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NOTE: I'm in the process of updating the scripts that run the blog, so there will be changes made in the next few months. Comments no longer need approval, but you must be logged-in to view posts. If you want to become a member of this website, just click on the 'Sign-In' link on the menu bar for more information. Cheers, Rob.


Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 3:56:00 AST.)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

On18 SCALE: Fugere Manufacturing & Fabrication, Limited (Concept Drawing)

Late last year, a member of the Micro/Small Model RR Layout group was discussing building a layout in On18 scale. Since I had never designed in that scale before, I contacted him about designing a layout in a small space using either a sector plate, or a transverse table. While trying to decide what I was going to do in the scale, I came...

2021.02.14C-001.gif (51020 bytes)

Views: 664 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Design Feature: Train Elevator, Layout Size: Micro Layouts, Theme: Industrial Railway, Theme: Single Industry, Type: No Run-Around Track, Types of Industries: Manufacturing Plant



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 3:04:00 AST.)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

On30 SCALE: Gowrie Colliery Tramway (No Turnout Layout)

I'm in the process of writing an article for my blog that highlights and explains some different types of micro and small layouts and how they are operated. I plan to start with a very simple layout, and then increase the complexity as the article progresses. I will try to go into detail on how I see each one being operated, and the options that can be...

2021.02.14B-001.gif (24965 bytes)

Views: 998 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Layout Size: Micro Layouts, Theme: Industrial Railway, Theme: Mining, Theme: Narrow Gauge Railway, Theme: Waterfront, Type: No Run-Around Track, Type: No Turnout Layout, Types of Industries: Coal Mines, Types of Industries: Wharves



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 2:02:00 AST.)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

O SCALE: Pickering Valley Feed & Farm Supply Co.

I was asked by member of the Micro/Small Layout group to offer some suggestions for an 20x72-inch extension off his existing circa late 1950's O-scale layout. He wanted to keep trackage to a minimum with an industry suitable for Pennsylvania , southern New York, or West Virginia that was served by box cars and flat cars....

2021.02.14A-001.gif (35732 bytes)

Views: 1127 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Layout Size: Micro Layouts, Theme: Single Industry, Type: 1 Turnout Layout, Type: No Run-Around Track, USA (States): Pennsylvania



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, February 09, 2021 at 7:40:32 AST.)

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

N SCALE: Western Maryland Railway

The owner of this design didn't really have one prototype in mind, instead, he wanted a generic layout with a few big online mines that would allow him to run whatever he liked, but mostly coal drags. The layout had to have a staging yard, an interchange with another railway, and also allowances for continuous running. My client didn't have an exact location in mind, but he did mention somewhere around...

2019.10.12K-001.gif (69895 bytes)

Views: 1323 | Comments: 1

TAGS: Design Feature: Continuous Run Option, Design Feature: Interchange, Layout Size: Medium Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: Coal Haulers, Theme: Mainline Trains, USA (States): West Virginia, American Railways: Western Maryland Ry, Types of Industries: Coal Mines



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Wednesday, February 03, 2021 at 7:33:24 AST.)

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

N SCALE: North Kensington

I was asked by a member of the Micro/Small Model RR Layouts to do a single town scene in N-scale on a hollow core door. However, by the time I had finally gotten around to designing the layout, the member had left the group, so I never made contact again. I decided to go ahead with the design anyway, but I didn't put as much detail or effort into...

2020.05.09G-001.gif (38813 bytes)

Views: 3248 | Comments: 4

TAGS: Design Feature: Continuous Run Option, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: Single Station / Town



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 15:46:30 AST.)

Sunday, January 31, 2021

O SCALE: Canadian Pacific Rail Barge Scene in Proto48

Here is something a little different. It is a 3'x10' layout (with a staging cassette added) done in O-scale of a rail barge operation. One possible locale for the scene would be on the Canadian Pacific somewhere in British Columbia in the mid 1970s. If I was doing the layout, I would try using Proto48 standards, since I...

2019.10.14B-001.gif (30682 bytes)

Views: 1762 | Comments: 4

TAGS: Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Staging Options: Car Float, Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: Single Station / Town, Theme: Waterfront, Type: 3 Turnout Layout, Type: Beginner Layout, Type: No Run-Around Track, Canada (Provinces): British Columbia, Canadian Railways: Canadian Pacific Ry



Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 4:31:51 AST.)

Saturday, January 23, 2021

RESOURCE: Journal of Model Railroad Design (Facebook Group)

Do you need some help planning and designing your next layout? Well, if you do, I just created a private Facebook group that offers free advice and guidance to members. So, please join up and post your ideas or concept drawings, and I will offer you some honest feedback once I know your goals for the design. I will also be using the group to notify members of updates to this blog. Looking forward to interacting with you.

2020.05.14A-001.jpg (161142 bytes)

LINK: Journal of Model Railroad Design Facebook Group

Views: 814 | Comments: 5



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 14:10:22 AST.)

