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Remaking the Ridley Keystone -and- Mountain

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  • Remaking the Ridley Keystone -and- Mountain

    After struggling with the unfinished and going nowhere layout I have finally decided to remake the layout. This will mean basically removing/demolishing everything on the current layout. Certain sections will be retained and reused such as the Water Tower Diorama, the Cement Works, and Grain Elevator.

  • #2
    This how everything looked in July 2020 when I finally decided to start.

    First order of business was to clear all the stuff off the layout.


    • #3
      After a few weeks it is time to start demolition. First thing I am going to do is to try to save as much scenery such as trees and castings as I can.

      Here is the mountain area behind the Farmhouse before I start “saving.”

      Here are how things look after the trees are removed.

      I decide to try to save the rock face behind the large barn.

      The rock face after removal.

      The hole where the rock face came from


      • #4
        Next step is to cut out the Farmhouse. This will mean removing some of the mountain.

        At this point I discover a seam between two foam boards run under the large barn. I doubt I will be able to preserve the whole Farmhouse scene intact. I will try to save what I can.

        Frustrated things come to a halt.


        • #5
          This is where the Choices Challenges 2021 begins.

          For the next six months the layout remake project sits abandoned. I have pretty much lost interest in the project because of the problem with the Farmhouse scene and just a general lack of direction. I need something to motivate me in a big way.

          The motivation comes at Christmas in the form of my son’s Christmas gift to me.

          Motivated I remove the mountain


          • #6
            As things are moving along and the preliminary track plan has been created it is time to think about what I want out of this version of the layout.

            The size of the layout will be 68 inches wide and 14 to 16 feet long. An additional piece will be added to the layout extending it another 6 to 8 feet. I obtained the lumber I need to expand the width of the layout and hopefully I will begin to add it this week. Next will be the removal of the existing pink foam board down to the plywood. Then replacing the foam board to make the new width.

            Backdrops will act as screen dividers. There will be at least three areas but as things are developed this could change. There will be an urban area, town area, and rural area. When the extension is added there will be at least two more yet to be determined areas.

            The following sections are the results so far of brainstorming sessions and bouncing ideas off my son. They range from must have to possibly having on the layout.

            Passenger Trains

            There will be an urban station and one in the town area and one in the rural area. Long distance and commuter trains will be handled.

            The urban station is presently designed to be elevated over the platforms. The platforms under the station will disappear into a scene divider.

            Coal Trains

            The lines represented are anthracite roads so there must be coal. Plans are to run through coal drags. Deliveries will be made to the Power Plant in the urban area and at least one coal dealer in the town area and possibly one in the rural area.

            Milk Trains

            Since I seem to have an obsession with milk cars and milk tank cars milk trains are a necessity. Thus far operations of milk trains are the most developed and thought out. There will be a milk platform at the town station and rural station. There may be one of more stand-alone milk platforms. A dairy/creamery (Walthers Brook Hill Farms Dairy will be located in either the town or rural area. A team track will be needed in the urban area.

            Roughly the operations will be

            • Milk cans collected at platform sites.

            • Cars carrying milk cans or milk tank cars picked up at interchange track

            • Stop at dairy to drop off milk cans. Pick up milk tank cars. Possible reefers to pick up butter and/or cheese.

            • Stop in urban area using team track to off load milk into trucks for delivery to large processing plants.

            The dairy may also receive coal to be used for powering the dairy.


            Possibly one in the urban area and another elsewhere. Urban yard will most likely have some engine facilities such as coaling tower, engine shops, water tower, fueling facilities, sanding facilities. This is still a work in progress.

            Other industries

            Cement, and grain need to be thought out and what facilities that will be needed identified. Express and ice reefer traffic will need to be identified and fleshed out. I am not sure what if any more will be added in the future.


            • #7
              I will be following along Tom. I decided 2 years ago to make a fresh start on my N scale layout, but haven't done anything so far. Watching your progress may give me the kick along I need to get going.
              Regards Rob

              Despite the cost of living, it's still popular

              My current build.


              • #8
                It takes a brave man to destroy a layout!

                Looking forward to the new plan.

                "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln


                • #9
                  I have been following this over on Big Blue. It always hurts to do a tear down but usually it will get the juices going again and be worth it in the long run.


                  • #10
                    My T-1 never motivated me to something as ambitious as what you have planned. It will be interesting to follow your progress.

                    "Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect." Captain A. G. Lamplugh


                    • #11

                      I winced when you tore that all up. But I give you credit for getting motivated and doing it!

                      I will be following.



                      • #12
                        Tom I think that is the first time I've seen someone de-constructing a layout on the forum. Sounds like it's been well thought out and will stop by periodically to check on your progress. Above all...have fun!!
                        Owner, General Manager, and all around "chief cook and bottle washer" of the Caz Coal-and-Wood Railroad


                        • #13
                          TomPM don’t expect to be able to save much. More power to you if you can. I did a major demo, went Sawzall crazy and have been unable to motivate to get the replacement done.

                          Have a good time, thank your boy for his help and interest that should be a great motivator to each other.
                          Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

                          Cedar Swamp
                          SW of Manistique, MI

                          Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022


                          • #14
                            I’ll be following along with a lot of interest. What does your track plan look like?


                            Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin


                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone for the encouragement.

                              George with current layout and 18 inch curves I can't run it. It is too good of looking loco not to run. Also my BLI Centipedes look horrible going around the 18 in curves. I have known for some time I needed to upgrade the curves. The T-1 just pushed it over the edge.

                              Mike - I will post the track plan once I get it in a format I can post. My son made it in Scarm.

                              Tonight I ran what is most likely the last train on the current track plan. Below is a video of the train.


                              Of course the train stopped at the end of the video because the front trucks of the front loco derailed.