Perkins spur - or a journey in HO modelling

  • Good day all,


    I have been recently made aware of this fine community and thought I would share the construction of my very first HO layout but first, let me introduce myself and give a brief rundown of what I hope to achieve.


    I have been in the modelling seen for 30 years, dabbling in pretty much anything that you can find in a hobbyshop.  I started getting involved with trains at a very early age, like everyone else and like everyone else, I didn't have the room to spare for a layout until very recently. 


    We were planning some renovations last year, and one of the thing that was needed was a separate hobby room. We built a small 7' x 12' room where the computer (mine), hobby desk (mine), display cabinet (mine also) and storage (hers...  lol...) would find their place in the house.  One day, it struck me...  I always dreamed of having my HO layout and it started to take form!


    The layout is "J" shapped, shelf type, modern industrial switching for about 15-20 cars and two operators (engineer and conductor).  It will be controlled with an NCE PowerCab system and all locos will have DCC and sound.


    There will be various industries like a big warehouse and a smaller one, a concrete plant, a scrap yard, a newspaper producer and a food producer.  This will allow me to run different types of cars and keep the interest high. Trains lenght should be around 6 cars. Switches will be controlled by rods on the fascia or electronically, not yet decided on that.


    I started gathering some rolling stocks so I could try my hand at weathering.  I initially set the region somewhere in Quebec, Canada for the QGRY, with the intention of stripping and repainting some engines that I got for a reasonable price, but after receiving my first three engines, a RTR Athearn CSX GP35, a CSX GP38 from Atlas's Master series and one GP40 from Rochester and Southern, I decided that they were way too beautiful to strip...  So the focus changed from Quebec to somewhere in the US! :-)


    So after doing a few drafts, that were total failures, I decided that it was time for me to gather information and really get to know how to design a layout.  I started reading books, participating in forum discussions to give me the information I needed. To my opinion, the best information I got was from Lance Mindheim books (available on Amazon) and the Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine website and forum where the members provided me with a lot of useful information and comments.


    Now, a year and a half later, I'm ready to begin and share this adventure with all who wants to follow along and give me feedbacks, inputs, comments, etc.


    I will start by posting a link to my photobucket account where most of my pics will be posted.  I already have some pics of stuff I have done so far.



    To be continued... and enjoy!



    Monday, April 30, 2012


    With the beautiful sunny, but cold weekend we just had, I was able to get the table saw out to do some cutting work for the layout.


    I got the lumber over the weekend, two sheets of plywood, one 3/4" thick and the other, 1/4" thick.  The thicker one has been cut in strips of 2" and will be used for framing.  The thinner one will be used for the top of the frames.  This will be covered with 1" thick pink insulation foam to. Pretty standard here.  I'm using 1/4" plywood under the foam so i can screw the switch machines in and to give the layout more structural strenght.


    I also revised my plan and got inspired from a plan designed by Byron Henderson for one of his client. It looked like a promising plan and I really liked the expendability it offered.  Since we may be moving in the next couple of years to a bigger house, this option is welcomed.


    You may find a picture of the plan on my website here:



    Monday, May 7 2012


    It seems that all my updates are done on Mondays, lol!


    This weekend, I attended the Ottawa Train Expo with my local club on Saturday.  On Sunday, I got the power tools out of the shed and started building the modules for my layout.  I was able to assemble the 2' x 8' and 1'x 6' sections.  I also prepared all the pieces for the 2 18" x 4' sections. 


    After talking with the guys at the train show, there was talk of building a modular layout between 3 or 4 people (including me!). I got the pieces cut to the right lenght.  I was very happy yo hear that as I'm looking to get a bit of building time under my belt before I commit to my home layout. Great timing! :-)

  • Rick Phipps
    Rick Phipps Will be following your journel. Have subscribed to your PB account and will be looking forward to seeing your progress.
    April 30, 2012
  • Mark Charles
    Mark Charles Did you know that C&O had trackage in SW Ontario (and ferry at Sarnia)? I'm not sure if this was continued by CSX.
    November 3, 2012