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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Wednesday, November 04, 2020 at 9:41:50 AST.)

HO SCALE: Terminal & Tidewater Switching

I started this more or less for fun back in February of 2018, just to see what I could do. It was inspired by an article in the September 1947 issue of The Model Railroader. ["Terminal and Tidewater Switching Facilities Give This Layout an Interesting Touch" by Charles Small. MR, Sept., 1947, page 725.] While the article presented a layout that would be impossible to do in a small space, the premise was based on the idea of how much railway could you stuff in nine city blocks.

I settled on a 5'x9' area for the challenge, but I also know that a room that could hold that size layout, could be used much better. Even with the tight radius of 15", I was actually surprised how much could be done in the space. I had 11 different industries, and with multiple car spots at a few of them, there were a lot more possibilities, along with a small yard.

Track Plan:

2020.01.01H-001.gif (31801 bytes)


TAGS: Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: Industrial Park / District, Layout Size: Small Layouts, Theme: Switching Operations, Theme: Terminal Railway, Theme: Waterfront


User Comments:

Posted by Jeffrey Hatcher on Monday, November 02, 2020 at 11:44:55 PM.

I think this is a great plan. It's a nice homage to a bygone era that was probably still operating in 1947. A little docksider or a boxcab like the CNJ 1000 at the Bronx Terminal with 36'-40'cars would be a refreshing change for a lot of folks. I think it would make a great exhibition layout as well, divided in 3 sections at Front and West street. I realize that the design trend today is what would make the most efficient use of space but a layout like this would make a great showpiece for structure builders, operators, street running enthusiasts and photographers. I think the photos you could take around the layout would give a depth that could not be attained with a shelf layout. It's all in the eye of the client I guess. Thanks for sharing this plan.


Posted by Robin Mountenay on Tuesday, November 03, 2020 at 9:44:07 PM.

I’m a big fan of island style layouts, as you know. This is one of the most interesting urban theme layouts I’ve seen. It’s a great setting for Reading and PRR 0-4-0s!


Posted by Robert Chant on Wednesday, November 04, 2020 at 9:41:50 AM.

@Jeffrey ... I personally dislike island layouts and I supposed that is because my first attempts at a layout were all on a island types (4x6s and 4x8s) and I got bored with them very quickly. I still get a few clients that want this style but it is something I discourage. But, you're right about the photogenic side of things and the depth would certainly add a lot of back drop to the photos and offer the look of a cityscape better than a shelf layout ever could. Thanks very much for your comments!

@Robin ... the original article was centered around an unnamed eastern US location (as one would expect) so the Reading and PRR would be good prototypes. I am sure you would have a great time bringing these scenes to life ... it could probably take years to add all the details!


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