Ardenrail 2008 Show Layouts

These were the Layouts booked in 2008:

Camp 93
On30 Scale by Richard Turner






Camp 93 is a prototypical logging operation based in Washington State towards the end of the logging in the 1930s. The layout is O scale ¼ inch to the foot (1:48) and with a track gauge of 30 inches.

Operation of locomotives and layout is by DCC with sound. Listen to the clanking of pistons and the echoes of steam whistles through the mountain gorge and tall timbers.
Gradients of 8% are worked hard to bring logs of up to 12 feet scale diameter down from the fell, remaining layout trees are up to 16 feet diameter and disappear into the lighting facia.

Locomotives include Shay and Climax geared locomotives which can be seen working a small supply yard and moving logs down the inclines from higher camps off to the mills. A variety of other stock can be seen including rail trucks and rail buses.

Clemens Landing
N Scale by Richard Insley





Photos by Steve Flint Courtesy of Continental Modeller

This layout represents Clemens Landing, in the state of Mississippi as it appeared in 1858.

The landing was the loading place for the Mississippi river boats at the plantation of the Clemens family. The plantation was founded by Colonel James Assherton Clemens, and was the richest on that part of the Mississippi, south of Memphis. The river was for fifty odd years the only means of communication. The arrival in the mid 1850s of the Memphis & Southern Railroad, followed by the Centrail Railroad of Mississipi, led to the growth of a settlement at the landing place.

A Railroad depot, tavern, boarding house, general store and other buildings created a small community separate from the Clemens plantation. River boats still called at the landing and interchanged with railroads.
Clemens Landing as it appeared in 1858 was at its economic height, before the Civil War destroyed the economy of the “old South”.

Erie Street Yard
HO Scale by David Crowther

This brand new layout is debuting at Ardenrail. Erie Street Yard is set in the early 1990s New Jersey. It is a Conrail industrial branchline.

State Street
HO Scale by Mark Sweatman

This is another brand new layout is debuting at Ardenrail.

Gilbert Junction
HO Scale by Chris Hopper





Gilbert Junction is a US HO (3.5mm1 foot or 1/87) switching layout using Kadee couplers for “hands-off” operation and Peco US code 83 track.

The layout represents the 1950s Boston and Maine Railroad with passenger, freight and milk trains. The main industry is a dairy and there is a branchline interchange yard and a track to an off-stage paper mill. Many of the freight cars are resin kits and most of the locos are re-painted. Many of the structures are scratch-built. The layout is operated on DC but has been used successfully with a Lenz DCC system for train control. Gilbert Junction – click to see a larger version

Gilbert Junction – click to see a larger version Other US railroads and periods make occasional appearances on the layout. The operators are always happy to discuss the layout, US railroading and modelling, and – occasionally – DCC operation.

HO Scale by Roger Nicholls





Photos by Steve Flint Courtesy of Continental Modeller

This brand new layout is debuting at Ardenrail and will be in the Continental Modeller in 2008.

Situated on the Canadian Prairies during the 1960s, Glendale is a small town served by the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railroads. The local industries are mostly farming related.

Locos are by Proto 1000, Bachmann and Athearn. Scenery is sand and Woodland Scenics. Buildings are a mixture of kit and scratchbuilt. This is a DCC-free zone, conventional wiring being spoken here, albeit very slowly as we are from Yorkshire.

Godinez, Iowa
HO Scale by Peter North




When Peter sold his last layout based on the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad (Rosa, Illinois) he thought it was time for a break from modelling for a while. He then realised that he had enough Rock Island bits and pieces in the cupboard for one last ride across the prairie and the idea of Godinez took shape.

The baseboard is a conventional plywood construction with folding legs to help transport; the hidden sidings simply clip on the back, shaped to match the track plan. Viewed track is a mixture of Code 70 and 55 rail with Shinohara switches and kinks, bumps and lean added to reflect the poor state of Rock Island branch lines in the 1950s. Scenery contours were formed using roofing paper over polyfoam supports and scenery is a mixture of Woodland Scenics, Silflor and other odds and ends.

