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CATEGORY: Articles

Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at 8:44:34 ADT.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

ARTICLE: The Sangaree Valley Railway - a branchline in a bedroom

It has been awhile since I bored you with the article on representing a branchline operation in a small room, so I thought I would mock up another design and discuss another favourite premise of mine. Some of you may be aware that I have quite a fondness for prairie branchline operations, and I have created a few designs over the years with...

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Views: 1650 | Comments: 5



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Monday, April 10, 2023 at 9:53:05 ADT.)

Monday, April 10, 2023

ARTICLE: Grain Handling and Storage Facilities, by Chad Thomas

Many of us have driven through the countryside and have seen those tall steel structures with long pipes going over to tall galvanized or concrete structures. How many of you actually know what these structures are and their purpose? Why are there different sizes? Why are there so many different structures? In this article I hope to answer...

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Views: 846 | Comments: 6



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 19:31:00 AST.)

Thursday, February 16, 2023

ARTICLE: Modern-Era Branch Line in a Bedroom

I did this design for a client back in July 2015, and wanted to use it as an example of how to squeeze a modern-day branch line railway into a 12x12-foot bedroom. I have always felt that the best way to do a good job of designing a layout for your space is to keep it simple and not try to squeeze track into every square inch. I have always been of the...

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Views: 491 | Comments: 0



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, January 27, 2023 at 21:45:24 AST.)

Friday, January 27, 2023

ARTICLE: Evaluating a Track Plan

One of the usually open discussions on model railroading related forums and groups is the topic of what is involved when planning/designing a new layout, and the steps that must be followed to achieve your desire goals. I think inevitably you will look for a published track plan that closely matches the vision you have for your space, and then you...

Views: 1573 | Comments: 3

TAGS: Articles: Layout Design



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, December 02, 2022 at 21:12:05 AST.)

Friday, December 02, 2022

ARTICLE: Branch line operations on a 4x8 sheet of plywood in HO Scale

Back in April of 2019, I was asked to design a HO-scale layout on a 4x8 sheet of plywood based on the same operating scheme that I proposed for use with my Central Alberta Railway (CARY) design. For those not familiar with my CARY track plan, it was an N-scale layout I designed back in 2010 using a hollow core door. How that layout was operated was partly inspired...

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Views: 10650 | Comments: 6

TAGS: Design Feature: Continuous Run Option, Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Theme: Branch Line Railway, Canada (Provinces): Ontario, Canadian Railways: Canadian National Ry, Articles: Operating Small Layouts



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 15:17:25 AST.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

ARTICLE: A case study in the minimalist approach

There was some talk on a Facebook group where I am a member about taking a minimalist approach to layout design. I welcomed the debate because it is a trend that I do believe should be followed when designing a layout. As others had mentioned during the discussions, taking a minimalist approach can be very rewarding, if you also take the time...

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Views: 4452 | Comments: 18

TAGS: Layout Size: Small Layouts, Staging Options: Staging Yards, Theme: End of Line Station, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Theme: Single Station / Town, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), Type: No Run-Around Track, USA (States): Wisconsin, American Railways: Escanaba & Lake Superior RR, Articles: Minimalist Approach to Layout Design



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, October 23, 2022 at 20:00:23 ADT.)

Sunday, October 23, 2022

ARTICLE: Operating possibilities on a small, continuous run layout

This design was part of a double deck N-scale layout using hollow core doors, done for a member of another railway group in 2010. The upper deck represented an unrelated coal mining branch in British Columbia, and was a very simple design. The upper deck/door was supported by sides made of ¾" plywood, and the backdrop...

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Views: 2419 | Comments: 4

TAGS: Design Feature: Continuous Run Option, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Theme: Regional / Short Line Railway, Canada (Provinces): Alberta, Articles: Operating Small Layouts



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 19:55:55 ADT.)

Thursday, June 23, 2022

ARTICLE: Making Reasonable Choices and Compromises

Anyone that has worked with me in the past will hopefully realize that I am not one to impose my views on another modeler. Your aims and goals in the hobby are no doubt different than mine, and I don't think anyone has the right to deter either of us from our chosen path. I have always been more of a "present me with the facts and I will make...

