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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 14:45:00 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Penn Central

The owner of this layout had a dormant model railroad in his basement that he started in the early to mid-1990's. He felt the space could be better used, and decided to start over from scratch if he could find a track plan that he liked. The space was quite long at 22½-feet with a 12½-foot height at the widest end, but it also had to share space with a furnace and water heater. His primary railroads of interest were the Erie Lackawanna and Lehigh Valley either in the states of Pennsylvania or New York. For an era, he was envisioning a proto-freelanced HO-scale layout set in the mid-70's before the formation of Conrail with a continuous run option. (Since I only had Penn Central equipment available, I used that for a stand-in) His favorite freight cars are covered hoppers, so he wanted industries to include cement plants, feed mills, grain elevators, but also wanted to include team tracks, scrap yards, fuel/propane dealers, coal/coke yards and a few interchanges.

Track Plan:

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TAGS: Design Feature: Interchange, Theme: Mainline Trains, Layout Size: Medium Layouts, USA (States): New York, USA (States): Pennsylvania, American Railways: Penn Central

User Comments:

Posted by David Keith on Monday, April 04, 2022 at 10:11:35 PM.

A neat plan. Love the way you got all of the industries and passing siding into the space. Has a great feel of an industrial line on the outskirts of a larger city. However, the longer passing siding are begging to have two way traffic run on them, possibly in TT&TO maybe with ABS or something similar. To do that a stagging yard would have to be worked into the layout, possibly running under the whole thing. If space were available in another room, might be simpler. Obviously any stagging would ruin the simplicity. I'll book mark this plan for future reference.

Posted by Rob Chant on Wednesday, April 06, 2022 at 7:35:00 AM.

Hi David,

IIRC, the owner of this layout operated alone ... (I know he monitors my blog, so he can correct me if I am wrong) ... so setting the up for TT&TO would be rather pointless ... with 1 other crew member he could run 2-way traffic and use the passing sidings for the opposing meets ... the 1st draft actually did have staging, but the mainline had to run below the furnace and across the entry way (to make room for the staging on the north wall) ... which the owner didn't like ... he also didn't want any grades.

Take care,

Posted by Alan Marshall on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 2:45:00 PM.

Rob - You are correct. This layout would likely be (~95% of the time) a lone operator or occasionally one other. I have even considered making your design as a fully double-tracked version by connecting the few short single track sections. Thus when desired, I could operate two trains simultaneously by myself in "railfan fashion"!

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