Thursday, March 16, 2017

Aladdin Theater

I built the Aladdin Theater this weekend for my layout.

It is the Walther's Rivoli Theater model that I bought as NOS at the Brampton Model Railway show last year.

It is the first time I have built a structure that I have used painting techniques learned from Model Railroader, like paint wash for the brick grout etc.

I photoshopped custom signage for the Theater to make it the Aladdin Theater from Stephen King's novel 'IT'.

The films are the ones referenced in the novel.

This weekend - mounting the signs!

Monday, March 6, 2017

After 6 long years, I am finally back to my layout!

Staging/Runaround track behind the furnace has been completed and tested!

Now the fun begins! Scenery!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stephen King's Derry Maine

The latest change to my layout has been to change the locale. Originally the locale was planned to be York Region, in Ontario Canada - mostly because that is where I live and am most familiar. Well actually in the beginning I was planning to model the area around the south shore of Quebec City, but changed to York Region early on in my planning stages.

I'm not sure where I got the seed of the idea to model the fictional town of Derry, Maine, but I have been a Stephen King fan for many years and thought it would be fun to model based on his work. It will allow for some interesting scenes that 'constant readers' will recognize.

The town of Derry, Maine is very much based on the real town of Bangor, Maine where King lives. My goal is to recreate the town as described in the Novel 'IT' as faithfully as possible, with the streets and places mentioned in the book (Witcham, Kansas, Center), and also to recreate things that King obviously pulled from Bangor such as the 'Derry' Standpipe, the bar next door to the Greyhound Bus terminal and the canal.

Here is the latest layout. Hopefully it is pretty much finalized, although in the world of model railroading, nothing is ever really final!

Trains have been tested on the track, and all track has been laid. Work is starting on scenery - mostly trying to get all the topography finalized.

The Kenduskeag Canal has been rough cut, and backdrop mostly installed.

Work is progressing on Witcham Street, which is a hill running from the Canal downtown up and over the railway track and then turning to head west out of town toward the Derry Rail Yard and Neibolt Street.

Here are a few pictures of recent progress:

Derry Rail Yard looking East
Hanlon Farm
Falcon Bar & Derry Bus Terminal on Center St.

Actual Bangor Bus Terminal and Main Tavern
House on Witcham Street

Building Witcham Street. Sewer with Pennywise going here.
Tunnel from Derry Yard by Gravel Pit.
Curve past Derry Cement
Neibolt St Underpass
Derry Cement
Black area is a view block - to be covered with trees
Witcham Street bridge over tracks to be built here.
Kansas Street Bridge over The Barrens.
Denbrough's house on Witcham Street
Witcham Street
Tunnel from Derry Yard

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back on Track!

After a long time, I am making some progress. It is actually good that I did not rush this layout. Normally I am pretty impatient and would have plugged ahead, then realized I had made some mistakes. As I get older, I am either getting lazier or more patient.

By waiting and playing around with the trains, I have managed to find several things that needed adjusted.

I had to move the run-around track in the freight yard as the run-around was too short to move the locomotive from the one end of the freight train to the other. Now I can pull a freight into the yard, uncouple, and run around to the rear of the train.

I also did a slight realignment of the two yard tracks at the front. Ignore the awful job I did on the layout chart - the tracks are actually lined up nicely. I moved them to accommodate a new (well actually used) dual track engine shed purchased from the Toronto Christmas Train Show.

I finished getting the viaduct in place and the trains are running smoothly. I did cheat a bit as some of my curves are a bit tight for my Bombardier Bi-Level GO Train coaches - I changed the couplers on the middle coach to a slightly longer coupler to stop the accordions from binding on tight curves. It still looks ok and runs MUCH smoother.

I changed my mind about the river running the whole way from one end of the layout to the other. It was taking up too much real estate that I wanted to use for other things, so now the river flows under the double track truss bridge, and curves around then off the layout, and at the other end is a waterfall under the high viaduct and low yard bridge and off the layout. This will allow me to put in a suburban passenger GO station and a small farm.

I will be locating larger buildings (city) as a view block in the corner where the hidden passenger staging is.

The town will no probably no longer have a town square, but a couple of streets on a diagonal.

