Ardenrail 2009 Show Layouts

These were the Layouts booked in 2009:

Bear Creek Junction
HO/HOn3 Scale by Adrian Hall



Bear Creek Junction is set in 1930s Colorado. Using dual gauge track to HO and HOn3 standards the plan is based upon a junction between the D&RGW railroad standard gauge mainline between Salida and Leadville and the narrow gauge Colorado & Southern branch line to Twin Lakes and Aspen. With an elevation of around 7,500ft the scenery represens the typical pine forest and rugged mountain outcroppings in the area, with actual photographs of Colorado used as the backdrop.

The facilities at the junction include a turning wye with a centrally located depot for the branch line; a small engine facility, stock yards and a switch back branch to a small logging area and mine. Whilst this is freelance, it is typical of many of the railroads in the Colorado area during the early part of the 20th Century.

The motive power on the layout is steam with the occasional first generation diesel, a Galloping Goose on loan from the RGS and a model of the famous 1930’s Burlington Zephyr. All this is operated using DCC control with onboard sound in the majority of the locomotives and localised sound for environmental effects.

Bitter Creek
On30 Scale by Roger Nicholls





Photos by Steve Flint Courtesy of Continental Modeller

The layout is set in 1940s Colorado, based on a mining theme. The track plan is based on a similar layout that Roger had built in HO – Wildcat Mining. Trackwork is Peco Code 100, with the undersize sleeper spacing masked by ballast. Point sizes are small to fit more track in.

Buildings are minimal to give the atmosphere of a small mining area served by the Denver & Rio Grande narrow gauge railroad. The ore mine covers up the entry to the fiddle yard and is scratch built using 1/4″ balsa stripwood for planks. It was all built in place on the layout. The roof is Slater’s 7mm corrugated plasticard. Painted and rusted using Humbrol and Green Scene weathering powders. The rock face is broken pieces of insulation board stacked and then coated with filler.

The rolling stock is a Shay and a Climax from a previous layout. Both are Bachmann as is the freight stock and all have been weathered using a combination of matt varnish, black washes, dry brushing and weathering powders. Anything black has been repainted a dark grey.

Control is DC and points are worked using a brass wire in a plastic tube. Kadee and Bachmann hidden magnets aer used to provide hands off uncoupling.

California Coast
Z Scale by Dave Dawes

This brand new layout is debuting at Ardenrail. California Coast is being built to show what can be achieved in Z scale. It is not set in a particular location but tries to give a feel of the California coast with trains running through the scenery. It also shows some of the great locomotives and rolling stock coming through from the many Z scale suppliers.

The Southern Pacific and Cotton Belt are the main players with a little Union Pacific, Santa Fe and DRGW thrown in for good measure. SP and Amtrak take care of the passenger trains. The time line will be early to mid 1970s.

The layout is 8′ long by 18″ wide and is run using Gaugemaster DC control systems.

Dixie Mining
O Scale by Martin Swannell




The setting is a short- line coal mine and loader in Pikesville, Kentucky,the heart of C&O territory.

Time period is the late 1950s -mid 60s with steam and diesel switchers. Built in Martin’s usual diorama style there is some operational merit, DCC controlled, switching under a working coal drop into an array of overworked coal hoppers.

To satisfy his arboreal fixation, the line is set amongst pine woods,so what better excuse for more tall trees!

Fire Creek
On30 Scale by Bob Wright



Fire Creek depicts a small mining town in th Californian Sierras, about 1920. The mines are almost played out but the line has a new lease of life hauling logs down to the Southern Pacific 10 miles away.

This is the first public showing and Bob will be happy to answer any questions.

Horse Creek
HO Scale by Peter Everitt





The year is somewhere around 1957. Horse Creek is a small settlement in southern Wyoming. The name comes from the “intermittent” river which flows through it taking melt water from the Rockies down to join the Mississippi River and eventually to reach the Gulf of Mexico. At this point the creek is crossed by the main line of the Colorado and Southern Railway.
irst generation cab-unit diesels (F3 & F7) are the main power and the road switcher or hood-units (SD7 & SD9) have just arrived; however there is still some steam operation.

