Starting a new layout-Need info on history and building

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Hookups, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Hookups

    Hookups New Member

    Hello all,

    After what seems like forever planning a small switching layout, I have found the room in my house for a bigger layout.

    As of right now, we are renting our house, but are talking with the home owners about buying. There my be a chance that I may move out from here, I don't think we will, but life happens at times. So with this layout, I want to build it to be moved if need be.

    With that being said, I have not really a problem, but it might be. To get to where I want to put the layout is on the second floor. The stair well is pretty tight. What I am planning on doing is build it 4X2 sections so it can be moved. With the layout plan I have, I will have a 12X4 layout. Do any of you see a problem with this, or anything I should know going into it?

    The R/R I plan on modeling is in PA coming north out of Pittsburgh. My buddy that lives there said that he sees alot of NS on the main line. Is this a NS line? Who ran on that line in the 80's and what locos they used? The town he lives in is Natrona Hts, along RT28. They have a steel mill that has a short line for the mills. What I want to model is the short line, with a main line always running. Plus, with the landscape in western PA, I can make a pretty nice model. Anyone with info about that area, please post your thoughts.

    I know that with doing the bench work in sections, I will be limited on what I can do as far as where I can lay track. I plan on putting in a backdrop in the middle to seperate the two sides that run 12 feet long. I guess I can go with a big oval for a mainline, some what of a yard, and the shortline. Anyone have any ideas? Please post away.

  2. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    You might want to check out hte modular forum. It sounds like that is what you need to build so you can move it if neccesary.
  3. Hookups

    Hookups New Member

    I posted there as well.

    After doing a little more measuring, I am going to build a 4X8, and cut it in half.

    My father-in-law and I built one for our nephew this past X-Mas, and found that you can put alot in a 4X8. I will have my main line and a yard and branch lines to service three parts of a steel mill. I will still have plenty of switching with what I am coming up with for trackplans.

    If I ever get bored with it, I can always go run on his 15X20.

    I plan on modeling when Conrail took over PC. I will have alot of options for locos. Anyone know where I can find history about that time?

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    A 4x12 layout will need at least 2 feet all around it (well, three sides anyway)so you are looking at a 8x14 or 8x16 room minimum. I would suggest that you "turn it inside out" and design your layout in 2x4 modules/sections to fit that space instead. This will allow you to have nicer curves and easy reach for operations.

    Take a look at all the possibilities in the "resources" thread at the top of the Modular Forum main page. There are a lot more possibilities than just a "big oval" for a mainline...

  5. inkaneer

    inkaneer Member

    The line you are referring to is the old Pennsy line that follows the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh North thru Natronna. The Pennsy actually ran on both sides of the River. It was called the low grade line and could connect with the Main line near Cresson. In the 80's it was Conrail now it is NS. It has been reduced to one track in most places but still sees a minimum of two trains/day, more if traffic on the mainline is heavy. Most of the trafic is unit trains of coal but some intermodal and mixed freight too. In the 80's Conrail would run 4 and 6 axle EMD's primarily.
  6. Hookups

    Hookups New Member

    Thanks for the info guys, keep it coming.

    I plan on modeling the time period when Conrail took over Pennsy, the very beginning of it. That way I can have some nice "new paintovers" for the Conrails, and still have some Pennsy locos going as well.

    I have changed my benchwork a little to pretty much a 4X8, and have two yards at both ends of the layout. I didn't want to change, but I still need space in the room.

    If I have one of the yards Pittsburgh, what could I make the other? Anyone know of any good websites about that area?

    My father-in-law knows alot of that area, he models Pennsy,PC and a little B&O, but I will not see him till Sunday, just looking for info before then.

    Thanks you guys,
  7. inkaneer

    inkaneer Member

    'I plan on modeling the time period when Conrail took over Pennsy, the very beginning of it. That way I can have some nice "new paintovers" for the Conrails, and still have some Pennsy locos going as well."

    Conrail did not take over from Pennsy they took over from PennCentral who took over from Pennsy. The Pennsy and Penn Central paint went away pretty quickly at least on the mainline engines although there would be some still to be found. A lot of engines were retired or were sent back to the leasors at the end of their lease. Conrail, flush with government bailout money that PC never had, bought or leased new engines so what PC paint there was vanished pretty quickly.

Share This Page