Scenery Tour #1

Vandalia Short Line

The Vandalia Short Line is a 1.5x10' switching layout. The layout is influenced by the Gum Stump & Snowshoe by Chuck Yungkurth (Model Railroader, April 1966 p.32), but has passing sidings at both levels. Maximum train is a loco (small switcher) and three cars (40' preferred). There are 11 turnouts.

The only bridge on the layout. It dictated the height of Bruceton Mills. Overall, the height could have been lower, as a through plate girder would have been more typical. The height clearance here is generous, but the side to side is tight. 50' cars squeeze through. I plan to backdate this layout to the late teens (1917-ish). Smaller, more detailed equipment and motive power will be used. I may even be able to add a 4 wheel bobber to the three car trains!

Freight House
Here's one of my first efforts in scratchbuilding. Yes, I still need to finish it. This warehouse was described in RMC in the late 80's. The prototype is actually in Chama, NM, along the narrow gauge there. I made my own corregated sheet from heavy duty aluminum foil and contact cemented it onto a cardstock shell. It was originally on a different foundation, but I decided to change it for this new location.

Preston Mfg at Bruceton Mills
What looks like a City Classics kit is actually paper copies of the parts colored with art markers and laminated to foam core. The tree is a smoke bush blossom, sprayed with cheap green aerosol paint, and flocked with ground foam while still wet. I like them because they can tower over the models, much like a real tree or forest.


Laurel Jct up close
Here's a depth shot for you. Track is Atlas Code 100 flex. It was contact cemented (with Elmers CC) to 1" thick blue foam. Ballast is a blend of Woodland Scenics colors. Retaining wall was built, one tie at a time. There are currently three walls, one is two feet long. Can you spot the black Baldwin switcher in this photo? The distant mountain is cardboard cut to profile, painted a medium gray, then flocked with ground foam. It is 18" from the front edge of the layout.

Laurel Jct yard throat

The small interchange at Laurel Junction keeps a crew busy.

Laurel Run from above
A better view from above the Laurel Run Junction area. Those deciduous trees are cheap and easy. They are smokebush blossoms spray painted with cheap green aerosol, then sprinkled with ground foam. Lower branches are carefully broken off before the tree is planted. These 'branches' are then used as saplings, such as the ones on the hill near the loco.

Click on any of the small trackplans to see the larger one.

Click for larger graphic VSL Trackplan
This layout was designed off the cuff. Sketches were made, but no final plan was drawn. Track was pinned onto blue styrofoam and turnouts were placed to maximize operation. Once it looked good, a pen was used to draw the edge of the track on the foam.

Click for larger graphic

Small Layout 1 switching

Here's a nice, HO scale, 2x8' switching layout. It's pretty basic and some one or two foot wing extensions can be added to each end to provide more run around space. It can also be the nucleus of a larger layout. I'm planning to build this for my five year old nephew this spring.

Click for larger graphic
Small Layout 2 with Main and Interchange
This small HO scale plan can be built as a portion of a larger layout, or a set of modules associated with a larger modular layout. Plenty can be done with this.

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Page last updated January 9, 2015