The model, as always, is incomplete and is not intended to be a precise replica of the prototype but to be typical of the area with its wide, open spaces.

Napier Valley Railroad and Coal Company
On30 Scale by Nigel Bowyer






Photos by Steve Flint Courtesy of Continental Modeller

Based on the East Broad Top, the Napier Valley Railroad (NVR) was built in the early 1870s. It hauled coal, ore and minerals plus a few passengers down the valley along the picturesque route to Union Mount in western Pennsylvania. It was here that the narrow gauge interchanged with the “Standard Railroad of the World”, the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad. The NVR earned its keep to the end of regular operations in the autumn of 1965. With the closing of the last mine, the NVR quietly closed its doors. The layout depicts the end of one of the branches during the last year of operations.

The rolling stock is mostly Bachmann but has been modified by shortening and kit bashing. The gas-electric motor car is a Backwoods Miniatures kit using a Bachmann combine and powered by a black beetle motor. Apart from the gas-mechanical, the locomotives are all steam with a Bachmann climax, 2-6-0 and 0-4-2ST.

The buildings and structures are from a variety of sources. The three stall engine house was scratch built using plasticard and is based on one at Bridgton, Maine. The office building and station are Walthers, heavily disguised. The mine is based on Montour No. 4 Mine on the Montour Railroad and was built from Wills corrugated asbestos.

Oakland 3rd Street Yard
Gauge 1 by Martyn Wild


Usually a scale reserved for garden railways, this layout shows there is scope for indoor operation.

Locos and most stock is ready to run from USA Trains and Aristocraft with some scratch built. Trackwork is Peco, their Individulay components being used to build the turnouts which are powered by Lemaco/Fulgerex slow-action point motors.

Currently, analogue DC control is used, most locos being fitted with Sierra Soundtraxx sound units. Buildings are scratch built with cars/accessories being from a variety of sources.

On30 Scale by Richard Insley





Photos by Steve Flint Courtesy of Continental Modeller

In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, the Catskill Mountains became the favourite place for the wealthy of New York to enjoy a holiday. Besides the legend of Rip Van Winkle, the area possessed splendid scenery of small lakes, waterfalls, rocky outcrops and forests. Hotels began to appear in the late 1880s and by the beginning of the next century the area was dotted with such buildings, each bigger and more magnificent.

From the Hudson River, the narrow gauge Catskill Mountain Railway conveyed holidaymakers to the Otis Elevating Railway which took them up the steep escarpment to the grand hotels. From the top, the 3ft gauge Catskill & Tannersville Railway ran for over a mile to Tannersville and various hotels en route. It was extended a further mile to Overkill Creek in 1900.

The railway was nicknamed the “Huckleberry Line” and, winding its way through a sylvan landscape, served many hotel and guest houses between Otis Summit depot and Overkill with depots at Laurel House, Haines Corner and Tannersville. At Overkill, the Hotel Overkill and the Whyte House catered for the well heeled vacationers.

The layout represents the terminus at Overkill in July 1906; when the Railway carried over 60,000 passengers in its season; the year when Teddy Roosevelt was President and the year of the San Francisco earthquake.

Rochelle Intermodal
N Scale by Peter Borcherds





Rochelle Intermodal, showcases an N scale Bend Track module, depicting a fictional BNSF Intermodal facility near Rochelle, Illinois.

Peter has spent many days over the past couple of years photographing and viewing trains at the Rochelle Railroad Park in Rochelle, Illinois in the United States.

He is an intermodal railroading fan, so Rochelle was the perfect place for him, with the UP Railroad’s massive Global III intermodal facility just down the road. Unfortunately he was a BNSF fan, so when it came to planning his railroad he decided to change things slightly…his layout therefore features a BNSF intermodal yard near Rochelle…slight abuse of modeller’s licence!

At present the layout consists of two 4ft by 2ft modules which contain the intermodal yard itself, along with two end boards (the one 45 by 36 & the other 41 by 36) which contain loop tracks, thereby enabling a continuous layout.

