Archive for February, 2012

So, I quickly decided on an industrial switching layout. This was new to me, so I hit the internet and did some research. I kept coming back again and again to some concepts and even web sites. These were my inspiration.

When it comes to model railroading, I’m very visual, so a number of images impressed me and shaped my decisions.

My first glimpse came in the form of a blog post.

Ness Street Yard was particularly interesting.

I also hit upon Carl Ardent’s Small Layout Scrapbook. It had a different quality to it, one I would not appreciate until almost a year later. More on that in a following post.

I bought some track on eBay and started down Ness Street. After a couple of hours of fiddling, I decided to simplify and went more in the direction of the switcher from Gateway NMRA – Gateway Central XV. They have some great information on their club web site. I had a little more space, so I expanded their trackplan slightly.

I had not really done an intercity layout before, so I gathered all the information I could. I did notice that there was more information, materials, and kits available for urban settings than when I had packed my things away all those years ago.

I eventually found a gem of a resource. “Building City Scenery” by John Pryke. I still use it as a reference book.

Other urban layouts caught my eye and motivated me to up my game.

 – Wolfgang Dudler’s Westport Terminal RR
 – Kevin Klettke‘s Washington Northern Tideflats District

And I found some real eye candy with

 – Vic Smith’s City Edge
 – Peter Feigenbaum gritty Brooklyn modeling

So off it was to turn a piece of plywood into a gritty city scape I’ve named South Side Industrial District – a freelance, modern urban switching railroad.

Look for a consolidated page of links on the homepage coming soon.



Posted: February 22, 2012 in Planning
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As far as I could tell, the boxes has been packed away for at least 23 years. I decided to get out my old trains.

Breaking out the boxes for a test run

I didn’t really know what kind of layout I wanted, so I started doing research. And I had wondered how things had changed in more than 2 decades. I started with a trip down to the local bookstore to pickup a copy of the latest edition of Model Railroader. I had been a subscriber in my youth and knew this was the fastest way to catch up on the industry’s offerings.

As far as placement, I was debating a larger layout in the garage or a smaller one in the spare room. Family discussion steered me towards the extra room.

All my kit was in HO, so that was decided. Era and locale? I would freelance a modern-day pike, just like the one in my parents’ basement when I was a kid.

Then I began to hit the internet, too. Smaller layouts with operating possibilities began to draw me in. After a few nights of trolling model railroad sites, it was settled:

I would build an industrial switching layout in the closet.

My auspicious right-of-way Breaking out the boxes for a test run