Both locomotives are from the box items worked on to reproduce the run down look of the average Rock locomotive. Rolling stock is a mixture of resin and plastic kits with a couple of OMI cabooses. Control and sound is via an entry level NCE DCC system and Soundtraxx decoders.
Hopefully Godinez captures the look of Rock Island railroading on the plains – standard gauge with narrow gauge atmosphere.

Hill’s Country MkII
N Scale by Colchester MRC

Mk II - Watford Fine Scale 2007
Mk II – Watford Fine Scale 2007
Mk II - Watford Fine Scale 2007
Mk II – Watford Fine Scale 2007
Mk II - Watford Fine Scale 2007
Mk II – Watford Fine Scale 2007


The layout is not based on any particular location, and for ease of orientation the town is placed on the North side of the river which flows from the west to the east. Hill’s Junction is set in the foothills of the Rockies somewhere in Colorado in the nominal time period of either the late 60s or 80/90s The town grew up round the railway and the junction was used for changing train crews when they are operating on Out and Back Duties. The main operating companies are those that made up the Burlington Northern. However locomotives from the SP, UP and the Sante Fe are also seen.

The town nestles between the river and two ridges. It is located at the junction of two single track “main” lines, the high and low lines, coming from the west. As the high line going to the north climbs at approximately 1:30, the trains need all the help they can get. The low line runs along the river valley and has fewer operating restrictions. At the east end the twin track mainline disappears at river level whilst the single track “hi-line” goes into a helix to climb approximately 200mm.

A significant amount of industry on the back of the railways. Although the dieselisation of the 50s has caused a decline in the railway workshops and its associated industries, the town is going through a period of redevelopment. The industry is still supplied by rail.

Knownaim City Yard
Z Scale by Graham & Damian Jone

Graham’s son Damian decided he wanted to try and make an American switching layout so Knownaim City Yard was born. The layout is built on two boards 3’x2′ and is completely self-contained, it does however have scope to add a third board and who knows one day it may get built. The track plan is a simple out and back to fiddle yard with lots of points and uncouplers all over the place so lots of fiddling can be done. All the wagons have been photographed and at exhibitions the public can select which consist you have to make up and dispatch to the fiddle yard. This leads to alot of manouvering of stock and lots of under the breath cussing when the last wagon is out of position.

All the wagons and locomotives are fitted with the Micro-Train automatic couplings and those are operated using concealed magnets under the the track. Maplin electronic circuit breaker magnets are used which are small in diameter yet very powerful. Scenery is mostly low relief and made up of a mixture of cards and plastic kits modified to suit the application. At the tunnel end there is a high level dual carriageway with a couple of micron art etched brass building kits and although these are a little bit fiddly to make, the finish is excellent and well worth the effort. Track work is standard Marklin controlled by a Gauge Master hand held controller.

Lionel Demonstration Layout
O Scale by Julian Phillips

Julian’s layout is based on Lionel demonstration layouts from the fifties.

Ontario Street
HO Scale by Chris Marrable




Marlowe murmured under his breath as he surveyed the scene of yet another murder. Only this time there were two bodies. He pulled out a packet of cigarettes from his jacket pocket and offered a cigarette to his mouth, discarding the used match in the grass. The sun was getting warm now that the early morning mist had burnt off and Marlowe was beginning to wish that he had left his overcoat in the car. Even while on holiday with his friends Marlowe could not seem to escape trouble with a capital T. As he tossed the finished cigarette aside a police car came to a halt. The sergeant climbed out and made his way over to Marlowe. He also studied the scene that was presented to him. “You mixed up in this?” growled the sergeant. “Know this pair?” he continued. “No” Marlowe replied. “Well beat it before I have you in the slammer for obstructing the police.” As Marlowe turned towards his car a battery of questions was fired by the sergeant. Only the last one being audible. “What brought you here?” “I’m on my way to the Sternwood Mansion” Marlowe retorted. A shrill of a railroad locomotive whistle announced the arrival of a freight train giving Marlowe the opportunity to escape further questioning.

