I’ve been really opening up my list of inspirational layouts that could fit in the area for my layout. It was only a matter of time before one of those Model Railroader 4×8′ project layouts crept into this file. Back in the December 1992 issue, Lou Sassi described a layout he built for the magazine. Similar to their Gold Hill Central series, this one used a mountain ridge running down the centre of the layout as a view block and allowing the modeller to have one neat scene to run the train through and a town for some freight train switching opportunities.
Lou’s layout was beautiful. While he chose New England as the area I could just as easily see this in eastern Quebec or drawing on my memories of railfanning on Vancouver Island fill it with RDC’s and CP GP’s.
I would try and cram the scene into an area of about 30×48″ total. Since I was already planning on putting the layout on a cart, it would be easy to roll out into a larger area to operate and this would give me a chance to go model railfanning and watch trains on either scene. I’d make sure that the area around the bridge featured really sharp cliffs so when that RDC poked it’s nose out of the tunnel you knew those N scale passengers were really experiencing a terrific ride. The town should be small and would be every bit of the cliche we see in every Design Preservation Miniatures advert these days but it works for me.
Of course, this might be really, REALLY cool if you took the concept in a really different direction and not go all New England-y branchline at all. Why not build up the main a little heavier and fill it with Cartier Railroad ALCO’s and ore train operations. I know it’s an attractive scene in much the same scenery if not more dramatic. I don’t know how you’d redevelop the “town” area for this concept. What do you think?
For some inspiration, check out this video from Youtube on Cartier Railway:
I already have some nice Cartier decals and some Century shells here. Yup, I even have an RSD17 started – that’s the magic of my short-term modelling attention. Sometimes I’m already ready for anything. I wonder how I’d built the ore cars?