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The non-railway building models include amongst other items a Corner Pub and Semi-Detached Houses, as well as a variety of Modular Building Units. The Kestrel kits come unassembled, but are cast in different coloured plastics to allow the model buildings to be used straight after assembly if required. Submitted by Colin Shearring, this excellent plan of London Kings Cross uses Peco Streamline track to create a very close rendition of the prototype.
Facilitated the development of the design drawings and co-managed the initial development process of the model itself. The Model Railway forms part of the West Ashfield Station training facility on the third floor of Ashfield House in West London. The main track section is signalled using standard LT automatic and semi-automatic signals, controlled variously for the controlled areas by signal frame including mechanical interlocking, or by push button panel.
In order for this model railway to be of maximum benefit to learners, a number of faults simulating network failures can be injected into the system, either singly or in multiples, according to the degree of complexity the operational trainer requires.
Sample progress images of the LUL Model Railway - design led by Sean McArdle, Operational Learning, London Underground Ltd and built by Paragon Creative initially at their premises in York and later installed at Ashfield House. Earlier this month my friend Mark Zagrodney and I visited Buffalo, New York – in the 1940s, thanks to Rick De Candido and his wonderful HO scale interpretation of a New York Central engine terminal that almost was.
Rick also worked as engine terminal foreman, writing up assignments on his computer and displaying them on a flat-screen TV which featured a representation of a chalkboard.
The layout operates on 1:1 time, and even with several locomotives in various stages of servicing there is some breathing room in the operating session. Rick’s layout is a terrific example of thinking creatively to design an achievable layout. Rick took a different approach, eliminating almost all (but not all) rolling stock to focus on the locomotives. My friend Jim Dufour is building one of the greatest layouts that you’ve probably never heard of. Jim is faithfully modelling scenes and operations along the Boston and Maine Railroad’s Cheshire Branch in New Hampshire in the late 1940s. Jim lives in Massachusetts, and earlier this year he hosted an open house in conjunction with the annual Railroad Hobby Show in Springfield MA.
I was not able to attend this year, but I suggested to TrainMasters TV producer Barry Silverthorn that he pay a visit.
If you like what you see, you can then take a multi-month subscription for as little as $2.99 per month. I know Lance will be pleased by the change, particularly the ability for readers to follow his blog.
The Ontario Southland Railway is a short line company operating in several locations from Guelph to St. Like many short lines, the OSR has an eclectic collection of equipment (and they list the roster on their website), many of it still in the paint schemes of a previous owner. When people ask me for ideas, I’ll certainly suggest the OSR as the subject for an achievable layout. These were not high-traffic branches and many of the trains featured are quite short, which would lend themselves to modelling in a larger scale such as S or O.
The above photo is appropriate because my second observation is that all five operations featured were shot in winter.
The afternoon gave me some great ideas for filling in the space under my taller trees with saplings and other plantings to give my forested areas more bulk.
After our session, we retired to The Feathers for lamb and ale stews, pints, and more conversation, and I had much to think about on the streetcar ride home.
I started this blog, in part, as a way to share some ideas for layouts that I’d love to see built.
That said, I also realized I was unlikely to build the achievable layouts I share on this blog.