So, in total the layout is about 15ft long. However as this is a modular layout this will change over time as Peter is planning on adding another two modules (already built but not wired or scenicked) which will add another 8ft in length. He is also planning on adding a yard with a loco facility. The only problem now will be space! But the joy of a modular layout is that it is just that…modular…which means he can put the modules in any order and in any configuation to suit the available space.

The layout is built around the Bendtrack modular system, which is an improvement on the NTrak modular system in that it only has a double main line as opposed to triple, and is double-sided, which makes it a lot more flexible with setup choices. More details on the Bendtrack concept can be found on the Bendtrack website.

Peter is using the Digitrax DC system, running a Super Chief command station with a DT400 throttle as well as a UT4 throttle. He is also using Digitrax BDL168 and BD4 block detectors and a Digitrax SE8C signal controller which enables him to have realistic operating signalling and block detection. For point control he is using Digitrax DS64 quad stationary decoders as well as CML Electronics DAC10s.

He runs the excellent JMRI PanelPro software on my PC which enables me to have a layout schematic on a panel on-screen showing the location of all the trains and the status of the turnouts & signals. I am planning on adding transponding hardware so that he can see the actual train number on the schematic as well.

He also has the Railroad & Co. software which he will be using in the future to enable automatic operation of the trains for shows.

HO Scale by Ian Lampkin




A few years ago a first glimpse of the Trix Big Boy with DCC and sound created the desire to build a layout for such a locomotive to run on. As space did not allow for running such locos with long freights and that a number of us had second hand Rivarossi locomotives of various prototypes, a locomotive depot plan was developed. We all enjoy switching on layouts with Kadees fitted to the rolling stock, so a small industrial area was a must have.

As most locomotives obtained to date are Union Pacific or Southern pacific, the location had to be out west somewhere near Denver. Most locomotive depots are operated by just one company but a little bit of modellers license has been added to have a depot that serves other companies locos that run on their liners crossing at this location.

The size of the layout has been determined by both the remaining space in a single garage and the MPV. The layout needed to be transportable to shows along with 4 operators all in one car. The boards maximum size are 30 inches deep by 3 feet 11 inches long giving a layout just under 12 feet long. Boards are constructed of foam board on a 2″ by 1″ softwood frame, edged in thin ply to protect the foam board. Legs plug into each board. The layout is wired conventionally but is designed to run on Digital Command Control so as to get the best performance out of the sound equipped locomotives.

Snake Bend
N Scale by the Worcester N-gaugers





The Snake Bend Railroad has been evolving since 2001. It was started as a way of getting different members of our group to take part in building a layout as a group, not necessarily to be exhibited. Each member had different experience in modelling, but none of us had an American layout, so an American railroad it would be.

The group decided to build a modular system that was easy to adhere to but flexible enough to allow it to be attached to other standards, this allowed us to build our own bits at home and then bring it together for the bigger layout. We based our standards on the oNetrak system but slightly tweaked it to make it easier for British modellers to follow.

We also agreed that this layout would be entirely DCC throughout – another new experience for us – and Digitrax was the chosen manufacturer. Where possible each module or pairing of modules represents a different industry or location, mostly fictitious.

Each member chose a railroad company to base their rolling stock on, so you will see a mixture of liveries – Union Pacific, Burlington Northern, Chessie System, Pennsylvania and others – serving civilisation, grain silos, coal mines, paper mills and other businesses.

The modular system is flexible to allow us to adapt it to fit any space and with the recent purchase of infrared sensors we don’t have to worry about tripping over throttle wires any more. One of the aims of this layout was to inject enthusiasm into our modelling, and it did this to such extent that other modelling plans have taken a back seat until this layout is finished, but of course being modular it never really will be.

The layout already numbers 26 separate modules (most 4ft by 1ft) with more planned, in its minimum form it is 22ft by 6ft, but it can at present extend to 22ft x 30ft. We are only glad to answer questions so please ask, or pay us a visit to take a look at the layout and learn more about the group.

More details about the Worcester N-Gaugers can also be found at their website.