Category Archives: Layout Design

Layout Design with Nelson Moyer, part 7

Warning – Low Clearance Ahead

Nelson Moyer returns with build tips and techniques for duckunders. Click on any image here to review a larger size. Here’s Nelson with his latest tale.

Burlington Yard and Winfield Duckunder

Duckunders are to be avoided. That’s a cardinal rule of layout design. However, there are circumstances where duckunder alternatives are impossible, and my track plan presented me with no choice if I was going to model even a severely truncated facsimile of the CB&Q yard at Burlington, IA. By referring to the track plan in Part 1 of the series, it is immediately evident that the longest unbroken spaces in my basement are on the North and South outside walls, and those walls measure 16- and 18-feet, respectively. That’s not nearly long enough for Burlington, and the placement of those walls is totally wrong for a geographical approximation of the prototype.

Continue reading Layout Design with Nelson Moyer, part 7

Prototype modeling vs. prototype-based freelancing

No. 45, the westbound KC Local, behind a USRA light Mikado, hustles into Metcalf, Ill., on Tony Koester’s HO tribute to the Nickel Plate Road’s St. Louis Division in 1954. The LCL boxcar behind the rider car looks like a blue-box kit, but its heritage is the last thing on the minds of the local’s crew as they plan their work in town and watch out for superior eastbound trains.

Tony Koester, editor of Kalmbach’s annual Model Railroad Planning and the Trains of Thought columnist and a contributing editor for Model Railroader, responded to an inquiry about his views of modeling a specific prototype vs. using one or more prototypes as the basis for a plausibly freelanced model railroad. Here’s Tony with more.

We keep trying to draw a line in the sand between prototype modeling and any form of freelancing. In my view, that’s both a waste of time and usually based upon faulty assumptions.

Let’s start with prototype modeling. As most of us who have done this to any extent have discovered, we are almost always faced with the choice of not getting much done, often owing to a lack of “complete” information, or the desire to make progress. “Analysis paralysis” is a very real aspect of prototype modeling. Many a grand plan has come to ruin on its shores.

Continue reading Prototype modeling vs. prototype-based freelancing

Layout Design with Nelson Moyer, part 6

The Helix – Around and Around and It Comes Out Here

The eleven car 1952 California Zephyr climbs out of Denver staging Eastward with two E-7s on the point.

Nelson Moyer has been busy building his CB&Q layout. His latest adventure has been building a helix. Here’s Nelson with his tips and techniques. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

Multi-level layouts are becoming more popular as they permit longer runs with more towns, sidings, industries, and thus more switching opportunities in a given footprint. The Burlington-Washington Subdivision of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad ran 53 miles Northwest from Burlington to Washington, IA, with trackage rights on the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific from Burlington to Mediapolis, IA, and on the former Burlington and Northwestern tracks from Mediapolis to Washington. The branchline passed through seven towns more or less equally spaced along the route. My goal was to model as many of those towns as I could accommodate in a 13 x 16 foot room.

Continue reading Layout Design with Nelson Moyer, part 6