Views: 1704 | Comments: 8

TAGS: Articles: Layout Design



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 1:04:27 ADT.)

Thursday, May 19, 2022

ARTICLE: Designing the HO-Scale Pennsylvania Shortline Terminal for Robert (Robin) Mountenay

Introduction by Robert (Robin) Mountenay: As a Lutheran pastor I've lived my adult life in parsonages-church-owned homes. When I retire in the near future, I'll suddenly be responsible for my own housing. In anticipation of that day, my wife and I recently bought a house in south-central Pennsylvania, a three hour drive from our current home...

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Views: 26698 | Comments: 8

TAGS: Layout Size: Compact Layouts, Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: End of Line Station, Theme: Single Station / Town, USA (States): Pennsylvania, American Railways: Pennsylvania Railroad, American Railways: Reading Company



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 17:27:30 ADT.)

Thursday, September 23, 2021

ARTICLE: The Sissiboo Pulp & Paper Mill (Getting the most out of your small space)

This article is more about getting the most out of the space you have available than it is about modeling a pulp and paper mill. I just used a paper mill as an example of how an industry that covers a great deal of real estate in the 1:1 world can be shoe-horned into a reasonably sized footprint. However, to attain my goals for this project I had...

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Views: 6391 | Comments: 9

TAGS: Design Feature: Train Elevator, Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: Industrial Railway, Theme: Single Industry, Type: Inglenook, Type: No Run-Around Track, Types of Industries: Pulp and Paper Mills



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 5:52:00 AST.)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

ARTICLE: Mark Me Up: Layout Planning Based On Operating Experience, by Mat Thompson

[This article by Mat Thompson was first published in The Newsletter of the Potomac Division February-March 2021 issue and was used with permission.~RAC] I plan to build a small HO scale switching layout. The available space is 11 ½' by 2½' above my work bench. My two goals are to have a well-modeled layout and a good track...

Views: 1184 | Comments: 0



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, March 06, 2020 at 6:31:00 AST.)

Friday, March 06, 2020

ARTICLE: How long does it take to design a layout from start to finish?

I was recently asked how long it takes to design a layout from start to finish, and mock up these 3D presentations. As you might assume, the length of the process varies because of the steps involved, the size of the layout, and whether or not the design will be based on prototype locations. Some of you might even be surprised that small layout can...

Views: 951 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Articles: Layout Design



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, February 04, 2020 at 20:08:00 AST.)

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

ARTICLE: My Layout Design Philosophy

Whenever I'm designing a track plan for myself, I always keep an open mind and I'm willing to explore all options. I am not opposed to using anything in a design that will allow me to get the most out of the space I have available. Although I like to keep a layout easy to build, I am not opposed to using multiple deck options or other creative...

Views: 1021 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Articles: Layout Design



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, February 04, 2020 at 14:10:41 AST.)

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

ARTICLE: Duplicating prototypical track work as a small end-of-line station

This design was just completed for a member of a the Railroad Line Forums, who was looking for some inspiration for a small layout project he was considering. The design depicts the small rural station of Werley (WI) on the Chicago & North Western RR's "Dinky Line". Although the diagram below is not entirely accurate, it is a simple rendition of the...

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Views: 2836 | Comments: 4

TAGS: Layout Size: Mini Layouts, Staging Options: Cassette Staging, Theme: End of Line Station, Theme: Narrow Gauge Railway, Theme: Single Station / Town, Type: 3 Turnout Layout, Type: Based on Actual Location(s), USA (States): Wisconsin, American Railways: Chicago & North Western RR, Articles: Operating Small Layouts



Posted in Articles by Rob Chant. (Updated Monday, February 03, 2020 at 9:23:29 AST.)

Monday, February 03, 2020

ARTICLE: Defining Moments

I have been asked a few times what is the most important element of good layout design, and the very simple answer to that question is knowing what you're most passionate about when it comes to model railroading and use that as the basis of your next modeling project. I'm sure that most of you can look back on at least one "defining moment" when...

Views: 1058 | Comments: 0

TAGS: Articles: Layout Design

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