Our Model Railroad Empire

Wabash Country in N-Scale

A Work In Progress


This web site will document the development of my model railroad empire. The empire is a joint effort involving my son and I. Progress on the empire will be slow, as work will be done sporadically on weekends when my son comes out to visit. He is the one with the natural 'knack' for construction, and will be doing the lion's share of the work. I, on the other hand, being a complete klutz, will be supplying the ideas and the helping hand and this project evolves.

This will be the second layout that my son has built. His first layout was built back in the mid 80's when he was still a teenager living at home. It was a simple 4 X 8 done in HO and was completely sceniced. It fell by the wayside when girls became more important than railroading.

I, on the other hand, had an Lionel O-27 layout as a boy in the fifties. I started an N-scale layout in the early 70's, but kids, remodeling, etc. doomed that project to failure. (The unfinished room upstairs that the layout was in became the activity / game room for the kids when the house was remodeled.) Subsequent houses never had the space for a layout, nor did I have the time to devote building one.

Now that we are 'empty-nesters' and have moved to a bigger house (notice how that almost always happens after the kids leave home?), I finally have the space to actually build something, and use the motive power, rolling stock, and building kits that I have been collecting over the years for 'someday'.

The website will document our successes and failures as we build this project. It will contain pictures where appropriate, as well as a one-sided discussion on our rational for doing things the way we did, and explaining what we have done, and why. Hopefully others will find it amusing to watch our struggles, and perhaps even a little informative from time to time.

Feedback about the site and our endeavors via e-mail is always welcome.

Site Map

(Links will become active as data is entered.)

The Location - Describes the area where the layout is located and the preparation work that needed to be done before construction started.

The Bench Work - Describes how the bench work was put together and how we accommodated a closet for my wife's clothes

The Track Plan - Discusses the software that was used to create the track and how the track plan was derived. Also shows diagrams of two track plans.

Layout Construction - Shows the progress of the layout construction from the track laying to completion. Updates will be added as they occur, and as I have time to document them. At any given time the actual layout construction will be further along than this page depicts. (Page updated 2/5/06)

The Test Track - Details a test track that was built for testing motive power, as well as providing an opportunity to try different construction techniques

The Electronics - The decision between block control and DCC. Talks about what we considered and what we finally chose.

The Motive Power - Will show what we have. Will also discuss any modifications we have made and document 'futile' attempts at weathering and custom painting. Rembrandts we aren't! (Updated 1/31/2006)

The Rolling Stock - This will not be an inventory of all of the rolling stock collected over the years. Rather, as I get brave and decide to try my hand at weathering, it will document successes and failures. Should be good for a chuckle or two, if nothing else.

The Structures - Will include information about the various stuctures used on the layout, as well as links to their manufacturers. As we get brave, it will even show the attempts at weathering. (Updated 2/2/2006)

Where Do We Go From Here? - This page discusses lessons learned in building the current layout. It also addresses the question of whether the layout should be relocated to a larger space and restarted from scratch, along with a couple of possible track plans for a new layout endeavor. (Page added 12/18/2006)

Links to the Outside - Ho-Hum! Yet another listing of favorite links to model railroading sites.

E-mail us your comments and constructive criticism. No flames please.

Site last updated on Feb. 5, 2006