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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 23:08:23 AST.)

HO SCALE: Weston (End of Prairie Branch Line)

This started as a simple Inglenook plan, but as I added more structures, I could see that I needed more track to get the industries I wanted in the design. I was hoping to include as many car types as possible to make operations a bit more varied. As it is now, there are options for grain cars, box cars, flats, gondolas, tank, hoppers, reefers, and stock car, which I think it good for a design in such a small space.

I also wanted to make this design a little more visually appealing than the last few I have been doing, so almost half of the space is devoted to some picturesque scenery. Of course if space is limited, the scenery part could be eliminated and the track could go right into the staging area.

The premise of this design is that Weston is the end of a branch line, but was once a run-thru station on a Canadian National Railways secondary main somewhere on the Canadian prairies. A bridge washout just to the west of the hamlet ended thru freight service on the line. The last station before Weston is Deerfield, which is a half mile to the east.

Deerfield is the location of the last run-around track on the branch where the crew must run-around most of the cars going to Weston. The crew then pushes the cut of cars destined for Weston down the mainline in front of the locomotive. Any cars going to the meat packing plant, can be pulled behind the locomotive.

Space is limited at Weston, but there are still 12 possible cars spots in town as follows:

- Farmer's Feed & Supply Co-op: 2 Spots
- Clyde's Coal Company: 1 Spot
- Grain Elevator: 1 Spot
- Team Track: 1 Spot
- Freight House: 2 Spots
- O'Cready's Bulk OIl Depot: 2 Spots
- Hasehem's Scrap Yard: 1 Spot
- J.R. Weston Meat Packers: 2 Spots

Reefers full of meat, boxcars full of grain, gondolas full of scrap metal, and farm equipment going for repair via the team track, are the only outbound shipments. With each track serving multiple industries switching will be a bit more challenging. I would suggest that you don't try to overpower the layout with too much traffic on the one daily local. Instead, you should consider simulating more than one day in an operating session, and using the staging cassette to stage trains between days.

Track Plan:

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Overall 3D Renderings:

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Close-Up 3D Renderings:

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TAGS: Type: 3 Turnout Layout, Theme: Canadian Prairies, Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: End of Line Station, Type: Inglenook, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Type: No Run-Around Track, Theme: Single Station / Town, Canada (Provinces): Alberta, Canadian Railways: Canadian National Ry

User Comments:

Posted by Chad Thomas on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 9:16:00 PM.

Just wondering would there be loaded grain cars leaving the elevator?

Posted by Robert Chant on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 1:45:15 PM.

Hi Chad,

Yes ... grain would be loaded into box cars at the elevator ... may I ask what made you ask that question? Were you thinking of something different?

Take care,

Posted by Chad Thomas on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 12:12:37 AM.

I was just reading that the only outbound was Reefers full of meat, gondolas full of scrap metal, and farm equipment going for repair via the team track, are the only outbound shipments. Was just checking. I was not trying to be rude or anything just wondering. Also you helped me with the little Trenton Ontario CO-OP in N scale last year too.


Posted by Robert Chant on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 6:14:07 AM.

Hi Chad,

I do remember your layout ... thanks for pointing out about the missing outbound traffic ... I will add that to my list. I wasn't suggesting you were being rude ... I was just curious when you had brought it up ... I knew there was a glitch somewhere for you to be asking.

Take care,

Posted by Chad on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 12:22:16 PM.


I am going to build this layout for another shelf layout. I was wondering what degree crossover that was for sure? I really like this simple but yet busy layout. Going to bea fun project.


Posted by Robert Chant on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 1:19:30 PM.

Hey Chad, the crossing is an Atlas 19° crossing (code 83) ... if you do get it build ... please send me some photos and I will put them on my blog ... good luck with the project!

Posted by Chad Thomas on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 11:08:23 PM.

I sure will. Thank you

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