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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 Friday, February 03, 2023 at 22:20:26 AST.)

Friday, February 03, 2023

HO SCALE: Soo Line (Branch Line & Interchange)

This concept design was done back in March of 2018 for an owner of a partially completed N-scale pike who has grown weary of the level of operations required on the layout. The N-scale layout occupied this space, but had been dormant for a few years. The owner was considering moving up to HO, and from modeling mainline operations to a more...

2020.05.09L-001.gif (58747 bytes)

Views: 1778 | Comments: 7

TAGS: Design Feature: Interchange, Layout Size: Medium Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: Branch Line Railway, American Railways: Soo Line



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, February 03, 2023 at 22:13:29 AST.)

Friday, February 03, 2023

On30 SCALE: Palmetto Brick Company Railway

Back in 2017 I found a thread on another railway related forum that highlighted the Palmetto Brick Company's railway located in Wallace, South Carolina. The 3-foot gauge line used small 8-ton Plymouth locomotive to haul steel side-dump clay cars from its quarry to the brick kilns, which were still in service at that time...

2019.10.12F-001.gif (16248 bytes)

Views: 1880 | Comments: 7

TAGS: Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Theme: Industrial Railway, Theme: Narrow Gauge Railway, Type: 3 Turnout Layout, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), USA (States): North Carolina, American Railways: Palmetto Brick Company Ry, Types of Industries: Clay Processing Plants, Types of Industries: Quarries



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, January 27, 2023 at 21:45:24 AST.)

Friday, January 27, 2023

ARTICLE: Evaluating a Track Plan

One of the usually open discussions on model railroading related forums and groups is the topic of what is involved when planning/designing a new layout, and the steps that must be followed to achieve your desire goals. I think inevitably you will look for a published track plan that closely matches the vision you have for your space, and then you...

Views: 1400 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Articles: Layout Design



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, January 27, 2023 at 18:42:45 AST.)

Friday, January 27, 2023

HO SCALE: Sugar River Railroad

A member of the Micro/Small Model RR Layout Facebook group requested a HO scale layout featuring an end-of-the-line station to fill his 55x80 inch space. The proto-freelanced short line railroad would be located in South-central, or South-west Wisconsin during the transition era. The member wanted the layout to include ...

2021.06.26A-001.gif (41411 bytes)

Views: 2056 | Comments: 4

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



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, December 02, 2022 at 21:12:05 AST.)

Friday, December 02, 2022

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...

2020.01.25B-001.gif (65784 bytes)

Views: 10424 | Comments: 6

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 Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 9:29:15 AST.)

Thursday, November 17, 2022

HO SCALE (6-foot Broad Gauge): Middleburgh & Schoharie RR in Proto87

I was asked by a member of a railway forum to design a layout based on the Middleburgh & Schoharie RR during its 6-foot gauge era. Although the client only wanted a freelance railway using a combined time saver design and inglenook, I thought that Middleburgh would make an excellent single station LDE design after I did...

2019.10.12O-001.gif (27342 bytes)

Views: 2360 | Comments: 4

TAGS: Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: End of Line Station, Theme: Single Station / Town, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), USA (States): New York, American Railways: Middleburgh & Schoharie RR



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 15:17:25 AST.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

ARTICLE: A case study in the minimalist approach

There was some talk on a Facebook group where I am a member about taking a minimalist approach to layout design. I welcomed the debate because it is a trend that I do believe should be followed when designing a layout. As others had mentioned during the discussions, taking a minimalist approach can be very rewarding, if you also take the time...

2020.01.04S-001.gif (37259 bytes)

Views: 4235 | Comments: 18

TAGS: Layout Size: Small Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: End of Line Station, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Theme: Single Station / Town, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), Type: No Run-Around Track, USA (States): Wisconsin, American Railways: Escanaba & Lake Superior RR, Articles: Minimalist Approach to Layout Design



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 13:09:42 AST.)

Saturday, November 12, 2022

HO SCALE: Pacific Northwestern

A member of the Micro/Small Model RR Layout group requested a lumber and pulpwood reload facility to fit his 24x48-inch space done in HO scale. It didn't take me very long to see that it was going to be problematic to fit what I wanted to see in the footprint, once I started placing a mainline and some turnouts. With the length of...

2021.09.26A-001.gif (40128 bytes)

Views: 1202 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Staging Options: Sector Plate, Theme: Single Industry, Type: No Run-Around Track, USA (Regions): Northwest, Types of Industries: Pulpwood Dealer



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 14:12:17 AST.)

