Givens and Druthers

As I mentioned, I am starting to plan for my new layout. Two layouts ago, I made a list of givens and druthers. That term was coined by John Armstrong. Givens and Druthers Givens are features or limitations you must have, either forced on you by the size or shape of the room, economics, etc., … Read more


I was contacted by a company called Shapeways. They provide an interesting model-making service where it appears you send them a design, and they print it out as a 3D model and send it to you. For example, here’s an N scale railway station one of their customers made. They use several different kinds of … 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

Latest layout plan

Finally we come to the plan I am building to, version 5. This version features four long tracks of staging each for Miramichi and Campbellton, as well as a single track of staging for each of the Caraquet Subdivision, the Nepisiguit Subdivision, the Irvco spur in Belledune, and the Smurfit-Stone industry in Bathurst. Can you … Read more

Track Planning For The New Layout

With my new layout room, I needed a new plan. My initial thought was to continue with the Dartmouth Subdivision idea that the NSER used. This plan is basically a single-level dogbone with some around-the-wall staging. No doubt you can see a number of problems with the design, including restricted aisle space. On the plus … Read more

The Nova Scotia Eastern Railway, part 1

My first model railroad was the Nova Scotia Eastern Railway. It was a two-level around-the-walls layout built in an 8′ x 12′ room. The NSER was a fictional shortline that took over CN’s Dartmouth Subdivision in Nova Scotia, and interchanged with CN and the Windsor & Hantsport Railway at Windsor Junction. The Junction itself was … Read more