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Saco River - Maine style HOn30 trackplan

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  • #16
    Now this should really be something. I like that bridge and peer arrangement as well
    Chris Lyon


    • #17
      that will be fun


      • #18
        Both track plans look good so now it is time to put away the drawings and start building.

        Just kidding but I am anxiously awaiting some progress so that I can steal, I mean borrow some ideas from each of you.


        I have both the Ice House and Cafe from Norm's so I am curious as how you plan to place them on the layout.

        I was thinking of putting mine as per the instructions on the pier along with the Boat Shop but I could consider alternate placement.

        Looking forward to watching both these layouts proceed.

        Ups! I think I said that already.
        <img src="" alt="" /><br /><br>John Bagley<br /><br>Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.


        • #19
          Well I've gone and put up some benchwork (really just two old doors in an 'L' shape) to get an idea of how this'll fit into my room. So far it feels allright, nothing is too crowded, but with my history being limited layouts being 8 square feet or less, this project seems HUGE!

          After acually measuring the room, I have 10' 8" x 30" to work with. I'll be using the two doors to make the table top and raise the track with foam to 56" (about 3" off the tabletop). I think I might move the turntable from the left rear corner because at 56" high and 30" deep I wouldn't be able to reach it. Other than that I don't think any major deviations should be necessary. I'm going to pick up some 1/8" masonite to install the backdrops before I get any further.

          Some things I've never given much thought to in the past, like control type, operation, rolling stock standards, era, season, (etc) I've been giving a little thought to now, no decisions have been made yet, but at the moment I'm leaning toward trying DCC control, (Is there any reason I couldn't use a DCC system to control two layouts? There will probably be an N scale shelf layout mounted under this one...). I'd also like to try and model a fridgid cold November season as I've always much perfered winter in real life...

          So far I've bought a Downtown Deco Fallberg Station, and a JL Innovative Design East Side Junction Section House, I also plan on recycling my Wicked Wandas (again) and scratch building a number of structures. The wharfs and bridge I also intend to scratchbuild. This'll be a long term project for sure!



          • #20
            Thanks for the update Cody, looking forward to see some pictures in the near future!


            • #21

              It looks and sounds like an excellent project ... and I like Maine anyway!

              For the very late fall, and bleak scenery, nothing I have sen beats Bill Henderson's (I think I got that right!) Coal Belt RR. A lot of photos and articles ran in Model Railroader about a decade ago. There is also a video devoted to his work from Allan Keller in the Great Model Railroads series.

              Track and rolling stock standards will be a huge factor for you because of the number of turnouts your smaller-than-standard-gauge locos and cars will have to traverse ... reliably in both directions. That is also a big thing if you hope for reliable magnetic uncoupling. The alternative is a lot of frustration. Good luck with your excellent project!!! Maybe someday, we will see it as a feature article in one of the magazines!


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


              • #22
                Looking forward to some progress photos Cody!


                • #23
                  Sounds like good progress. I'll be using DCC on my HO version Cody. It's makes the wiring a lot simpler.

                  I'm still collecting "the goods" and tweaking the plan. I'll create a separate thread for the Casco Bay RR and all of the goings-on in Friendship Harbor.

                  --Rich B.


                  • #24

                    Your right, Bill Henderson's Coal Belt layout has some of the nicest bleak winter scenery I've ever seen too. There was also a really stunning N scale layout with cold looking winter scenery a while back in MR. I don't remember the name of who built it but it was based on the Monon railroad.


                    I'm thinking of going DCC too, a friend invited me to operate his DCC equiped layout to give it a try. From what I know about it, it looks like the way to go.

                    Nelson & Mike,

                    I'll have some pictures soon, may not be much at first but I'll keep everyone updated.

                    Also, I've come up with a list of my minimum requirements and standards, pretty standard stuff, I think, but things I overlook quite often:

                    Engines & Rolling Stock:

                    MT # 1025 N scale couplers (standard)

                    16" coupler height, trip pins removed - this is actually a little lower than standard N scale couple height that allot of HOn30 folks use, but it's a little closer to prototypical, so I'm gonna stick with it.

                    proper car weights

                    Free standing grab irons & ladders

                    Interiors for engines, passenger cars & cabooses - where visible

                    Working lights in all engines


                    18" minimum radius (mainline)

                    16" minimum radius (branch)

                    Minimum #6 switch

                    3% grades (maximum)

                    Code 55 rail

                    Structures & Scenery

                    Interior and exterior lighting for all structures

                    Scale width roads

                    Power & telephone lines

                    All railroad signage to be included (crossings, speed limits etc)


                    October/November season

                    Consistent weathering on everything

                    Good lighting

                    Continuous fascia & backdrop

                    Rod switched points

                    I don't plan on any uncoupling magnets since I like doing it maually. And allot of my industrial and logging stuff has link and pin or wire loop couplings.



                    • #25
                      Also, I've written a wholly made up history of the railroad, that gives some details of it's rise and fall. I've never been much for coming up with this kind of stuff, but I though I should give it a try. It's interesting to see how such a simple exercise can lead to numerous avenues of research, the history is plausible though, and all the dates, place names, distances and connecting railways. It's a rough draft, but a start.

