Layout Opinions

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by RobL, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. RobL

    RobL New Member

    Hello everyone. I just stumbled across this board and am really enjoying looking through everyones layouts and design thoughts, etc. I have attached some photos of the layout I just started working on. The room is small (our laundry room) that I did some remodeling on to make it look nice. The layout is 4 feet x 15 1/2 feet long and due to the narrow width of the room, I put the layout on wheels so I can pull it away from the wall to work on the side that butts up against the wall. I was surprised at how well this has worked out!

    My main goal is to have a "very scenic" layout and I am not entirely concerned about the prototypical correctness of the track (is that a real phrase?) anyways, I wanted the trains to be able to run around the loop constantly as I am not concerned about modeling operations, but more about scenery. The layout is running a Prodigy DCC system and the loop is long enough to run two trains at the same time and have enough space between them. I built in a small yard in the event I want to do some switching, but again, its more about making scenes for me.

    I'd appreciate anyones comments and I would love to hear any ideas from anyone on where you would go if you were putting scenery to this layout. The area next to the mountain/tunnels is going to be a farm I think, and the area where all the tools and supplies are will be a village... I am aiming for a New England autumn look, so the mountain will be full of colorful trees... coming soon!


    Attached Files:

  2. cedarcreekrr

    cedarcreekrr Member

    Looks great so far I can't wait to start mine when the basement is done.
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Welcome Rob!

    Looks like you're moving right along! Things look great too! I like the way your mountain is shaping up. I see what looks like plans for an bridge to the right of where your tracks cross over each other. Will that be for water or a road? Are you thinking of creating a valley setting for the town and farm inside that loop where the tools are or were you going to raise everythng up to track level or above there?

    Glad you could join us!
  4. RobL

    RobL New Member

    Thanks for the kind words.

    The farm is actually going to be in the area right next to the mountain. The inspiration for that was when my wife and I were in Vermont, we drove by the "most photographed" farm in Vermont, Jennee Farm. When you approach the farm, you are actually on a mountain pass looking down on the farm, so I think once that is done it is going to remind me of that vista.

    The cutout where the bridges are I am planning on that being a water feature. I am just trying to figure out how to get a road into the village area also. I will probably elevate the village area to match the rise of the track on the left, which is 2 inches above the base. The rise on the right ends up at around 4 inches at the bridges. Sadly, even though I was able to make a board bigger than 4x8, I still am going to have to make some compromises... growing up, we had a giant basement, now I have my own house with very little space... when I was a kid, I had space and no money, now I have money to build a layout and a tight space to work in... oh well!

    One other thing growing up... we had a spur that was served by the Penn Central and later Conrail. My first experience with trains was watching the daily Penn Central switcher bring a consist of boxcars to the warehouses located along the line. As you can see from the photo, I have a Conrail loco... I think I need to get a PC loco somewhere along the line too.

  5. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    That is a great start! Wow...You've got so many things you could do with that space. Nice job on the riser work and elevations.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    :thumb: What a great idea! :)

  7. RobL

    RobL New Member

    This is my first time creating a layout that actually has mountains and elevations (well, I've tried before and got "angry" with the results and tore it up to start again)... my wife even asked me when I started this layout, are we going to finish this one :)

    Looking at the mountain area, anyone have any suggestions on a good color wash formula to put down as the base? I intend on placing some hydrocal rocks down, but before putting the grasses / dirt and finally the trees, I would think it needs a good color wash of some sort.

  8. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Hey, a fellow fan of the Escargot. sign1

    Southern New York State railroading is my thing, so Conrail is an integral part of my stuff. Those bright blue Conrail engines with the Escargot logo has to be the most eyecatching ones on my roster. All the kids in my family visiting during these Christmas seasons seem to spot those first. "I want to run that blue train!" :D The two Atlas HO Conrail B40-8s on my roster are my pride and joy.

    Your layout is looking mighty fine!
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!


    are you sure its not a "C" on rail? (thats the kind of thing i woke up thinking one morning. bizarre)

    Yeah, i love my B40-8. I really need another. or atleast pair it up with my GP38-2 for now.
  10. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    LOL yeah some wags observed that the C on rails logo looked kind of like a snail leaving a mucus trail (and during its early difficult years, according to some the snail is appropriate, heh heh). sign1

    Anyway, how about grabbing a Susquehanna B40-8? I remember seeing NYSW locos in mixed consists with Conrail units hauling container trains in northern Joisey and eastern PA back before NYSW got rid of their B40-8s. :cry: Quite good-looking! :thumb:
  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    wait.... its really supposed to be a C on rails? I thought it was just a coincidence.... but suddenly things make sense!

    You have to admit though, even though conrail had troubles in the beginning, that was one colorful mix up before it all went blue! I have pictures of PC, Reading, and EL Alcos and EMDs pull freight across a bridge. It makes me cray, because i want to do the modern stuff, but at the same time, early conrail is infinitely interesting.

    I should get the patch jobbed NYSW B40-8s. I can put them behind my other CSX locomotivs. I really need to get container trains now that you mention it to, but i'm afraid the wires will probably hang to low, if the tops of the containers aren't clipped by one of my highway bridges, lol.
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yeah I know that story!

    Yeah, i grew up with Conrail to ( well, i still am growing, although now with CSA0).

    What is the brand of your locomotives, and whats that second black one towards the bottom in the yard?

    This is a cool area to model in the modern times. Lots of the larger 6 axle diesels run in this area, like SD80MACs (and CSX AC6000CWs if you want to model after the Conrail split). of course, earlier operations are cool to.

    as for suggestions for a tunnel, have you considered the State Line tunnel near Canann, New york? it almost looks like a cave. there is now "portal", just a hole in solid rock. its pretty cool looking. I don't have any photos to post though.
  13. RobL

    RobL New Member

    The Conrail loco is an Atlas Master Gold (with QSI DCC decoder with sound). The black one in the yard is an old Athearn GP38, Norfolk Southern my mom got me years ago... it's a DC loco so it actually cannot run on the layout since I have a Prodigy DCC system and it is not compatible with DC, so it was merely put there for the picture... sooner or later I will put a decoder in it so it can really run. The third loco in the picture is an Atlas GP38, Green Montain Railroad, DCC w/ no sound.

    I live right outside of Buffalo, NY and about 10 miles from CSX's Frontier Yard. Our landscape here is quite flat, so short of modeling a giant yard, I am certainly not looking around here for inspiration. My design idea is "autumn in New England". I am planning on alot of fall foliage and a timeless village with older buildings serving modern purposes. The nice thing with New England is that is seems to be frozen in time, but yet modern. My railroad will be where Conrail ends and the local railroad, Green Mountain ,picks up... although I am not really concerned about reality in that sense.

    I highly recommend the Atlas Master Gold series... the sound is excellent, albeit too loud out of the box, but nothing a little configuration can't solve. The loco details are also great. For under $200.00, they are nice locos.

  14. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I like your track plan. It sounds like it fits your interests perfectly...and the yards gives you a place to keep your extra locomotives/favorite cars so as to not have to handle them very often (the nicest paint job will dissappear with too much handling).

    I look forward to seeing more pictures.

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