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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Friday, August 13, 2021 at 17:37:13 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Lobo Creek & Western RR

Now this design has quite a backstory that started in February of 2014. The first version of this design was done to fit on a 4x8 sheet of plywood, and it was based on a track plan that I had found on the Internet. After I posted my adaptation online, I was contacted in March (of 2014) by another modeler who wondered if I could fit the plan around the walls of a 6x10-foot room, and I made the requested changes.

Then in October of last year (2020) I was contacted by a third modeler asking me to expand the design yet again to fit a 6x12-foot space. He also wanted to change the track from the original Atlas components to PECO code 83 track, and to shift the time frame from the transition era to the 1970s.

With the extra space, I was able to depict two separate small towns with a good variety of industries, then used a ridge of trees to further disconnect the scenes. I see this as being a short branch line operation that is just about in its final days of service. The right-of-way should be over-grown with weeds and grass covering almost everything except the top of the rails. Traffic should be pretty light, with only a few industries switched during each session.

I kept the scenes simple and uncluttered, but from looking at the overall screen captures, I think what is there fits together very nicely. Although a relatively small space, there is plenty of realistic operations to keep a crew busy for at least 45 minutes. Just like the original 4x8 track plan, this one is also self-contained with the single interchange track serving as a staging track. If more car movements are desired, the interchange track could also connect to a staging cassette, or also used as a fiddle track for some active staging.

Track Plan:

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3D screen captures from the layout:

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TAGS: Design Feature: Interchange, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Layout Size: Small Layouts

User Comments:

Posted by Phil D on Friday, August 06, 2021 at 11:35:30 PM.

Rob, is the shelf at the top of the room 18" and the bottom 24", giving about 30" of aisle space? This almost drops into the area I just carved out in my basement for a layout.

Posted by Rob Chant on Sunday, August 08, 2021 at 7:07:10 PM.

Hi Phil,

Shelf widths are as follows: North = 18"; East & South = 24"; West = 6". The aisle way is 30".

Take care,

Posted by Paul Grayless on Friday, August 13, 2021 at 3:17:52 PM.

Just noticed this gem Rob. Much more believable than the original. Great sight lines.
I can see this becoming a L-shape if one were to shift the curved turnout entering Lobo Creek towards the end of the line.

Posted by Rob Chant on Friday, August 13, 2021 at 5:37:13 PM.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the comment ... and yes ... this version is much more prototypical that the original 4x8 ... and would make an excellent L-shape layout.

Take care,

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