The layout is set in the Hamilton area of Canada in the mid 1950s to early 60s. This allows me to run steam as well as the new diesels making an appearance as they took over duties from the steam locomotives. The line is an end spur to a larger freight yard, this area has now seen better days after the boom period of the early 1920s. New industries have been growing and the old way of life is changing. It will not be long before this area will be flattened to make way for a large shopping mall.

Numerous different railroads now visit this last section of the yard. Canadian Pacific & Canadian National are most prevalent, but the odd Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo and New York & Central appear. Passenger services are now some what infrequent if non-existent, only the odd train bring staff to work at this end of the yard. Also due to lack of facilities further up the yard this end is used to hold rolling stock while shunting manoeuvres are carried out.

Oro Grande Railroad
Sn3 Scale by William Loyd



The layout depicts the end of a short branch on the narrow gauge Oro Grande Railroad set in the United States of America. The reason behind the layout was the purchase of an ‘American Hoist & Derrick Ditcher’ from Backwoods Miniatures and to show this working in a quarry. The layout also features a small engine shed with ash pit and office.

The layout features hand-built track and points at a track gauge of 14.2mm, with a selection of kit-built locomotives and rolling stock.

The buildings are all of wood construction from either Banta Modelworks or Western Scale Models; the ground cover is by Green Scenes, Heiki and Woodland Scenics.

Red Rocks
On30 Scale by Martin Swannell




Red Rocks is a stunning example of narrow gauge modelling at its best. Shays and ore cars wend their way across rustic mountain trestles, clanging past the mine head and passing swathes of tall trees.

Highly detailed and weathered Shays, Porters and Climaxes are a joy to watch.

The mine has seen better days but still manages to scrape a living.

Sweethome Chicago
HO Scale by Jon Grant




Sweethome Chicago is my first foray into American HO modelling and was constructed in less than a year. It is set in Southside Chicago between the late 1940s – early 1950s and represents an industrial switching yard with numerous rail-served industries. The layout is 32 feet long (24 feet scenic) and the choice of period allows me to run both steam and diesel locomotives.
Trains arrive from the numerous railroad yards in the Chicago area, allowing me to run trains from all the major railroads. These include the New York Central, Pennsylvania, Indiana Harbor Belt, Chicago Burlington and Quincy, Santa Fe and the Belt Railway of Chicago. Many more Railroads make regular appearances, as Chicago was, and still is, the centre of America’s railroads.

Steam and diesel locomotives are mainly from Life Like (now Walthers), Broadway Limited (BLI), Bachmann and Atlas. Freight cars are super-detailed models from a number of manufacturers and have metal wheel-sets fitted as standard. All stock is fitted with Kadee knuckle couplers and uncoupling is performed with magnets, most of which are hidden under the tracks.
Electrical control for locomotives and turnouts is by Digital command control (DCC) and the system I use is the Powerhouse Pro by NCE. All the locomotives have now been equipped with sound decoders to add an extra dimension to the layout.

Track-work is Peco code 75 throughout, laid onto cork tiles glued to a plywood baseboard. Turnout motors are by Seep (now Gaugemaster). The layout is operated from the front, so the operators can see the modelled scenes and answer any questions too. There is a cassette-fitted storage yard behind the backscene to vary the trains.

The buildings have been carefully chosen to represent examples that could be seen at any time between the 1920s and 1980s, and have been built from kits by a range of manufacturers including DPM, Walthers Cornerstone and IHC, although all of them have been added to, chopped up or modified in some way. Vehicles, fences and the small details have been selected from a whole host of American, British and European firms, as well as from the scrap box. Figures are mainly from Preiser, Noch and Model Power.

I use ‘car cards’ and ‘waybills’ to determine at which industry the freight cars end up, rather than delivering cars on the whim of the operator, which means that the switching of freight cars can be played as a game.

Please feel free to ask any questions and, most of all, enjoy the layout.

The numbers in the track plan r to the decoder address for the turnouts.