N Scale Layout Description
The clubs N-Scale layout is modular, and based on N-Trak standards. It is 31’ long and 49” wide. Digitrax DCC us used, but each of the mainlines is isolated so that DC trains can be run if a member or visitor wants to run a personal train. The layout is loosely based on the “Tidewater Region” of the United States from the early 1950’s up to the middle 1970’s.
N Scale Modules
The layout was a feature at the club’s train show each year. Members could take the layout apart or set it up in approximately two hours. All or part of the modules had been taken to be incorporated in other train shows in Southwest Florida. With the addition of street and building lighting, automatic crossing gates, and additional animation, the layout is no longer taken to shows. As sound units have become more available in N-Scale, the club now has four diesel and two steam locomotives with sound; this is always a hit when visitors come by our Depot. In the future we plan to continually upgrade our layout details. We are currently built out with our room space.
BNSF on the Mainline
There was not a specific town or rail system modeled as the initial five four foot modules were cobbled together in 2007-08 from an older layout; two of the original opposite side modules had a community on one side and a mountain range with a water fall on the opposite side. The other three modules had a city on one module and a single entry yard on the other two modules. The two yard modules were remodeled to provide a seven-track dual entry yard. Two integrated 6’ long modules were also added with an extensive “fourth” inner track with multiple industries bringing the layout to 21’ in length. In 2009-10 the four corner modules were reduced in size from the normal N-Trak standard to reduce a 1-foot gap between the modules to 1”; space is at a premium and no one could fit into the 1-foot space. In 2015-16, two additional 6’ modules were added on opposite sides of the layout with additional industries including an oil refinery/depot and barge area on one side and a town with multiple businesses and residential areas on the opposite side. The layout was now 27’ long. In 2020-22, two additional 4’ modules we added. One side centered on having a lumber yard and feed stores while the other side extended the town on the opposite side of the layout and incorporated more city stores, a hospital/medical center and at the far end a crop duster airfield. With additional modules, the layout now has two end cap modules, four 6’ modules, seven 4’ modules and is 31’ long.
A long passing siding was added in 2013 to the seven-track yard modules to allow for the addition of a dual switching puzzle module; it has a modified “Time Saver” puzzle and an “Inglenook” puzzle on the same module. Using DCC allows for both puzzles to be worked at the same time.
Buildings and Scenery
The multitude of industries on the main layout offer numerous operational possibilities: the industries include Shell Oil, Cash Mine, Ocean Freight, General Mills, AG Kim Supplies, Minnesota Power, Cabrice Services, Kelly Lake Freight, L Industries, J&R Supply, Source Fine Meats, and Bunt Dry Grains. The “Time Saver” puzzle offers five additional industries to be incorporated in operations: Freight Station, Mill Warehouse, AC Brown Manufacturing, Red Wing Milling, and Box and Crate.
The industries are part of over 160 structures that are on the layout. The structures are a combination of wood laser cut kits by Bar Mills, American Model Builders, Blair Line, J L Innovative, and Northeastern Scale and plastic kits by Walther’s Cornerstone, DPM, and Woodland Scenics. While there is only a slight rise and fall on one module, no other rail elevations are incorporated on the layout; three modules do incorporate mountain scenery. This is constructed from sculptamold and plaster cloth over foam. Most of the trees are made from real wood twigs, branches, and commercial armatures flocked with various ground covers and foliage clusters to simulate trees.