I always enjoy your posts – learning quite a bit from more experienced model railroaders. Over the years, I’ve started and stopped several layouts. After our kids grew up, I decided it was time to build a layout to completion in one of the spare bedrooms.
I started building the benchwork in 2014 (after finishing the “Enterprise 1799” sailing ship I had received for Christmas.) It has taken about 2-1/2 years to get to this point, and will probably take another year or two to complete. The majority of the work on the layout has been done during the dreary Midwest winter months – spending the rest of the year flying RC planes & helicopters.
The Ohio Western & Lima Shortline (OWLS) layout is in N Scale and designed to fit into a spare bedroom with about 2-1/2 feet walk-around space – so it came out to 5’ x 7’. It is loosely (OK, very loosely) modelled after my hometown, and set in the late 1940s to early 1950s. Choosing this period allowed me to use early diesel powered and steam powered locomotives.
The layout is centered around the logging industry feeding the large demand for post-WWII housing, in the western Appalachian Mountain area. It is built on insulation foam sheets with plaster cloth covering. The sub-roadbed and risers were also cut from foam sheets on a table saw.
The layout itself is a folded dog bone with sorting/ interchange yard and rises to pass by the small town of “Mt. Healthy.” The main line runs by the logging camp, down to the sawmill and back up to a siding, feeding the lumber yard and a brickyard (also used in many post-war houses in the area.)
The track is Peco Code 55, with Peco Code 55 Electro-rail turnouts. Power to the rails is DCC supplied by a LENZ 100 system.
The turnout frogs and reverse loop section are powered by TAM Valley frog juicers, and turnouts thrown by under-the-table mounted servos controlled by ANE Smart Switches. Using the under-table mounts made it easier to connect the turnout throws at the different elevations – you just make the guide tubes and connecting wires longer.
There are four control panels located around the layout, each controlling a portion of the track with overlapping sections controlled from multiple panels. All wiring (about 1500 feet), electrical switches and panel LEDs were purchased from a Midwest electronics supply company.
The town structures are Woodland Scenic Town and Factory, and houses scratch-built from Scale Model Plans, Tichy Train windows & doors and RS Laser strip shingles. For the town buildings, the signs and storefront windows are ink jet printed decals – many copied from original artwork of those particular businesses.
The logging camp is a JV Models wood kit, complete with dining hall, bunk house, company store and engine/ car service shed. Lighting for the businesses and houses are SMD LEDs powered by a separate 12 volt power supply. Most of the ground cover and foliage -currently being installed- is Woodland Scenic.
Sub Road Bed: All made from pink, ridged insulation foam. The risers and sub-road bed were cut and formed on a table saw.
Roadbed & track: Peco Code 55 flex track & Peco Code 55 turnouts.
Buildings placed: Mountains & terrain are formed with rigid foam, carved and covered with plaster cloth
Logging cars were from N Scale Kits with MicroTrains couplers & trucks
Looking south on “Main Street”. Engine servicing shed is visible in the background. Woodland Scenics Town & Factory buildings. “Hilltop Glass” is scratch built from Scale Model Plans.
Close up showing pharmacy & local theater house
Looks like the local theater is showing “101 Dalmatians” and “Bambi” this week!
Looking east off of “Main Street” showing the local hardware store
Looks like the small town warranted a new United States Post Office branch!
JV Models logging camp loading logs (albeit too large- have to get smaller ones) for the lumber mill.
Lumber mill with stacks of cut lumber. Low spot in foreground will be a pond for receiving logs before cutting into lumber.
Interchange and lumber mill sidings
Brick Company (left) and lumber yard (right).
Dusk is falling on the town, so house porch lights are on.
Main Control Panel. Red buttons control turnouts, yellow LEDs show turnouts that are “open”. Red and green LEDs show which tracks are powered. Bottom 3 switches control building, street and house lights.
Starting to add foliage, trees & ground cover. Most rocks & outcroppings are castings, with some hand carved rock faces.
My word – what a write up. Really enjoyed reading this one, seeing a layout step by step really adds life to it, especially when the pictures show it taking shape too.
A huge thanks to Steve. And don’t forget, you’re only a one step away from creating your own masterpiece: The Beginner’s Guide is here.
That’s all this time, folks. Please do keep ’em coming.