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This model railroad layout is based on the Saint Louis Central 2001 Model Railroader project designed and built by St. The version published in the July 2001 issue of Model Railroader magazine was a bit more simplified than our original concept. The track plan was designed so that a train can run in a circle (as it will do during the History Museum exhibition). The Power System: This particular layout has been built primarily for continuous running at the Museum. The Framework: Because this layout (as well as the various annual project layouts that the Division has built) will be moved several times and may eventually be stored at the Museum, we used the same techniques we have developed for our annual project railroads that are taken to various shows and other events throughout the year. For the structures on our layout, we farmed out the various kits to members of the Gateway Division and provided instructions for any alterations to the directions in the kit.
Now the tricky part: One corner of the layout fascia and the foam board must be cut out to accommodate the long bridge, and a base must be built for this lower section. But first, to determine how much fascia to trim and how much foam must be cut out of this corner, we laid out the track plan on the foam board. At this stage, the most important structure placement was the 50’ bridge, a straight bridge with curved track on it! The track was glued in place, using yellow carpenter’s glue spread directly on the foam and being cautious not to get glue in the switch throw bars.
The concrete and brick street was installed next, assembling large sections and then using Liquid Nails latex adhesive to attach it to the foam. After the rail and street systems were installed and the glue had dried, track was cleaned and we hooked up the transformer, put on an engine, and did our first electrical check to assure that all joints and trackwork were working correctly. Manual ground throws were installed on all turnouts using yellow carpenters glue and track nails. The pink foam base was painted with a brown latex interior wall paint and sprinked with a variety of ground covers up to the marked footprints of the buildings and close to track.
At this point, all of the track was ballasted, using “wet water” (water with a bit of dish detergent added) or isopropyl rubbing alcohol to promote flow of the glue and then diluted matte medium or diluted white glue to affix the ballast. Buildings were permanently installed with a two-part epoxy glue and figures and vehicles were also glued in place. Missouri Historical Society Saint Louis Central 2002 Transition EraAbout the AuthorVenita Lake models the free-lanced transition-era HO scale El Dorado and El Reno Railroad, running from Lillie, Louisiana, through Arkansas to El Reno, Oklahoma.
At the invitation of the Missouri History Museum, located in Forest Park in the City of St. Louis area members of the National Model Railroad Association during the July 2001 National Train Show in downtown St.
The National Train Show (NTS) layout, which was built as originally designed, had an additional siding and some adaptations made to the kits, such as eliminating a section of the building or altering the placement to fit the track plan.

Louis, Missouri, probably in the 1950s, although not much has changed and this layout could represent an earlier or later period. Because only one train will be operated at a time, we chose to use a power pack rather than digital command control as we did on the NTS model. They are reliable and relatively inexpensive, and we are able to provide a specific shopping list and track diagram.
To make a layout that is lightweight, very sturdy, and collapsible, we built a framework of 1×4” pine supported by folding table legs.
Before we could actually place track on the layout, we needed to have both the 50’ bridge and the 150’ bridge.
We notched out the side facias at one corner (the upper right in our track diagrams) down to the cross bracing so that the bridges were plainly visible, leaving only a 2 inch wide “bridge pier” for the end of the long bridge.
This works best by using the actual track pieces and turnouts and connecting them with rail joiners. The foam base was marked to indicate cut lines for end supports for the 50’ bridge, the road going under the short bridge, and the retaining walls under the 150’ bridge and to either side of the shorter bridge. When everything ran well, we weathered the track rails with rust and dark brown latex paints, taking care to clean the rail heads and protect the turnout contacts. Touch-ups of ground foam and other scenery materials were done around loading docks and the bases of buildings where glue might show. Now retired, she has been a high school English teacher, an office manager, and a university administrator.
Louis, members of the Gateway Division have spent part of the summer of 2002 building a somewhat revised version of the Saint Louis Central 2001 layout. Finally, several tracks can be extended beyond the edge of this 4×8-foot layout when the modeler decides that he or she would like to expand the limits of the railroad.
It was determined to be more dependable for the museum staff to operate and less expensive for the initial setup.
It was also important to have either the completed buildings, the base or a paper footprint of the other buildings, especially those with loading docks or rail spurs. We placed the track pieces starting at the “north” and “west” (or top and left side on our diagrams) about 1 inch from the edges of the foam board and built the remaining track from there. We painted some of the area below the 50’ bridge using a brown latex interior house paint as the base for anything not covered by future retaining walls and installed the bridge under the track at this time. We also masked off the brick side streets and spray painted the concrete streets and sidewalks, using concrete, aged concrete, and gray and grimy black paints to add texture and street grime to the roads.
She is a past editor of the Gateway Division’s RPO and worked on many division committees and conventions. It includes the trains, locomotives, and various auxiliary items and also machines used for construction.

The History Museum exhibition “Our World in Miniature: Trains, Dollhouses and Other Miniatures” runs from Saturday, October 5, 2002, through January 2003, and this layout will be operating throughout that time.
While the track does run in a circle, the buildings and street down the length of the layout serve as a view block so that various scenes will be seen independently. We did install insulated track joiners in several locations so that a future operator could run more than one engine The NTS model railroad used digital command control because we expected this layout to eventually become a home layout and digital generally provides more realistic operation. For a layout that will be permanently located, a sheet of plywood to support the foam board and 2×4” legs would also be suitable. The Walther’s concrete street system pieces were used to determine the width of the main street, curbs and sidewalks. When everything fit and each rail joiner had been double checked for a solid and proper fit, the track location was marked on the foam board with a felt tip pen. Later center lines, RR crossing marks, and parking space lines were stenciled onto the streets. The building kits, however, were selected not only because they fit our space requirements, but also because they reflect architecture similar to downtown St. The inside dimensions of this box should exactly fit the 4×8’ piece of extruded foam insulation board. We had to offset the pairs of legs a bit to opposite sides so that they would each fold flat against the bottom of the layout. The angle of some sidings made from flex track required the footprint of related structures to be exact. Later we wished that we had determined where the street would begin going downhill and cut out more of the road cut going under the 50’ bridge at this point in construction. Version 2.002 places the track directly on the extruded foam base, glued down with white glue or yellow carpenter’s glue.
They should also be set far enough from the ends to allow room for “the tricky part,” at least ten to twelve inches.
Whenever it’s done, it is a bit tricky because the width of the cut needs to match the placement and the width of the concrete street system to be installed later. Track nails were used to hold the track until the glue dried; they were not removed, but are not sufficient to hold track on the foam by themselves.

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