Robin has posted about his project on his blog on the Model Railroad Hobbyist forums, as well as on his Waterloo Spur blog. Sunset’s CNR 10-wheelers will open up many possibilities for those working in O scale to create a steam-era Achievable Layout. To start, Marty McGuirk shares a few of the lessons he’s learned from building four large model railways over the past two decades. Over the past week, I’ve been building trees for the Lynn Valley area of my home layout. With the exception of a few evergreens that I acquired from a friend, I have built all of these trees from basic materials: wire, flexible modelling paste, poly-fiber and leaf material. There are many people in this hobby who will argue that convincing trees aren’t worth spending the time on. Available is a selection of town and country buildings, as well as railway specific items including a Signal Box and Station Buildings. It may get expensive with all those double slips, but who could resist an accurate model of one of Britain's most famous stations? It is a fully signalled LUL railway in miniature, comprising 5 stations, 3 of which are situated in controlled areas. As the lead photo shows, the layout is fairly deep so access is needed to both sides of the terminal during an operating session. Rick worked as the road crews: He delivered locomotives from the rest of the world (staging area) to the first inspection stop, and collected outgoing locomotives from the ready track. The upper deck is used for supply trains – for example, a switcher with a cut of loaded hopper cars for the coaling tower.
These have pre-set times loaded into them, and represent the time required to perform various functions as a locomotive travels through the terminal. As it was our first visit, Mark and I used that time to admire Rick’s work, talk about the thinking behind the layout, and so on. Work here is not as tightly scripted as the engine terminal assignments, so it’s an opportunity to spot a car or two before getting back to the main work of the session.
Many of us, faced with the challenge of a modest space in a living room, would gravitate to a modest branch line terminal (like Port Rowan on my layout), an industrial switching area (like the East 38th Street project by Lance Mindheim) or even a single large industry, like the Pine Street Mill.
This would make a lot of sense for most of us, considering that everybody I know (myself included) has way more locomotives than they need for their layouts.
In my opinion, it has all the elements that make for the best type of layout – and it encompasses many of the concepts that I write about on this blog. This automatically creates interesting challenges for the layout builder, and it helps make the resulting layout unique from other efforts. There were a couple of larger yards on the Cheshire Branch, but Jim instead chose to model the smaller towns in between, with yards represented by staging.
It’s clear that Jim is challenging himself to exhibit craftsmanship and excellence in all aspects of this terrific hobby. Yet the layout is also manageable enough that he will be able to keep on top of the maintenance that all layouts demand of us.
It provides opportunities for Jim to enjoy running trains by himself without disrupting the next formal operating session. Thomas, Ontario – with a mix of classic short line hauling and industrial park or large industry switching. The article, for example, documents the work of a plow train consisting of an ex-Chessie System GP9 and an FP-9 from the Waterloo & St. A layout given this treatment would be the polar (pun intended) opposite of a layout set in the height of autumn, in which railway subjects would be forced to compete with a riot of leaf colours. Snow has drifted quite deeply onto locomotive walkways and pilots, which would be an interesting modelling project.
Williams area of my layout, so I was particularly interested in Ryan’s tree-building efforts.

I predict another visit to the craft store in the near future to pick up some craft brooms and other materials. Yet because they’re less complex, they offer measurable rewards after every work session. And I feel they need to be well done because trees tell a meaningful story to the greatest number of people who see my layout. But I try to – and one of the advantages of designing and building an achievable layout is that it has allowed me to invest the time required to build the things I need done right.
A great organization to join if you’re interested in getting the most out of layout design. The plan will need a fiddleyard across to the right, and in order to accommodate full length trains the plaforms will also need extending, but the pointwork can all be fitted into 10x4'. Rick has built the entire layout on casters so it can be rolled against the wall when not in use.
They’re paired because there are two inbound tracks, so each track has its own timer at each work position. The area chosen is possible to model well in an average-sized layout space – with a simple, uncrowded, and realistic track plan that provides plenty of challenge for operators without becoming overwhelming or stressful.
Thomas Sub … to in-plant switching (about 100 auto racks per day!) at CAMI Automotive (itself along the St. And a couple of the prototypes featured here did (or still do) serve auto plants, significant carload generators that also require the railway to switch to a clock.
Snow adds a uniform wash to the scenes, which tones down the colours of structures, scenery and details.
It’s also caked onto trucks, brake rigging and other details below the frame, which would wonders for highlighting these traditionally dark areas on a model. But he was looking for something more along the lines of an Inglenook Sidings to build while he finishes his layout room – and the paper mill on Pine Street fit the bill as a slightly more complex Inglenook project. That can lead the new hobbyist to attempt layouts that are beyond their skill level or too demanding of their time, energy and money. Then there are the other areas of the layout, which will probably require another 50 trees – at least, because as every layout builder who has planted trees knows, it requires an astonishing number of them to make a forest. For me, that includes building convincing trees to frame the scenes through which my trains run.
The benchwork itself is executed to a fine finish, making it a pleasant display in the living room. Mark handled locomotives up to the turntable, while I managed the turntable and roundhouse work. Thomas Sub)… to industrial park switching in Guelph (with a branch to Campbellville).
Things I knew existed below the walkways, but had never really noticed in photos of clean locomotives, are readily apparent with a dusting of the white stuff. From his layout design, to the equipment, to the structures and scenery, everything looks like the product of a modeller with decades of experience under his belt. There’s nothing quite as discouraging as spending several hours working on a layout and then realizing that the progress made was insignificant, compared to the whole. Depending on location, the OSR has connections with the Canadian National, CP Rail, or both. Is it near water, or a field, or other open space where it can grow sideways as well as up to catch more sunlight?
And does it have a practical role to play on the layout, such as hiding a non-prototypical tunnel or the spot where a river hits the backdrop?

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