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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 14:03:24 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Canadian National (Sydney Subdivision)

Back in 2014 I was considering a HO-scale layout based on Canadian National's Sydney Subdivision in the 1980s. I had been a rail fan of the trains running on the east end of the subdivision, and came to know the area first hand. At the time I was having a very hard time squeezing everything into my 10'10" by 12'6" dining room, since I knew the area too well.

Looking back, I now realize that I was just getting frustrated because I wanted to include too much in the space. My wish list included running some mainline freight trains, along with the local trains serving the various small industries from the yard at Sydney to the industrial park at Sydport. Trying to squeeze in Sydney yard was the hardest part, and also trying to find room for staging that would represent the unmodeled west end of the sub.

As I recently made my way through my old files, I found this design and took another look at it. It was easy to see everything I wanted wasn't going to fit, so I had to whittle down my wish list. Over the years my attitude has changed a bit, and I knew that I would be happy focusing on local switching, and foregoing both the Sydney yard, and the mainline freights. Once that decision was made, everything fell into place very nicely, and it became a matter of just eliminating track until I had a minimalist version of my original design.

Track Plan:

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Overall views of the layout:

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3D screen captures from the layout:

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TAGS: Type: Based on Actual Location(s), Layout Size: Small Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: Switching Operations, Canada (Provinces): Nova Scotia, Canadian Railways: Canadian National Ry


User Comments:

Posted by Paul Grayless on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 11:15:36 PM.

Rob, this plan still might be a bit too much for the room. I,d hide a single staging track along the left wall and place the industries you show on the peninsula in front of them. This would give better access throughout the layout. You could also connect the staging track to the rest of the layout in the lower left corner for continuous operation when you just want to see trains run.

Still a great little plan overall.


Posted by Rob Chant on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 2:03:24 PM.

A continuous run option was not something I needed ... I had it on a few versions of this track plan but removed it ... as for the staging tracks ... I would need at least 3 to duplicate the level of switching work I wanted ... I also had a 4th staging track since I was planing to have a work train ... but I decided against it. I also have another version of this that is even more simplified but didn't get around to adding the 3D work ... after operating both layouts in 3rd PlanIt, I felt this was a much better plan.


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