Introducing the Central Prairie Railway

The Central Prairie Railway is a short line in the Canadian Prairie. The railway serves two local towns and interchanges with both CN and CP. The main industries served by the Central Prairie include several local grain elevators and a local fuel depot. The railway also offers car storage on a branch line that is otherwise unused.

The CePR connections to CN and CP
The CePR connections to CN and CP

The Central Prairie is often known as the CePR, to differentiate it from another larger railway with the initials CPR!

I am still refining the track plan at this point, and things could change, but this is the general concept.

The Central Prairie Railway track plan, revision 1
The Central Prairie Railway track plan, revision 1


The CePR will have two towns on the layout, on opposite sides of the room. Town 1 has an interchange with the CN “main line” as well as a yard and local industries including grain elevators. There is a crossing at grade with CN that leads to the (unmodeled) car storage portion of the CePR system.

South of town 1 is town 2 with its own yard, industries and interchange with the CP “main line”. At this point the CePR terminates in town 2. I’m not 100% sold on that track arrangement.

CN and CP

The CN line is basically there to provide an interchange. The existing island from my previous layout is retained as an industry for CN to switch, and I may put an industry by the door as there is room. I have to determine a way to “hide” / stage a CN train.

CP exists solely as an interchange. Each end will be hidden behind buildings or trees to provide a staging area for trains to come out of / go into.


The CePR’s home town will be “town 1”. There will be a small engine area for minor locomotive and car repairs, and its small fleet of locomotives will be based there. I envision only a few locomotives.

A yard job will service local industries as well as the CN interchange, and push/pull the car storage track as required. Since the storage track isn’t modeled, this will basically involve putting them on a certain track in the yard for an “extra” operated outside of “layout time”.

The road turn will run from town 1 to town 2, bringing cars for town 2 as well as cars to interchange to CP. It will return with cars picked up from town 2.

One switcher job will be based in town 2 to service local industries and the CP interchange.

One person could operate both CN and CP in sequence. They are independent of CePR operations so they could be done at any time.

Your Thoughts?

I’m interested in your feedback on the CePR. At this point, no track has been laid and in fact the benchwork needs to be installed, so anything can change.

Let me know what you think!