Home Layouts

Kevin Kussow - HOn3 Silverton in 1890

This layout is HOn3 and is 24’x30’. It can operate as a continuous loop or point to point. Included is Durango Yard, Rockwood, the High Line, Silverton, Red Mountain Town, and the Yankee Girl Mining Area. The time frame is 1890 and fall is in the air.

The tea kettles are hard at work on the grades bringing ore from the mines high above Silverton back down into the bustling town. There they will be picked up and brought down to Durango, where they will be dropped off at the smelter. The trip down follows the Animas River, and rides above on the infamous high line. Passing through Rockwood and then entering the helix which brings the elevation down into Durango.

All of the backdrops are hand painted and many of the structures are scratch built. This is the 8th year of working on the layout. It has been featured in the 2020 HOn3 Annual. A few steps are involved in accessing this layout.

Neil Anderson - The KK&L Railroad [The Plywood Railroad]

The railroad is a point to point railroad that is totally freelanced. It is in HO scale 1/87th.  The track is mostly code 100 flex with some of the turnouts hand built. Crossovers and a gauntlet running in a curve hand built. The layout takes up most of the basement. The layout is Digitrax powered.

The lighting in the layout room was an afterthought. I installed 3w LED lights that are powered by the solar panels that are outside. For further information on the railroad, visit my Web site at : www.kklrailroad.com

Seth Gartner - NYC Piney Fork Branch Railroad

This railroad recreates a compressed version of the 87 mile Alliance Branch of the New York Central Railroad’s Lake Division.  The railroad branch experienced its economic peak in the first half of the 20th century hauling coal from the mines of eastern Ohio. The NYC had a relatively large yard in Minerva for weighing the coal and then sending trains north to Cleveland. 

Seth’s modeling efforts have been underway for 20 years. The railroad is double decked with 260 feet of mainline between staging yards. As Minerva, Ohio is his hometown, several locations have been modeled with compressed fidelity to the prototype. Photos of other locations were used to recreate several scenes.  He created a fictitious steel mill and southern connection to enhance train movements while operating the railroad. The era is approximately 1964 with four axle locomotives, some in outdated lightning stripes, moving the trains. Scenery is 96% completed.  Control is with Digitrax DCC. Car cards with itineraries controls car movements except for coal traffic which moves in blocks. Time table and train order controls the movement of trains. Three staging yards receive and originate trains off railroad.  Two yards, six towns, ten coal tipples, and a steel mill provide the setting to keep nine operators, a dispatcher and an agent busy for 5 hours.  

The railroad resides in a 12’ x 30’ room in the basement. There is outside access to avoid climbing inside stairs. Further photos, narrative, and a track plan may be accessed by looking at the article in August 2018 Model Railroader.

Steve Mersch - HO B&O

This is an HO Scale layout occupying a 450 square foot room located on the 3rd floor. The layout is based on the Cumberland Division of the Baltimore and Ohio RR in the 1950s. A double-track mainline with a branch line serves several coal mines. The engine facility is equipped with a 6 stall roundhouse and 110′ turntable and associated engine servicing facilities.  The railroad interchanges with the Western Maryland RR.

The layout is a multi-level walk-in style, with no duckunder.  The mainline has 80 feet of double track, with a minimum radius of 28″ and a ruling grade of 1.75%.  The branchline has a 22″ minimum radius, with a 2.5% ruling grade.  The track is Code 83 on the mainline, and Code 70 on the branch.  The West Virginia mountain scenery is 80% complete.  Backdrops are painted 1/4″ hardboard, and the layout is operated with an NCE DCC system. Steps involved in accessing the layout room.

John Short - HOn3 Rio Grande Southern

The HOn3 Rio Grande Southern is set in 1940, during the late summer/early fall time frame.  The model railroad includes portions of the entire line from Ridgway, Colorado to Durango, Colorado.  Additionally, a small representation of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Silverton Branch is included.  The railroad is operations-oriented, and makes use of a North Coast Engineering (NCE) Digital Command Control (DCC) radio control system.  Durango, a focal point on the layout, contains a scratchbuilt model of the 10-stall roundhouse as it existed in 1940, and the necessary coal, sand, ash, and water facilities.  Rico, a division point on the prototype as well as the layout, contains a scratchbuilt model of the Pro Patria Mill, as well as a connection to the seldom-modeled Enterprise Branch.  The Enterprise Branch is a freelanced addition on a second level, added for operational challenges.  Iconic locations, including Ophir, Vance Junction, and Placerville are also included.  The Telluride Branch, which connects to the main line at Vance Junction is also included on a second level. 

 This branch serves the mining community of Telluride, and the major mines and mills located above in Pandora.  The railroad terminates in the town of Ridgway, where a roundhouse, turntable and complete engine servicing facilities are located.  The turntable is a 65′ turntable, rather than the prototypical 50′ turntable.  I used a larger turntable so that K-27s, as well as K-28, K-36, and K-37 locos, could be turned, since there was no place to install a wye.  The layout, and its predecessor (dismantled upon my retirement and relocation to North Carolina) have been featured in the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette and Great Model Railroads 2014.

The model railroad is approximately 1,000 sq. ft, and is located in the basement of my log home.  Access is via an inside or an outside stairway.  Trackwork is 100% complete, with basic scenery completed for about 80% of the layout.  The minimum radius is 24″, with maximum grades of about 2.5%.