After nearly 10 years it was time to tear down my original layout which was featured in many videos for Stockyard Express LLC. The layout was too small and insufficient for my current needs. I designed a new track plan using RailModeller Pro. Even though most of my locomotives, rolling stock, and accessories are from MTH Electric Trains I went with Lionel FasTrack as I find it to be one of the easiest to work with and best designed track systems available.

The layout has two levels. The bottom level is 8×16 feet with two loops. The outer yellow loop has O-84 curves and everything in blue has O-72 curves and switches.

All switches will be O-72 and will be of the new Remote Command variety. I plan to control them via Lionel’s LCS Wifi iPad app. However the option of hooking them up to an MTH Accessory Interface Unit or AIU will be explored.

There railroad features two yards. The main yard is accessed via the reverse loop and includes 6 sidings to store cars and serve various industries. The second smaller yard located on the lower left side has three tracks and will serve as the engine terminal. My Atlas O Engine Shed, Lionel Lighted Coal Tower, MTH Operating Water Tower and other appropriate buildings and accessories will be placed in this area.

The top level is 12×6 feet and also has two loops. The upper portion of this level will be against the layout room’s back wall. There will be an overhang of about 1.5 feet between the back wall and bottom level so as to allow access to the underside of the top level.

The outer loop has O-60 curves and the inner has O-48 curves. I had planned on adding a short siding on the back of this loop but it was eliminated through the decision of creating an access hole. The board supporting the back straight tracks can be lifted out if required.  These tracks are not interconnected so as to save space. A bridge spans what will be the yard area.

Tracks marked in red designate insulated track sections for power blocks. I plan to use both MTH DCS and Lionel Legacy.

In terms of scenery, the upper level will represent part of downtown Cleveland and as you come down from there we will move to western Ohio and the lake shore. In the bottom right corner I plan to have a small creek under the tracks leading to Lake Erie.

 Track Plan Revised June 7, 2016

North Western Railroad