                      The made-up history of the Saco River and Newfoundland Railway

                      Founded in 1899 by small group of adventurous entrepreneurs, the Saco River & Newfoundland Railway (SRNR) was formed as a common carrier line intended to run the 368 miles between Saco River, Maine and Newfoundland, New Jersey via Providence Rhode Island. It's initial premise was to move timber and goods south toward New York state and beyond, but some members of the cartel, with the foresight to see that a scenic coastal route, catering to the affluent population of the area set to promoting the line as a first class luxury trip provider. Much land along the proposed line was also bought up by the railroad for fine hotels and resorts, basing their plans on the successful Canadian Pacific route through the Rocky Mountains.

                      The unusual gauge of 30 inches was chosen to keep initial building costs down, and increase tonnage capabilities over the more common Maine narrow gauge, two feet. Before even a single foot of rail was laid, the railroad purchased a brand new Forney 2-4-4 locomotive from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Baldwin serial number XXX had 32" drivers and a wooden cab, and ran right until the abandonment of the line in 1969, and is now awaiting restoration at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. Gambling on the projected luxury tourist traffic the SR&NR acquired six brand new, lavishly constructed & decorated coaches, one combine and one baggage car/RPO from Jackson & Sharp Company. Three coached and the baggage/RPO car were assigned to the Newfoundland Line, while the remaining coaches and the combine to the Saco River Line. Boxcars, reefers, tankcars, and flatcars (some converted to pulprack cars & gondolas), were purchased from several manufacturers, as well as acquired from other railroads such as the SR&RL, W&WF, and the Bridgton and Saco River. Cost cutting measures in the later years prevented the railroad from repainting equipment, so there are several pieces in existence that still carry there original paint schemes.

                      The first 164 mile phase of the route, between Saco River, Maine and Providence, Rhode Island (called the Saco River Line), was completed in September 1902. Grading was subcontracted in sections and the track laid by railway workers, making the completion of the line possible in just two years. Track was laid with 35lb. rail on six foot ties, supplied by the Black Hills Lumber Company, who also supplied much of the lumber for the many bridges along the line, enough so to justify building an interchange and freight transfer building just outside of Saco River. Stations were built in Portsmouth (New Hampshire), Peabody and Waltham (Massachusetts), and Providence (Rhode Island), which became the railroads main division point. Here the main shops and maintenance facilities were built, as well as the company's flagship hotel, The Providence. There were many flag stops along the way.

                      Construction began on the Newfoundland Line (between Providence and Newfoundland, New Jersey) as soon as the ground thawed in the Spring of 1903. This was proposed to be the railways scenic route, an unbroken journey from Providence to Bridgeport, Connecticut, then a short branch to Newfoundland. Grading was completed quickly but problems arose when a labour and materials shortage delayed the line at several locations where bridges were required. There were no less than 41 bridges, ranging from very small spans over drainage canals to the 396 foot long trestle outside of New London, in just under 204 miles. But despite this, and aided by imported Irish and Japanese labour the line was finished, and the first train rolled into Newfoundland on June 6, 1904.

                      During construction of the Newfoundland Line, trains were running profitably on the Saco River Line. Timber, raw materials and finished goods moving South, and oil, coal and perishables moving North, with a fair passenger traffic in both directions. The Line connected with the standard gauge New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in Providence, providing a steady supply of goods and passenger traffic destined for the backwoods areas of Maine. The SR&NR also connected with it's main rival in the area, the two foot gauge Bridgton and Saco River Railroad, which when acquired by the Maine Central in 1912 also became a significant feeder line.

                      While the Saco River Line consistently operated in the black, the Newfoundland Line stagnated from its inception. High maintenance costs, caused mainly by the lines many bridges, and the failure of the luxury tourism clientele to materialize, operations were scaled back to a daily local in each direction by 1935. Operations ceased in 1941 and track was pulled up shortly thereafter. Much of the equipment was transferred North, and the remainder scrapped.


                      Some actual constructing should be starting soon!



                      • #26

                        I agree with Peter on this. That is a nice track plan.

                        karl S.


                        • #27
                          Great history Cody! I like the track plan as well, hope to see some progress pics soon.


                          • #28

                            That history provides focus for you and explains your plan better to us. Thank you for taking the time to write and post it.

                            I am definitely looking forward to more of this thread over the coming months! Just imagine, the season you will be modeling is just around the corner! Great time to get some fresh pics for later reference.


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


                            • #29
                              Greetings Folks,

                              Here's another plan idea:

                              This one shows the full layout which will be 11x17 feet and it includes pretty much everything I could want: HO standard gauge, HOn3 logging (& the odd 'Colorado' train), and HOn30 waterfront and an interurban line (that interchanges with the standard gauge line). There is also some street running in the town area, that could be electric or not...

                              What It's quite allot to jam into the space I have, but I think it could work without beeing too crowded.

                              Ideas and suggestions would be great!



                              • #30
                                I like the general shape of this new one. Not too much track, possibility for good scenes, and for a bit of operation. I think you've got a nice one.