I want to talk a bit about model railroad roadbed. This is the material between the tracks and the table or other structural material holding up the track. It simulates the ballast holding the track and ties in place on the real railroad. Usually the roadbed has a bevel on both sides, like the prototype, to … Read more


I ballasted the peninsula recently. It took me a long time to get started because I was pretty nervous about “doing it right”. Eventually I convinced myself to “just do it”. Watching a YouTube video or two helped. I had three packs of fine gray ballast that was supposedly the same colour. Two of them looked … Read more

The Last Spike

After many delays, the last spike was driven into CP’s track in Georgetown, Manitoba. Few were on hand to witness the auspicious occasion. Citing budget cuts, CP Rail General Manager Bill Horne Van said, “All I can say is that the work has been adequately done in every way.” He then boarded the work train’s … Read more

The circle is restored

On Saturday I put the Bridge of Death back across the layout room door. I call it the Bridge of Death because any train that should derail on that bridge is in for a long fall to the carpeted floor. I keep meaning to put rails on the bridge (OK, plank) but so far I … Read more

Building a layout – shelves

My new layout is an around-the-walls style layout, with a peninsula coming from one end of the room. I decided to build the layout on shelf brackets screwed into the wall studs, with shelves cut from 4×8 foot sheets of plywood. This way, I would not have legs under the layout, leaving room for storage … Read more