Thursday, December 31, 2020

HO SCALE: Port Carbon Industrial Railway (with Car Float)

Back in March 2018, there was some talk on a railway forum about using car floats/ferries as staging on a small layout to make it a "stand alone" design. Since many people are very limited when it comes to layout space, they may not even have any additional room for staging. With that in mind, it is always good to have an option of...

2020.05.09E-001.gif (18069 bytes)

Views: 1903 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Staging Options: Car Float, Theme: Industrial Park / District, Theme: Single Station / Town, Theme: Waterfront, Types of Industries: Wharves



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Wednesday, November 04, 2020 at 9:41:50 AST.)

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

HO SCALE: Terminal & Tidewater Switching

I started this more or less for fun back in February of 2018, just to see what I could do. It was inspired by an article in the September 1947 issue of The Model Railroader. ["Terminal and Tidewater Switching Facilities Give This Layout an Interesting Touch" by Charles Small. MR, Sept., 1947, page 725.] While the article...

2020.01.01H-001.gif (31801 bytes)

Views: 8919 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Layout Size: Small Layouts, Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: Industrial Park / District, Theme: Switching Operations, Theme: Terminal Railway, Theme: Waterfront



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 21:12:01 ADT.)

Saturday, October 31, 2020

N SCALE: Railserve (Murfreesboro, TN)

This is a bit different from my usually designs: it is a track-for-track copy of an actual industry served by Railserve, Inc. (Railserve is a contract railroad services company that that provides in-plant railcar switching for over 70 companies in North America.) This layout is based on the General Mills' Pillsbury Plant in...

2019.10.13H-001.gif (11359 bytes)

Views: 1667 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Design Feature: Interchange, Layout Size: Small Layouts, Theme: Single Industry, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), USA (States): Tennessee, American Railways: Railserve



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 7:07:35 ADT.)

Saturday, October 31, 2020

HO SCALE: Soo Line Branch Line

Back in July of 2017, a member of a railway forum offered to send me something that I still needed for my On30 layout in exchange for my layout design services. At the time, I had pretty much all the motive power, rolling stock, and track that I needed, so I explain the situation, thanked him for the generous offer, and assumed that was the end of it. However, he...

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Views: 1654 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Layout Size: Small Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: Branch Line Railway, American Railways: Soo Line



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, October 08, 2020 at 9:08:34 ADT.)

Thursday, October 08, 2020

HO SCALE: Cunningham's Gap (Single Station)

This is another design for a single station layout, and it was originally designed as two potable modules for a model railroading club. Back in the 1990s, I had been involved in a joint project with the club to develop some standards for their modular bench work system. The original standard called for 24-inch wide modules as a minimum, but...

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Views: 2121 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Theme: Single Station / Town



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 8:53:02 ADT.)

Saturday, August 22, 2020

HO SCALE: Prairie Branch Line Railway

This design was just completed for a client that wanted to model a prairie branch line railway located somewhere in the province Saskatchewan. My client sees it as a former Canadian National line that was cast off during the 1990s, and its main customer is an ethanol plant at the end of the branch. The owner had a lot of structures already...

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Views: 1508 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Layout Size: Medium Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: Canadian Prairies, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Canada (Provinces): Saskatchewan, Types of Industries: Ethanol Plant



Posted in Rolling Stock by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 16:24:00 ADT.)

Saturday, June 13, 2020

ROLLING STOCK: American Locomotive Company (ALCo) RS-1

By far, one of my all time favourite diesel models is the RS-1 built by ALCO, and I have also always loved Canadian National Railways' (CNR) old green and yellow livery, along with a green and yellow paint scheme used on the DEVCO Railway that once operated near my home on Cape Breton Island. I did a few layout designs for branch line operations in the late 60's/early 70's in Nova Scotia, and I knew if I ever built such a layout, it would be home to RS-1's in a CNR inspired paint scheme. For now, I am content to build in the virtual world, and have finally added an RS-1 to my library files for 3rd PlanIt. I'm sure it will be showing up on some future designs.

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Views: 560 | Comments: 0

TAGS: My Projects: Nova Scotia Railway



Posted in Rolling Stock by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 11:58:00 ADT.)

Thursday, June 11, 2020

ROLLING STOCK: Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) M420

After seeing Rapido's up-coming production of HO-scale MLW's M420s (link), I knew that I eventually would want one. I spent many days back in the late 80s/early 90s watching these locomotives on Canadian National's Sydney sub, and they quickly became a favourite of mine. Since I'm starting to revamp some of my rolling stock, I decided to do up an M420 in my fictional Nova Scotia Railway livery. I have a few layout designs on the go that will be based on a modern era version of this freelance railway and I knew that ex-CN units would likely be on the roster.

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Views: 734 | Comments: 0

TAGS: My Projects: Nova Scotia Railway

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