As I go back through my blog to update it with inline images, I came across a post I wrote about a year ago to welcome readers who discovered my layout in the pages of the Layout Design Journal – the quarterly publication from the Layout Design Special Interest Group. I thought it would be interesting to update that post with more current photos of the layout and some notes on progress over the past year…
A quick tour of the layout
Let’s follow that with some photos of the layout.
Here’s an overview of Port Rowan, looking from the end of the peninsula. A year ago, the track was in place but I had no scenery beyond a bit of ballast and grass on the track. In fact, there was no terrain beyond the edge of the sub-roadbed. There were also no structure mock-ups:
Here’s another view of Port Rowan, looking towards end of track. That’s a typical consist for the mixed train, which some locals called The Daily Effort. A year ago, the orchard did not exist – nor did the meadow:
Leaving Port Rowan, we enter the Lynn Valley. This was actually on the Port Dover branch but I moved it here because it helps justify the serpentine route the mainline takes in my train room. There’s also a neat water tank in the valley, which I have modelled.
This area was still very much under construction a year ago. Roadbed was in and rails were spiked just past the water tank itself, but that was end of track if I recall. Scenery was in the blue terra foama state. I had yet to put Gordon Gravett‘s tree books to good use. This area has really come along in the past year, although I still have a lot of tree-building and other scenery work to do:
The big thing on the to-do list in the Lyn Valley is build and plant more trees, bushes and other greenery. And, of course, pour the Lyn River…
Leaving the Lynn Valley, the line crosses a short deck girder bridge over a road. A year ago, the bridge was in place but the road and railway fill to either side were roughed in with blue foam board:
Still looking east, here’s the area around the St. Williams depot. Again, ties were in place a year ago, but no rail and no terrain. Today, I’ve added basic scenery including another farm field to the west of the road crossing and a tobacco field to the east:
The big project in St. Williams is structures, plus fences for the crops. But I also need some shrubs along the back edge of the layout to soften the point where it meets the backdrop.
East of St. Williams, the trains enter a staging area which represents the rest of the North American rail system. A year ago, I had the moving deck in place but no ties or rail. This area is now fully operational:
I could call the sector plate “finished” but must decide whether to add a mechanism to shift the deck (versus sliding it manually, which is what I do now). I must also decide whether to bother with engine-turning cassettes. Right now, I turn things by hand which does require handling the locomotives – but only by me, and not that often. And finally, I must find or build a suitable set of equipment storage drawers for underneath the sector plate. As the photo shows, it’s already pretty full – and once I put a dozen more CNR cars into service it will be overwhelmed.
Great progress in a year, I’d say!