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The Sn3 Lake Itasca Railway and Navigation Company

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  • Frederic that is one amazing layout your building and now that I've come across it I will be watching for all the updates. Keep up the great workmanship.


    • G'day mate

      Thanks for the feedback. I redid the stairs and very happy with them.

      I just checked out some more of your layout for inspiration...

      Good luck with the computer...
      " Stay Motivated in Life "


      • Thank you, Lynn, and to you Mario for the time spent assembling this nice page.


        • That's a nice selection of photos Mario. Thanks for grouping them together.

          Maybe you could stick up a copy of the trackplan too? I like being able to see how the scenes connect together.

          Great work as ever Frederic
          Built a waterfront HO layout in Ireland but now making a start in On30 in Australia


          • As I mentionned in the On30 lounge, I've spent some time recently on the benchwork of the rebuilt layout. Below are a few shots displaying my recent efforts. I opted for a "semi-modular" approach, with plywood modules reasonably easy to handle for tracklaying and wiring and when this is done, permanently installed to allow me to make scenery and install the structures.

            To date, only two of these modules are still missing to complete the mountain room. They were initially planned to host a depot and coal facility inspired by Vance Junction, but despite my love for this place, I've decided to build something more personnal there. It will probably be a heavily forested place, crossed by a small street, with a few houses, a store and restaurant, a little industry and a very small train halt with a siding. In an almost eight feet long space, it shouldn't be too crowdy.

            Then the line will reach the coal mining terminal where a two track siding allows the load of gondolas.

            The climb towards the high mines begins just after that, and the engineer now has a view from below on the Alexandria Mining Complex.

            After the crossing of two major and one minor bridges, the line reaches a flat high area where a switchback goes to Alexandria.

            The empty space in the front of the module will host - partly - a turntable designed like the one I had on the first version (but I won't be able to use this one since the company has purchased longer rolling stock since).

            The corner will be devoted to a stamp mill (the rectangular area in the picture below).

            The next section will feature a mining area.

            When I dismantled the first version, I carefully packed my Bush and Bernie mine (inspired by the Leaverite mine) and ore tipple to reuse them here. But as someone who likes the travel as much as the destination, I think I will redo something different in this area. The sketch below shows one project :

            But I must say that, after watching several pictures of Creede, CO, and its incredible cribbing work and "suspended mines", a few new ideas sprang to my mind so that the design of this area is still quite open. See here for an example :


            In the foreground of this place, an engine house and small facility inspired by Steve Pettit's model currently used as a start concept by many On30ers will be installed (it will be located just beyond the chasm in the photo below).

            Finally the train will leave the room to reach what I had first designed as a mere staging area (see above).

            But I'm also having afterthoughts about this 8' long by 10" wide place and am wondering if, instead of the three parallel tracks I had initially planned, I would not be content with only two and use the saved space to put a small village (probably modelled half deep) and maybe a timber transfer facility.

            A few links :

            Coal mining terminal :

            Stamp mill :

            Steve Pettit's inspired engine house :


            • Well Frederic, good to see you do something for yourself too, and having fun too it seems. Will be exiting to follow the development of this... the Creed stuf was indeed inspiring!
              Troels Kirk

              Näsum, Sweden


              • Frederic

                Thanks for sharing the photographs and thoughts as you proceed. The information an ideas are invaluable.



                • Frederic,

                  A very nice concept for a RR. The spectacular scenery and the craftsman-quality structures should make this an inspiring layout. I look forward to following along as it is created.
                  Arnold Kimmons

                  General Manager

                  Royal and Edisto Railroad



                  • Frederic, thanks for the tour and preview of coming attractions.

                    I will follow your progress closely since what you're planning has many of the same elements I'd like to incorporate in my layout.


                    • Good progress Fredric.

                      The vertical scenes will be outstanding. :up:

                      Terry H 8D


                      • Frederic, it is always a pleasure to see your progress posts in this thread. You do wonderful work. And thank you for sharing the visualizing and planning stage with us!


                        It\'s a great day whenever steam heads out into the timber!


                        • Thank you for the comments, guys. It's nice to be in this state of starting a layout again, with more experience and trying to only make new mistakes...

                          Progress has been slowed by the fact that I still have some improvements to add to the room. Some of these were done (new lights, a board fixed to a wall for a logging backdrop), some not yet (finishing the valence, more backdrop boards to add).

                          But, the current state allowed me to start to work on the two narrow modules (10" wide) showed in the last picture of my previous post. I have firmly decided that these narrow modules will host a small logging scene, with a tiny camp (two or three bunkhouses, a small kitchen and a little warehouse), a log loader to transfer timber onto the cars and, in the end of the line, a backwoods pile driver working on a new bridge, for an extension - that will never exist.

                          So I made some cuts to insert a bridge just before the camp (left of the first picture) and the future site of the pile driver (the right end in the second picture). I glued a subroadbed made of an isolating product used for the parquet floors. I used two layers to have enough thickness to insert Kadee magnetic uncouplers (on the left in picture 2). Only at the junction of the modules did I only put one layer. I'll install the second one when everything is secured in its final location, to avoid transition problems for the track between the modules (one must not forget that my modular approach concerns only the building of the layout, not a possible move of it). Then I glued a few ties - and had to stop since my stock of stained ties was empty. As you can see, I spaced them more on the loading spur than on the mainline.


                          • Interesting Frederic :up:


                            • I had seen your original layout on Mario's website and always thought it was something to aspire to in terms of realism and atmosphere in a layout. Now that I have discovered this thread I will be following closely your rebuilding progress. Good luck with it and thanks for the help you have given me on my layout project. I'm not sure I can really add anything that you don't already know but I can always offer sincere praise.
                              Evan Gardner

                              Christchurch, New Zealand



                              • Frederic, excellent woodworking skills on those modules.

                                I do have a few questions if you don't mind.

                                The bottom of the modules, was that added strictly for strength?

                                I would think that doing that might increase the sound created by the trains since it's built similar to a stringed instrument.

                                I could be totally wrong.

                                Also, I'm wondering why you are using a sub-road bed?

                                Is it for sound insulation related to what I said above?

                                I would think being a backwoods scene that the rail would be built directly on the ground.