a ‘… new roundhouse and shop complex were proposed but never constructed.’” Just west of the actual Central Terminal, a relatively open space existed where a small engine terminal could have been located on the east side of Fillmore Avenue – see the concept map on page 32. Essentially, I’m building the roundhouse and servicing facility that never was. A…

13 min
unadilla valley: modeling a new york dairy line

Most times when you read a layout-design story, its potential for interesting operation heads the priority list. Often, the object is to pack in the maximum number of operational opportunities – towns, depots, yards, interchanges, industries, and railroad facilities such as engine terminals – together with the longest possible mainline run. Unfortunately, unless the available site is large, the resulting layout can often look somewhat crowded and cramped, with track strewn every which way and structures packed tightly together – fun, certainly, but not very realistic or natural looking! Such a layout also demands a lot of structures and equipment, usually calling for the use of easy-to-build kits, assembled structures, and/or ready-to-roll (RTR) trains. This can leave things just a little short on individuality. For many modelers, intensive operation is the name…