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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 14:12:17 AST.)

N SCALE: Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway

This layout was done back in 2000 for a client that was quite a railfan, and I just recently updated the design with some roughed in 3D scenery. The owner of the layout loved watching and taking photos of trains, especially those running through some of the most beautiful scenery along the Bras d'Or Lakes on Cape Island.

Although there was not a lot of switching opportunities on this section of the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway, there were quite a few bridges, and some of them were a good size. The bridge over Barra Strait had to be shortened quite a bit to fit since the real one has nine spans, but I only had room for three.

The owner wanted to do this in N-scale since running mainline trains through nice scenery was his main goal in the hobby. The mainline ends in two looped staging yards hidden under the scenery. Traffic on the layout during the period modeled (1996 to 2000) would include some coal trains, and a few general freight. You could also run a VIA tourist train called the Bras d'Or over the line.

There were a few team tracks along this section of tracks, and I also included the Georgia-Pacific gypsum loading spurs (via modelers license) which was actually anther 2 miles past River Denys. The teams tracks could be used for loading pulpwood, and the Department of Highways also used the team track at Iona.

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), Theme: Mainline Trains, Layout Size: Medium Layouts, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Theme: Scenic (Bridges), Staging Options: Staging Yards, Canada (Provinces): Nova Scotia, Canadian Railways: Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Ry

User Comments:

Posted by Pete motley on Sunday, February 09, 2020 at 2:22:17 AM.

I really like your track plan, I see that it's 22 x 14ft, my space is 200sq ft 10 x 20, by taking out one of the peninsulas, I think I can fit this layout in my space, what do you think??

Posted by Robert Chant on Sunday, February 09, 2020 at 6:07:26 AM.

Hi Pete, I think taking out one of the peninsulas makes in an entirely different track plan, but since the "main" room is 11x22 feet, your plan might work. You might also trying just reducing the length of the peninsula at the right end by 2-feet, and see if that fits. Take care, Rob.

Posted by Andrew Underwood on Monday, February 17, 2020 at 2:04:16 PM.

I really like this one. Some operational potential as well as sitting back and railfanning your own layout.

Posted by Robert Chant on Monday, February 17, 2020 at 8:22:53 PM.

Thanks Andrew. I spent a few hours running trains thru this in 3rd PlanIt and doing some local switching, it was actually a lot of fun, and a very relaxing op-session for sure. I spent a lot of time railfanning this section of the CBNS and I feel the layout captured the area very well. With the additional of the Bras d'Or and some "extra" coal trains I think it would make a good layout with a couple of operators who want to watch trains roll.

Posted by Rob Chant on Wednesday, November 09, 2022 at 6:37:44 AM.

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Posted by Bobby Knapp on Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 2:12:17 PM.

A railfanning dream layout. This is perfect for a long train. I really like the minimalist approach on this layout

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