Thursday, March 14, 2019


I mentioned my Model Railroad Planning 2019 article on designing switching layouts inspired by Clackamas, Oregon in both HO- and N scale for two different clients a few weeks ago. In that post, I noted that a friend was independently planning a 2-rail O scale layout for the same area.

I had a little time, so I proceeded to sketch up something to fit his roughly 16’X20’ space. He’s building with sectional track and benchwork sections (mostly 2’X4’), so that added a little complexity to the task. (Not to mention the demands of the large scale in terms of siding and spur length.) But he and I were happy with the results.

Click here for a larger view.

He needs occasional access to closets along the bottom edge of the drawing by rolling away the benchwork sections, so I tried to incorporate smaller track sections at those joints that could be easily removed and replaced. I gained some flexibility by wrapping the runaround along three walls. And the long, narrow strip of benchwork on the right wall was great for extending the main lead and imagined connection to Portland.

As with any design for a larger scale in a relatively small space, arranging things so that the larger industries may be represented by flats keeps down the square footage demands.

He indicates that he might swap the designations of the two Fred Meyer tracks to allow the bakery to be the longer track where a variety of car types might be spotted (hoppers of flour, tank cars of oils or sweeteners, box cars for packaging, etc.). He may make additional revisions as he builds, but this gave him a good starting point for his design.

I can’t remember ever designing three layouts in three different scales for the same real-life location. But it’s been fun!

Friday, March 08, 2019

Art in Model Railroading, Double-or-Half, and more in LDJ-63

It was interesting to explore a number of topics from a different perspective in LDJ-63. Although I personally don't have the modeling or photography skills to approach art with my own work, I'm happy that others doand are willing to share!

This issue includes: Stepping out of the Sandbox: Lance Mindheim on model railroading as art. John Sethian builds O Scale scenes inspired by Edward Hopper paintings. Multi-deck layout retrospective and lessons learned for large HO proto-freelance layout. Rethinking successful San Francisco State Belt HO layout in half, and double, the space. Portable banner helps tell Hawaiian Fn3 layout story. More design lessons from museum dioramas. LDSIG News and Announcements, including LDSIG activities at SLC NMRA 2019.

I personally particularly enjoyed Bill Kaufman's article on what he would do differently with his mid-sized San Francisco State Belt layout if he were to build it in halfor doublethe space with the same scale, era, concept, locale, etc. I hope we'll be able to publish more of these articles by other successful layout builders.

To download a free “Sampler” of a few pages of LDJ-63 and other recent issues, visit this link.

To begin or renew Layout Design SIG membership, visit this link.

Paper copies are in the mail now, on-line-delivery emails will start going out in the next week or so.