Thursday, November 10, 2022

N SCALE: Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway

This layout was done back in 2000 for a client that was quite a railfan, and I just recently updated the design with some roughed in 3D scenery. The owner of the layout loved watching and taking photos of trains, especially those running through some of the most beautiful scenery along the Bras d'Or Lakes on Cape Island....

2019.10.21C-001.gif (73475 bytes)

Views: 1339 | Comments: 6

TAGS: Layout Size: Medium Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: Mainline Trains, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Theme: Scenic (Bridges), Type: Based on Actual Location(s), Canada (Provinces): Nova Scotia, Canadian Railways: Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Ry



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 10:40:49 ADT.)

Sunday, October 30, 2022

HO SCALE: Omaha, Lincoln and Beatrice Ry (OLB)

This is my version of the Omaha, Lincoln and Beatrice Railway (OLB), "The Big Red Line", which still operates in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, as a 2-mile long Class III switching railroad. The line interchanges cars with Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe and serves industries such as Ag Processing, Inc., ADM Farmland, Snyder...

2020.03.01C-001.gif (66040 bytes)

Views: 1757 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Layout Size: Small Layouts, Theme: Single Station / Town, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), USA (States): Nebraska, American Railways: Omaha, Lincoln and Beatrice Railway



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, October 28, 2022 at 14:52:03 ADT.)

Friday, October 28, 2022

HO SCALE: Fallen Flags RR

This 18-inch by 60-inch HO-scale switching layout was designed for a member of a railway forum I frequent and and his freelanced Fallen Flags RR during the transition era. The owner wanted the layout set in more of a Midwest locale, but I couldn't find a backdrop that I was happy with, so I moved it east a bit. My client wanted a stockyard, a meat packing plant...

2020.03.01A-001.gif (29864 bytes)

Views: 6018 | Comments: 8

TAGS: Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Staging Options: Drop Down, Theme: End of Line Station, Theme: Single Station / Town



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 20:09:46 ADT.)

Thursday, October 27, 2022

N SCALE: Wisconsin & Southern RR

This modern-day Wisconsin & Southern RR layout was done in N-scale for member of the Micro/Small Model RR Layout group. I had an area up to 2'x8' to work with, and that is a lot of territory in N-sale. I decided to go with a rounded front fascia just to be a bit different. The member wanted the switching layout to be based on a small town ...

2021.06.27A-001.gif (30056 bytes)

Views: 1216 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Theme: Single Station / Town, USA (States): Wisconsin, American Railways: Wisconsin & Southern RR



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, October 23, 2022 at 20:00:23 ADT.)

Sunday, October 23, 2022

ARTICLE: Operating possibilities on a small, continuous run layout

This design was part of a double deck N-scale layout using hollow core doors, done for a member of another railway group in 2010. The upper deck represented an unrelated coal mining branch in British Columbia, and was a very simple design. The upper deck/door was supported by sides made of ¾" plywood, and the backdrop...

2019.10.14E-001.gif (48979 bytes)

Views: 2209 | Comments: 4

TAGS: Design Feature: Continuous Run Option, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Canada (Provinces): Alberta, Articles: Operating Small Layouts



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 12:55:17 ADT.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

HO SCALE: 4' x 8' Branchline with Intetchange

This layout was designed back in February of 2014 for a client who wanted a layout done on a standard sheet of 4x8 plywood. I was surprised when he said that he wanted to focus more on operations than running a train around a loop. He was also quite adamant that he didn't want any grades, water or bridges. My first step was to look online for some other...

2020.01.04E.gif (38921 bytes)

Views: 1468 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Design Feature: Interchange, Layout Size: Small Layouts, Theme: Branch Line Railway, Type: Beginner Layout



Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Updated Monday, October 10, 2022 at 15:01:34 ADT.)

Monday, October 10, 2022

HO SCALE: Canadian National (Sydney Subdivision)

Back in 2014 I was considering a HO-scale layout based on Canadian National's Sydney Subdivision in the 1980s. I had been a rail fan of the trains running on the east end of the subdivision, and came to know the area first hand. At the time I was having a very hard time squeezing everything into my 10'10" by 12'6" dining...

2019.10.12B-001.gif (66103 bytes)

Views: 1885 | Comments: 4

TAGS: Layout Size: Small Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: Switching Operations, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), Canada (Provinces): Nova Scotia, Canadian Railways: Canadian National Ry

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