Current work in progress


I based my layout on the "Scenic & Relaxed" plan in Chapter 11 of Atlas' book Nine N Scale Railroads. It took me a while to decide on a track plan, and I spent a lot of time scouring the web for track plans and photos of layouts. I made my decision when I saw Dave Vollmer's website for his N-scale PRR Northern Division (I see that Dave has now started a new layout and website for the Middle Division and the Northern Division pictures are no longer available).

I used the XTrkCad program to design my layout by first entering the Atlas plan into XTrkCad verbatim, then started massaging it. I started by replacing all the sectional track with flex track, then replaced the turnouts with #5's and #7's since I planned on using code 55 track. I used #7's wherever a mainline train would pass through, and #5's elsewhere.

There were two things about the plan I didn't like, first that the mainline went through the diverging path of a turnout while the straight path led to the engine house, and second there was no diamond crossing (I just find crossings visually interesting). So I removed the offending turnout and instead connected the engine house via a crossing over the outer main to the inner main at that section. I decided I would like more of a yard so I rearranged the team tracks at the front of the layout and removed the industry there to provide my "yard". Lastly, I decided I needed a connection to the outside world so I extended the width of the layout by 6" and added two staging tracks off of the connection to the enginehouse.

I made few changes after the track was laid, but the crossing described above had to be replaced due to functional issues (see the Trackwork section), so it's now a single slip switch.

Here's a link to the "final" XTrkCad file for the Firebaugh Rail Lines firebaugh2.xtc (to download, right click and choose "Save Link As...").

Click small image for larger view.

This is the original "Scenic and Relaxed" track plan from Atlas' Nine N Scale Railroads.

Firebaugh Rail Lines - just the track

Trackplan plus the underlying benchwork

This view shows the most of the details of the trackplan. The orange lines represent the jigsaw cuts of the "cookie-cutter" plan to allow the track to change elevation. The as-yet-unamed river is shown, as are some roads and industries. Although Northern Power and Light is shown, that will change to a simple freight house of some sort.