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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 16:43:45 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Hammond Plains

You might be surprised to know that this track plan actually started as a switching puzzle in the December 1989 issue of Model Railroader (Coal Caper at Coal Canon by Eugene W. Browning). My client really liked the moves needed to switch the town, and wanted to use it as the basis for prototypical small town switching layout. We swapped out a few of the industries and added ones more to my clients liking, but the trackage remain almost exact. After seeing the 3D captures, the layout owner decided that he wants to use my exact structures and colours because he liked them so much. As you can see, the track plan is rather simple, but it still will provide an operator for 30 to 45 minutes of switching, which is exactly what my clients was shooting for during an op-session.

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TAGS: Design Feature: Cassette Staging, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Theme: Single Station / Town

User Comments:

Posted by Robert Petit on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 3:16:51 PM.

This is a nice set of modules that look like a typical midwest small town. I would build it on two 18 x 48 modules. There looks like there are no track switches that would be across the module joints.

Posted by Rob Chant on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 6:34:09 AM.

Hi Robert,

It would make a great modular layout ... the joint line would be right between the 9 and 6 of the 96" measurement label.

Take care,

Posted by Ed Vasser on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9:52:43 AM.

This plan is almost identical to the "end of branch" track arrangement I've been using for the past couple of months, just reversed as my staging comes in from the left side. It's very typical of what you'd find along a main line at a small town or at the end of a branch line. Plenty of switching involved in a plan like this! Would like to see more of such "one town plans". Nice work!

Posted by Rob Chant on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 8:01:56 PM.

Hi Ed,

Thanks for adding your comments to this ... to see all the "one town plans" on my blog (so far) just click on the tag "Theme: Single Station / Town" under the posting.

Take care,

Posted by Steve Meredith on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 3:30:10 AM.

This reminds me of many of the small towns on the D.A.R. like Brooklyn but especially Middleton. Loved the rendering though with the grain elevator. Very typical of prairie towns like Claresholm:

Posted by Rob Chant on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 7:04:44 AM.

Thanks Steve ... and thanks for the link to that PDF file ... Claresholm would certainly make an excellent single station layout! Take care, Rob.

Posted by Rob Hupfield on Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 4:47:43 PM.

Another lovely small end-of-branch plan, Rob! You've got some very good ones, and they are terrific in limited space. This one looks like it would be good fun to switch with its opposed spurs, and visually it's even more successful with the mix of structures and overall mass and colour balance. I like it very much!

Some minor (and friendly) constructive criticism: maybe too many road crossings. The railway would avoid them like the plague, and in this situation would probably locate the siding off-stage to the right to avoid the additional costs and safety concerns. Note that many roadways terminate at the railway property line.

The crossing through the middle of the runaround siding would be particularly vexing as blocks of cars would have to be split to keep the crossing clear. Yes this adds an operating complication, and I'm sure there are many prototype examples, but it's not typical and I feel detracts a bit from an excellent design. I've always felt that freelance designs benefit from following the typical rather than the unusual.

I'd suggest losing one or both of the right-hand crossings. The left crossing location is very clever as it uses space that railway equipment can't be parked. This helps maximise use of the shorter layout length.

Some thoughts, anyway.

With best regards,

Posted by Rob Chant on Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 6:27:53 PM.

Hi Rob ... thanks for the comment. I don't think this is the first time you had an issue with the number of road crossings I include in my track plans ... and everything you mention is true ... but when a client asks for a few road crossings ... right or wrong ... that is what they will get. IIRC ... I think the track plan this is based on only had 1 crossing (I think it was the "very clever" left crossing you mention) ... I actually do like the crossing as well for the visual appeal in a small space ... and I think I can live with the trade-off of not being prototypical for that reason alone ... and anyone that has a problem can eliminate them if they choose to use the track plan ... the design is flexible. Take care, Rob.

Posted by Rob Hupfield on Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 10:23:39 PM.

Hi Rob,

Thanks again for sharing your plans, and encouraging dialogue on them. You are bringing good stuff to the hobby, and there is much in your designs we can all learn from and share. These smaller plans are especially useful and the joy is in the details. Track planning is certainly a sub-hobby, and I greatly enjoy looking at the inventiveness and trade-offs of your designs. Good work my friend.

Another thing I like about this plan is the sense of a historic mainline alignment. A single route through the track plan consisting of tangents and curves, as laid out by the original surveyors for the historic mainline. There was always a single smooth route through any location or yard based on historic charter surveys. In this design, the team track is obviously on the original alignment, which was terminated sometime later in the railway history. The implied history adds a lot to the appreciation of the design and layout, and makes it more believable.

All the best,

Posted by Donnie Conrod on Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 5:52:20 AM.

I'm the one who commissioned the trackplan Rob and I was quite happy with the result and all the roads. In the end I just like having all the crossings since I think it makes the scenes more interesting and my Ho scale drivers probably won't mind waiting for the trains to go by. So I guess they're going to all be railfans!

Posted by Rob Chant on Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 4:43:45 PM.

Hi Donnie ... I am glad that you posted since I went back and checked your G&Ds for the layout and there was no mention of adding extra railway/road crossings ... but I know that we discussed it ... didn't we? So I assume that was done in the emails after you submitted the original G&Ds? Take care, Rob.

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