The hidden freight staging will be behind background buildings. I put a fibreboard 'wall' in where the tunnel will be to ensure that if a train derails it will not fall off the track and hopefully be guided through.

I am waiting to do some more work before I make final decisions on the sidings in town, as well as the section of real estate near the duck-under. I have thought about a small lake / campground, or industry, or a slummy section of town etc - I'd like it to be interesting.

I'll take a bunch of pictures and add to this post - hopefully tonight or tomorrow.

...and here they are. First one is a short video.

Used Engine Shed - $20 - what a deal!
High Viaduct and low bridge over river

Freight Yard and Passenger Station
Aerial view of yard

Duck-under and river area

Looking north out of the yard.

Double Track Truss Bridge and Town

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update - Ripping up track and re-laying!

Over the Christmas holidays I spent some time both playing around with my layout and coming up with things I liked and did not like. I came to the conclusion that there were some serious issues with my current layout that I needed to change. I hesitated to make the changes, but finally decided I would only be happy if I did.

The layout above is my latest version. There were two main issues:

1. I had put the tracks too close to the outside / backdrop, which really restricted my ability to put spurs and industries there.
2. The double track mainline really just was a big oval - pretty boring running trains around in a circle.

The new layout pulls the track back in enough places to put spurs and industries, as well as eliminates the full double track, replacing it with a mainline with runarounds that does not repeat for almost two full circuits.

I also added hidden freight staging in addition to the hidden passenger staging.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Layout Update

Made some updates to the layout to fix a few minor issues.

1. GO Passenger train service will now run on the main line from Alder through Wyandot and Southlake. Hidden staging for GO trains beind the Alder Tannery GO Station building.
2. New sidings at Wyandot to park GO Trains out of service and freight as required.
3. Siding to service Auto Parts plant adjusted.
4. New siding to service Cement Plant. (old Southlake sidings removed.)
5. Decided on Flood Control Dam for river crossing - based on Claireville Dam in Toronto.


1. Still need to locate Southlake GO station. Issue due to proximity to switches and bridges. May need to locate on curve.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More progress...

Built up one side of the river bank with foam. Originally I had planned a wooden trestle across the river, but have since changed my mind and am planning to run the tracks over a small coffer or flood control dam. That may change before it is done :)

I took a purchased single-track plate girder bridge and used my Dremel to cut off the sides, and glued them onto my double track bridge across the yard tracks.

My drop-in is really a duck-under, since I have not cut the tracks, but designed it so it can be easily converted to a drop-in if I get tired of ducking under. So far it is ok - it is high enough to be easy. I used angle iron and butterfly bolts on both sides to attach so the alignment is perfect, and to allow easy removal.

A close-up of the angle iron and butterfly bolt. Another reason I needed to make it removable is that the whole section to the left also is removable to allow access to the furnace when needed.

An overview of the duck-under/drop-in.

Foam used to build up the left side of the river bank.

View of the river.

Starting to make the Town of Southlake. The main street will be here with businesses.

On the right side of the river the yard track inclines up as it leaves the yard. The cut here will have a small farm on the left of the track. A level crossing crosses the yard track and both main tracks here.

A good shot showing the river with bank forming on the left.

Town of Southlake looking towards the duck-under. I added a siding here to service a cement plant. The main street goes under the CN bridge and there is a Y junction. An underpass will go under the black bridge, while the other road continues toward an Auto Parts plant.

Aerial view of Southlake. You can see the new siding here which will service the Cement Plant.

At the passenger station, I added a siding to park the GO Train when out of service. While there will be hidden staging, this will allow for visible parking like the prototype. The passsenger station will be replaced or expanded, and is just a placeholder for now. This is where the road crosses the tracks. I need to try to find room for the station parking lot.

I had to move a freight siding when I figured out that my Auto Parts Plant would be 12" x 19". I am going to use the Lakeville Warehousing model. The Auto Parts Plant will be the largest industry in Southlake and is based on a Magna Auto Parts plant in Newmarket.

The new siding servicing the Cement Plant. I will be using the Medusa Cement Kit, so it is more of a cement transfer plant. It is based on a plant in Newmarket.

A close-up of the Main Street underpass that goes under the Cement Plant siding.

An aerial view of Southlake, showing the underpasses and siding.