Layout Tour 2017

Layout Tour 2017

I’ve been asked a number of times to show off my layout and if I’m honest, I’ve been reluctant because it isn’t finished.  Well, that’s daft as it’s years away from being finished but here is what it looks like now.

If you want to make sense of the track plan then it still mostly follows this post.

2017 Plan

I’ve been thinking about what I should put as my 2017 plan and this is a rough idea.  It always changes, especially the video element as things take longer than I expect (I film more than one video per topic).  My scale house is a great example of this as it was originally about 5/6 videos and ended up at 13! So these are areas that might feature in the videos:

  • Grass
  • Dock/Tarmac
  • Remaining water
  • Creamery Mock Up
  • Trees
  • City

These may get done anyway in the background (and maybe the odd blog post):

  • Treadwell
  • Background Hills
  • Road
  • Air Conditioning
  • Stock back on
  • Sound


This is a random assortment of photos from the last 7 years that I’ve been (slowly – very slowly) building it.

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10 thoughts on “Layout Tour 2017”

  1. Thank you Kathy, loved watching the video.

    Is all your trackwork completed ? And are you now completing scenery one bit at a time ?

    The barge is absolutely fantastic , and the scenes around the turntable are beautiful.

    1. Hi Jan

      My trackwork was completed but I ripped a section up on the upper level so I could use it for my prototype modellers AP certificate for the NMRA. That’s as far as I got!

      I’m now completing the scenery. My layout has loads of pop out dioramas so I need to get on with some of those.

      I do love the scenery bit so the best is yet to come!


  2. Wonderful! Your best yet! I always wanted to see your whole layout instead of bits and pieces. What else do you do? Doesn’t seem there’d be any spare time!

    1. My videos do take a lot of time and being an NMRA Director and Convention Chair also eat up a fair chunk of time.

      My other obsession is playing Halo.

      Oh, and I have to work too…


  3. Kathy, very nice layout. Like you I am a bit scattered in developing my scenery. I model a fictional WM branch line which requires a lot of trees. I can only make so many puff-ball trees before I get annoyed and want to do something else – build a structure, work on a street scene, or weather some rolling stock.

    I am building a two level layout with staging and a helix in the utility room next to the layout room. I’ve waited on starting the upper level bench work because I did not want to have to do scenery reaching under the upper deck, but I’m wondering if I should rethink that decision

    1. Hi George

      I can only do so many trees too. I go in fits and starts then get bored to tears. That’s the beauty of model railroading though, there’s always something else to go and do.

      I wanted to do my upper level scenery first so it wouldn’t rain gunk on my lower level. I’ve ended up doing both at once.

      Thanks for commenting.


  4. Great work Kathy… You don’t see many brits or international folks making such large layouts…. I will be in the same boat… Im assuming your layout is HOP… Ill be doing N scale, Erie set in the transition era. For now everything is packed away… Im in the middle of moving… But to accomodate my limitations I will be doing modular…. Maybe TT of Fremo… not sure yet… I love your water…. Ill look to see if you have a vid on those techniques. I lived in NJ and now in North Carolina. But I’ve been to CT and the NH is a favorite RR for me… Traveled many times on the passenger lines to RI.. By the way if you haven’t seen the NY Harbor RR… Look it up… It is a local hobbyist in NJ, has modeled the NY harbor, huge basement layout He occasionally on the Model Rail Radio podcast… I listen all the time.. a live podcast out of Calif.

    1. Phil

      I think it’s quite a small layout by US standards but large by the rest of the world. If I was doing it again then I would definitely do modular. So much easier to work on and for if you move house.

      I do have videos on water but will be doing the missing bit of my sea on a video later this year.

      I haven’t seen the nyhrr but will check it out. It sounds awesome.

      I.e. Just got into podcasts but am listening to the AML one at the moment.

      Thanks for commenting and good luck with your move and your layout when you get s chance to start it.


  5. I received the following email and thought it would be good to comment on for everyone.

    Hello Kathy, I have been following your site from the start and must say how I have enjoined them.
    It would be nice to see a published simple plan of your Railroad either on site or in Roundhouse.
    I would like to ask a few questions on the Layout video that I must say is your best one yet.
    1) How will you build and maintain the two areas that seem to have a long reach to get too, back of the peninsular and rear of the Loco depot areas.
    2) What system of switch machine/point control have you used or intend using. Also uncoupling, especial at the wide base board areas.
    3) I have installed the long version of the Walthers float on my switching layout and find some cars do not like the in-built switch on the deck which can cause derailments especially with long freight cars. I use the Wathers 3 flat reach cars with mine. Looking at on line postings in the USA most seem to replace this with a Atlas, Walthers or other short wye.

    1. In answer to John’s questions,
      The plan is here: It’s mostly the same now but I no longer have the software to update it…
      1) Back of the peninsular is a pain – it’s basically scenery though which I will build in dioramas and delicately manoeuvre into place – that won’t be on a video 🙂
      The back of the roundhouse area is easier to reach on the scenery section but if I have a derailment, I have to go underneath. I wish I had put the rising and dropping tracks the other way round because one does block the other. It’s a pain. If I could avoid the hidden or hard to reach trackage I would but it’s a quart in a pint pot!
      2) I use my controller (NCE) to through the turnouts. I have them all wired up to NCE Switch-8s and tortoise motors. You can either dial up individual turnouts or set routes (there are macros on a NCE mini panel which sort that – 99 throws my main line all the way through). I also have boards for the storage areas because it’s hard to see the switches and you can see visually which way they are set and press a button to set a track route. It all works well but again, hidden trackage will always cause problems.
      I uncouple with sticks. There are no planned uncouplings further than a few inches away so it’s not too bad. I can run trains to the front of the storage tracks to work on them and would normally build them on the front and run them round to the back.
      3) I tend not to have too many long cars so no major problems so far. I have a flat reach car that my friend Nigel built. He based it on a New Haven prototype. It’s not a great area so I can see why others have problems. I have one piece of track at the end that regularly unglues itself. Not sure why…

      Hope that answers the questions but I will obviously need to do a few more layout videos to answer questions over time.


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