Pennsy on a Shelf
N Scale layout, around the walls loop

This is an intermediate level layout which wraps around three walls of a basement and takes up approximately 36 square feet, although it extends into the room no more than two (2) feet at any one point. This layout was completed in about four (4) months.

Construction   Measure twice and cut once! The frame was interlocked by notching and interlacing the 1x1 cross members: this kept weight low and strength high!
The base for this Pennsy layout is constructed from 1x4 and 1x1 pine, glued and screwed into a lattice framework with Styrofoam insulation board used for scenery. The layout consists of four easy-to-handle modules that rest on simple shelf brackets, with each piece connected via lag bolts and simple electrical connectors.

The foam was shaped with a Stanley Surform tool and painted with tan latex paint. Joint compound was used to create rock formations, which were carved with a putty knife. Ground foam, clump foliage and individual trees were attached with white glue. The backdrop is hand painted on the back of a 1.5' wide strip of linoleum, curved around the corners of the room.

Track  This layout features superelevated (banked) trackwork. Your big steam engines will look great leaning into these 24" radius curves with a long string of hoppers!
Cork roadbed is the base for a combination of Atlas sectional and flex track, while thinner sheets of cork gasket material are used to allow the yard areas to be slightly lower than the main lines. Custom Line turnouts are operated by Circuitron under-table switch machines, mounted with liquid nails to the underside of the foam.

Power, Control & Details
The layout is wired for operation using electrical blocks and SPST on-off toggle switches, while power is provided by a CMI Hogger SuperBlue walk-around control unit. Details include an operating turntable, full steam service center, interior building lighting, road and bridge signs, culverts and drainage ditches as well as discarded ties and rail along the right-of-way.

a carload of merchandise is spotted at the freight house 

a big Berkshire eases toward the coaling tower as another string of hoppers heads for the mines on the elevated track in the background 

this station scene is only 2' deep! 


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site updated: 11/04/11