Blog

Posted in Layout Tours by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, April 02, 2020 at 21:32:00 ADT.)

LAYOUT TOUR: Marble Mountain Quarry Company (HOn30)

Over the last several weeks I had the honour of seeing one of my smaller layout designs come to life on the Micro/Small Model RR Layouts Facebook group. The micro layout was built by Chris Broughton and is based on my Hn30-scale Marble Mountain Quarry Company design, which you can find here. As you can see from the...

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Views: 16 | Comments: 0



Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 18:42:39 ADT.)

RESOURCE: Get Maps / topoView

I want to make you aware of a resource I have been using to do some preliminary research on US rail lines for the last few years. It is called Get Maps / topoView, and is a service that lets you explore historical topographical maps in the US. (Link included below or click on the image.). To start, you just type in the location and state abbreviation in the search bar at top right. Once the software finds your location, the viewer will show all maps available. You can narrow your choices down by scale (I find the 1:24,000 topo maps the most useful) and the timeframe you want. Once you see the map you want on the list, select it and download it to your computer. (You must download the maps to see the rail lines. The map on screen is just the index map.) The best choice for download is the GeoPDF format (if available), and my next choice would be the GeoTiff. If you just want to do a quick download to see if the map is what you want, use the JPG format.

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LINK: Get Maps / topoView

Views: 33 | Comments: 0



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 18:07:29 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Port Able Railway (ISL)

This HO scale Port Able Railway industrial switching layout design was done for a member of Micro/Small Model RR Layouts to fit his 18-inch by 96-inch space. The line is located in the Northeastern United States during the 1979 IPD box car era. The layout owner wanted to include a food processing company, a manufacturing company, a furniture...

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Views: 59 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Design Feature: Modular Benchwork, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Theme: Switching Operations



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 19:02:52 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Arizona Eastern Railroad

This design has an interesting back story and was the result of almost a year of planning and research of the prototype Arizona Eastern Railroad. The original plan was to be built in On30, and the owner eventually decided to drop the centre peninsula and go with a layout just around three of the walls, plus the staging. In my version of the design, I kept the...

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Views: 36 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Design Feature: Based on Actual Location(s), Design Feature: Helix, Layout Size: Medium Layouts, Theme: Industrial Railway, Theme: Mining, USA (States): Arizona, American Railways: Arizona Eastern Railroad, Types of Industries: Smelther Complex



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Monday, March 16, 2020 at 6:43:38 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Lakeshore Industrial Spurs ( Mid-West Setting )

This layout was designed back in September of 2018 for another member of a railway forum I joined. The client wanted a very modern layout with only a few large online industries set in the mid-west. I tried to get as much variety in rolling stock as possible, while making the structures very visually appealing. The 16" wide shelves...

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Views: 87 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Theme: Industrial Park / District, Theme: Switching Operations, USA (Regions): Mid-West



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 6:23:06 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Canadian Pacific Branch Line

Many of my small layout designs focus on branch line operations that make it easier to portray in a small room. I also tend to make them as generic as possible so they are easily adapted to a variety of prototypes, and this design is a good example of that approach. This is an HO-scale design for a small end of a branch line operation that would easily...

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Views: 70 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Design Feature: Staging Yards, Layout Size: Small Layouts, Theme: Branch Line Railway, Theme: End of Line Station, Theme: Passenger Service, Canadian Railways: Canadian Pacific Ry



Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, March 13, 2020 at 14:59:11 ADT.)

RESOURCE: 3rd PlanIt by El Dorado Software

I have been asked many, many times what software I use to create my track plans, and 3D renderings. For those of you that don't know, I have been using 3rd PlanIt by El Dorado Software exclusively for over twenty years. In those two decades, the program has never once failed to meet my requirements or my expectations. In fact, it has proven to include far more features than I will ever use. In the interest of full disclosure I should also mention that for the past year or so, I have been part of the development team that tests new versions of the software before the updates are released to the public. It has been an honour for me to be part of that group of people, and to see firsthand the dedication and effort the developer continually puts forward to roll out the best track planning software on the market today.

LINK: 3rd PlanIt Website

Views: 63 | Comments: 4



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 5:43:18 ADT.)

ARTICLE: Branch line operations on a 4x8 sheet of plywood in HO Scale

Back in April of 2019, I was asked to design a HO-scale layout on a 4x8 sheet of plywood based on the same operating scheme that I proposed for use with my Central Alberta Railway (CARY) design. For those not familiar with my CARY track plan, it was an N-scale layout I designed back in 2010 using a hollow core door. How that layout was operated was partly inspired...

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Views: 143 | Comments: 4

TAGS: Design Feature: Continuous Run Option, Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Theme: Branch Line Railway, Canada (Provinces): Ontario, Canadian Railways: Canadian National Ry, Articles: Operating Small Layouts



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, March 08, 2020 at 17:18:00 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Soo Line

In exchange for my layout design services back in July of 2007, a client offer to send me something that I still needed for my On30 layout. But since I had all the motive power, rolling stock, and track that I required, I thanked him for the generous offer, and thought that was the end of it. However, he insisted that he compensate me from my time, and the...

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Views: 58 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Design Feature: Staging Yards, Layout Size: Small Layouts, Theme: End of Line Station, USA (Regions): Mid-West, American Railways: Soo Line



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, March 08, 2020 at 15:43:00 ADT.)

On30 SCALE: Crooked Mountain Railway

This design was done back in February of 2018 for a member of the Railroad Line Forums who was looking for ideas for an On30 layout to fit on a 36"x6'8" hollow-core door in his office. The layout owner wanted a continuous run with a few sidings, however, he was more interested in watching trains run during the workday, than operating the layout. I adapted...

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Views: 26 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Design Feature: Continuous Run Option, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Theme: Industrial Railway, Theme: Narrow Gauge Railway, USA (Regions): Southwest

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