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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 Tuesday, June 06, 2023 at 15:19:52 ADT.)

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

HO SCALE: Brownville & Ashland Railway

This design was done back in February of 2019 for a client who had plenty of high end custom locos and freight cars that he wanted to showcase on the layout. The layout was to depict a modern day paper mill setting in a remote part of Northern Maine. Boxcars would transport raw pulp wood and bales of recycled scrap paper into the mill...

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Views: 4270 | Comments: 2

TAGS: Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Staging Options: Drop Down, Theme: Single Industry, Type: No Run-Around Track, USA (States): Maine, Types of Industries: Pulp and Paper Mills



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, May 26, 2023 at 8:45:44 ADT.)

Friday, May 26, 2023

HO SCALE: Westbury (Urban Industrial Area)

This design has a bit of a back story to it. Back in March of 2017, a client of mine was looking for suggestions for an urban industrial area on his HO scale layout. His only request was that the area must include a few tall brick buildings, and have a downtown small city feel to it. After searching online for a few ideas...

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Views: 3516 | Comments: 8

TAGS: Design Feature: Urban Scenery, Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Theme: Industrial Park / District, Theme: Single Station / Town



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 14:11:26 ADT.)

Sunday, May 21, 2023

HO SCALE: Vandelay Industries (Single Industry Inglenook)

This HO-scale design was done for a client that wanted a small layout that he could practice his skills on before attempting a larger layout. He wanted a design that included as many aspects of modeling in a small space as I could possibly squeeze in. Initially, he only wanted to use a 12-inch x 60-inch board, but I convinced him to move up...

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Views: 5093 | Comments: 10

TAGS: Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: Single Industry, Type: 2 Turnout Layout, Type: Beginner Layout, Type: Inglenook, Type: No Run-Around Track



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 2:03:58 ADT.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

HO Scale: Hiseler-Johnston Manufacturing & Fabrication Co. Ltd.

This was done for a client back in January 2018. The original was done in a 4-foot long space with an hidden 36-long sector plate. But for this version, I used a 3-way turnout to eliminate the sector plate. I had started the 3D work back in 2018, but it was never completed until recently. This is a pretty relaxed plan with lots of room for...

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Views: 740 | Comments: 0



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 8:04:49 ADT.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

HO SCALE: Coastal Industrial Park

This design was done for a friend of mine that really liked my Northside Industrial Park track plan, which done in a 1'4" x 9'0" footprint. My friend had a shelf that was 2'0" x 16'0", so a great deal of extra square footage was added to the original after the expansion. With more width available, I was also able to...

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Views: 1308 | Comments: 2



Posted in Structure Plans by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 8:02:40 ADT.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

STRUCTURE PLAN: Lineside Shed (Small)

At one time, small lineside sheds like this could be found everywhere since it is a very simple structure that would be common to many railways. Even today, if properly weathered to a dilapidated condition, it could still find a home on a modern layout. It could be used for a small section house or yard office, a tool shed, and even a hard cart...

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Views: 929 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Structure Plans: Small Sheds / Buildings



Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, May 07, 2023 at 11:18:40 ADT.)

Sunday, May 07, 2023

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: 1043 | Comments: 4



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, May 07, 2023 at 11:14:07 ADT.)

Sunday, May 07, 2023

On30 / On2 / Sn2 SCALE: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad

Anyone that is familiar with my interests will know that I have a fondness for Maine 2-footers. While the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway is my favourite (and I also have another unfinished design based on that line as well) this design is of the longest 2-footer: the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad (SR&RL). This is another design that...

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Views: 1006 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Design Feature: Helix, Layout Size: Large Layouts, Theme: Maine 2-Footers, Theme: Narrow Gauge Railway, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), USA (States): Maine, American Railways: Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes RR



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, May 07, 2023 at 11:11:42 ADT.)

Sunday, May 07, 2023

HO SCALE: Detroit Connecting RR (Detroit, MI)

Back in May of 2020, I was contacted by a member of my JoMRD Facebook group who was trying to building a reasonable representation of the Detroit Connecting Railroad (reporting mark DCON). The DCON is a Class III shortline railroad owned by the Adrian and Blissfield Rail Road, which began its freight operations in December 1998 with 2ΒΌ miles...

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Views: 535 | Comments: 2



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, April 28, 2023 at 1:57:54 ADT.)

Friday, April 28, 2023

HO SCALE: Meteghan Valley Railway

This HO scale design was done for a client back in September of 2011. The bench work had already been in place from a previous layout, and although I was given some leeway to change it, I decided to keep it as built. Most of the shelves were 24-inches wide, and I think that is overkill for shelf layouts and adds too much unneeded space...

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Views: 453 | Comments: 2



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Monday, April 10, 2023 at 9:53:05 ADT.)

Monday, April 10, 2023

ARTICLE: Grain Handling and Storage Facilities, by Chad Thomas

Many of us have driven through the countryside and have seen those tall steel structures with long pipes going over to tall galvanized or concrete structures. How many of you actually know what these structures are and their purpose? Why are there different sizes? Why are there so many different structures? In this article I hope to answer...

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Views: 689 | Comments: 6



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 16:52:27 ADT.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

HO SCALE: Maine Central

I was asked by a member of a rail group that I belong to, to do a freelanced end of branch line HO layout based on the Maine Central to fit his 18-inch by 8-foot space. The layout owner wanted the design to include an interchange with the Bangor and Aroostook and a few online industries to switch including a...

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Views: 5686 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Design Feature: Interchange, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Theme: End of Line Station, Theme: Single Station / Town, USA (Regions): New England, American Railways: Boston & Maine RR



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 18:44:05 ADT.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

HO SCALE: Barchester on the Pennsylvania Railroad, by Robert (Robin) Mountenay

Back in August of 2019, I designed an HO scale L-shaped layout to fit in a corner of Robert (Robin) Mountenay's basement space. Since that time, Robin has transformed my original design into what is quickly becoming a beautiful piece of 3D artwork. It has been absolutely amazing watching the layout progress from empty bench work to finished scenes. The layout depicts the fictional town of Barchester on a fictional branch line of Pennsylvania Railroad during the summer of 1949. The layout was just featured in the 90th anniversary issue of Railroad Model Craftsman (March 2023) and I am collaborating with Robin on an article for Model Railroad Planning 2024. Before the RMC issue went to press, Robin asked me to create an updated version of the track plan, now that the types and names of industries and structures had been finalized. Here is the final draft of that revised track plan. In the near future, I will also put together a layout tour of the layout.

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Views: 504 | Comments: 3



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 20:14:00 AST.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

On30 SCALE: Mitchell Quarry & Stone Company

Back in October of 2019, a member of the Micro/Small Layouts Facebook Group asked for some track plans and ideas for railway that would serve a soapstone facility. The layout was to be done in On30 using Porters as motive power, and short (12') flatcar and gondolas for rolling stock. The layout was to have a footprint 12" to 16" wide by...

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Views: 526 | Comments: 0



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Monday, February 20, 2023 at 16:48:00 AST.)

Monday, February 20, 2023

HO SCALE: Aviston Switching District (ISL)

I created this HO-scale industrial switching layout (ISL) back in February of 2014, but never published it on my blog since the 3D work was never completed until now. Just in case you notice, the design is quite similar to the 1st draft of my recent Nova Scotia Railway layout. Although I think the track plan best fits in an 18-inch by 12-foot space...

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Views: 864 | Comments: 0

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