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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 22:08:31 AST.)

HO SCALE: Mohawk & Adirondack RR (End of Branch Line Mill Town)

This 12-inch by 84-inch HO-scale layout was done for a client's freelanced Mohawk & Adirondack RR. The owner wanted a layout based on a branch line terminal located in New York State circa 1943 or 1944. He wanted the mini to include a creamery, a produce warehouse, a textile mill, a small freight house, and a team track. I was able to include on that in the design, and also threw in a small passenger depot. With so many industries, there had to be a lot of track which pretty much dominates the shelf. However, it is a workable design for someone that likes some intense switching in a tight space.

Track Plan:

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Overall view of the layout:

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3D screen captures from the layout:.

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TAGS: Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: End of Line Station, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Theme: Single Station / Town, Theme: Switching Operations, USA (States): New York

User Comments:

Posted by Patrick Dowd on Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 9:29:54 PM.

Love this one. Lots of action possible in a manageable space.

Posted by Robert Chant on Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 10:43:23 PM.

Thanks Patrick .... and yes ... lots of switching for such a small footprint ...

Posted by Rob Chant on Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 1:44:58 PM.

[ ... spam removed ... ]

Posted by Raymond Arnott on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 7:19:31 PM.

Hi Patrick,
I really like this layout. I am getting back into the hobby after being away for 10 years. I am seriously considering doing your layout scheme. Just one question for you…how do you use the station depot in the switching? Thanks, Ray

Posted by Rob Chant on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 8:44:20 PM.

Hi Ray,

The station can be used for passenger service with a set of RDCs being placed on the cassette staging track ... it has no real purposed when switching freight ... although maybe you could have the loco stop there for train orders before departing town ... you could also model it as being abandoned.

Take care,
Rob (the blog owner)

Posted by Rob Hupfield on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 10:32:51 PM.

This is a really lovely plan, Rob. 5 switched spurs in a narrow 7ft shelf with a runaround! Much fun. And the central station still anchors the scene. The back spurs support larger industries that also provide very effective background flats. And the foreground spurs provide structures that also help hide the side exits to possible staging tracks at both ends. Lovely. The right side combination of freight house and team track is an especially effective combo that is hard to beat for both visuals and switching density in a small space.

Constructive comments?
One too many road crossings. The right one actually removes at least one important parking spot during operations, as railways weren't permitted to block crossings for any extended time. Switching here in 7ft is difficult enough already thanks. They also had to flag crossings if there wasn't an automated gate crossing. Might as well move this siding end towards the left to extend the tail track to more than one car. The left crossing is clever as it uses rail space otherwise not usable through the turnouts, a neat trick in 7ft. Railways fought road crossings as much as they could, and having two in this plan detracts from a prototypical look.

Best feature?
The clever combo of extending the siding to the right to serve the freight house, with added spur foreground for the team track. The freight house also screens the exit right to staging. Lots of traffic destinations for minimal space, with good access, yet visually pleasing. This is definitely a takeaway, useable many other places.
Keeping the Depot a central focus also help keep a sense of place, and the open space in front of it helps accentuate this. I think this is very effective.

Bravo, Rob.
Keep them coming.

Posted by Rob Hupfield on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 6:30:14 AM.

One more thing: property lines! Minimum road allowance would be 66ft in north america, or more. Public roads would probably also have a building set-back from the road allowance that we're all familiar with and looks strange if it's not there. Providing that space in our modelling helps our work look more realistic. In this plan, the textile mill and produce warehouse are very close to what must be public roads, and I think this can detract from the realism. In this case it would be easy to shorten the structures back from the road and not impact their utility. Just something maybe worth thinking about.

Trying to help with the cause,

Posted by Rob Chant on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 7:10:56 AM.

Well Rob, once again you are getting upset about my road crossings, and I have addressed that issue with you a few times already. If you look at the track plan you will see that there is plenty of room to perform a run-around move. The entire train does not need to be taken into "town" since it was common practice to leave the train outside town and only bring in the needed cars, if the place was congested. I have also seen plenty of prototype locations that have 2 or even more road crossing at a station. It was also allowed/common to block a street IF there was another route/street that provided alternate access to the area.

As for the property lines issue, I am sure you are aware of the term "selective compression" so the rules and distances in the "real world" aren't directly applied to a layout. If we had to keep all structures 10-inches away from roadways (in HO scale), it would greatly reduce the available footprint we have available for the track and trains (which is the focus of our hobby), especially on a small layout such as this. Sure, if you had the space, it would be more realistic to duplicate all real world standards, but when space is limited, you have to compromise.

Posted by Rob Hupfield on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 8:17:33 PM.

Hi Rob,

Thank you for posting my comments, and providing sincere thought in responding to them. Do understand I’m not “upset” in any way with your designs.

I suspect almost everyone visiting your site already understands the term “selective compression” and its implications. Selective compression also remains a choice. I think my message was that sometimes less is more.

My intent was never to criticize your designs in a negative way. I think you’re doing terrific work, and I’ve been following your blog because I enjoy what you’re doing and learn a lot from it. It’s great stuff! I had hoped to contribute and help with your cause.

Believing you were looking for input both good and bad, I’ve sometimes lobbed things in there thinking it could be useful and helpful. My intent was always to contribute and not hinder.

I understand now that I’m not being helpful, and you’re not seeking this kind of input. That’s fine. We’re all finding our own path in this terrific hobby. I’ll stop with the comments. Please keep up what you’re doing.

With sincere regards,

Posted by Rob Chant on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 10:08:31 PM.

Rob, you are always welcome to comment on my track plans, but try to look at this from my point of view. You have brought up the issue of too many road crossings quite a few times, and I have addressed each one of your comments, faithfully, and I also reminded you that it is not the first time that I have addressed your concerns.

When someone takes the time to comment, I think I have an obligation to response, but I am just running out of ways to explain to you my views on using roadways in my plans. It just seems that we are at the point of kicking a dead horse. I have mentioned that clients ask for road crossings, and I have given you my own personal views. I have seen lots of prototype stations where there are also two or three road crossings.

You can bring up the issue 100 times with me, and it is not going to affect the way I design a track plan. If a client asks for roadways, he or she will get road crossings in the finished design. If someone else decides to build that same track plan, they have the choice to remove any or all road crossings, like I have known a few have done. Nothing is set in stone.

As for adding other stuff, it seems that you are trying to buffer negative aspects by adding other positive stuff to "reduce the blow". There is really no need to do that, I do have a thick skin. I churn out hundreds of track plans, and the first question I ask is: "What do you NOT like about the design?" It is how I know what needs to be fixed in the next draft. It just seems to me that you are forgetting that I do not have the finally said in what is an acceptable final version of a track plan when I am working for a client.

You really have to understand that I am designing these track plans to please one person only, the person that hired me. Not the 100s of other people that may view the track plan on my blog. These are not 1st draft plans that I am asking for input to correct the mistakes. I put them here so others may take some of my ideas and hopefully use them in their next project, and they can choose to leave behind whatever they don't like. It really make no difference to me.

Can you explain you please explain about what cause you are trying to contribute to? Because I don't really have a cause on this blog, except for wanting to share my finished deigns with others. If you're interested in offering your views on track plans that are in the 1st draft or development stage, then please join my JoMRD Facebook group. That is where I have a cause, trying to help others develop their next track plan.

There are lots of members on there that are looking for good input as they contemplate their next layout. You sound like you have some solid views that could make a difference to someone that needs that advice. And if you are promoting the "less-is-more" cause, then I welcome your views because that is the direction I hope this hobby takes. So your advice will be put to good use, I am sure.

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