Month: February 2016

Upgrading the Layout Plan

The preliminary layout plan was a great start and allowed for a quick estimation of the materials that would be required. But a more detailed layout plan would be required to ensure that proper track curve radius, curve transitions, switch locations, and other features would fit without issue. There was also a desire to produce 3D views of the layout to help others better visualize what the final layout would look like.

In order to accomplish this, a software product called 3rdPlanit was used to produce the next version of the layout plan. This software is designed for model railroad planning. It has libraries of all the standard track and switches, automatically calculates curves and transitions, and allows the layout to be designed in 3D.

Here is version 2 of the layout plan. It’s basically the version 1 layout plan re-drawn in the 3rdPlanit software.


The next step is to introduce some elevation variation, grades, and other interesting features.

Preliminary Layout Plan

During the Dec. 5 working session a detailed survey of the layout room was completed. This allowed the creation of a preliminary layout plan to get a general idea of the planned track arrangement.


This preliminary layout plan allowed for the estimation of material quantities required to construct the layout, including:

  • lumber for benchwork
  • plywood
  • homasote
  • track
  • switches

It also provides an early estimation of the location and number of possible rail side industries that will be added to the layout.

Getting the Lay of the Land

During the second working session on December 5, 2015 the work crew assembled the existing modular layout pieces. Once all the existing modules were in place, additional sections were constructed to fill out the planned layout shape. The following photos show the progress at the end of the session. With these sections of benchwork in place, discussions about the planned track arrangement commenced.

A salvaged section of curved track set in place to get an idea of the layout of the turnback curve near the doorway.


Moving clockwise around the layout, new sections of benchwork constructed.


A new section of benchwork along the back wall, connected to an existing corner module.


The corner module.


The yard sections previously constructed for the HO modular group sit along the far wall. Lots of boxes of donated equipment and buildings – that’s a topic for a future post.


Re-purposed modules form one side of the center peninsula. Future benchwork will fill in the area along the culvert at the back of the photo. The plan is to have a static scene constructed to sit above the culvert.


Another couple shots of the re-purposed modules that will form the center peninsula.



And one final photo showing the opposite view of the planned turn back curve by the doorway.


And now to do some work on the layout plan …

NORMHC Layout – Introduction

Planning and Construction has started on an HO scale model railroad layout in the basement of the Heritage Center building at the Northern Ontario Railway Museum and Heritage Center in Capreol.

The layout will be constructed in one half of the Heritage Center basement, which used to be the stable where the horses were kept for the fire department.

Here are some photos of the room as layout construction started.


Previous modular layout sections from the modular club were used for sections of the benchwork.


In this photo you can see some of the many boxes of donated model railroad equipment for the layout.

Welcome to the NORMHC Layout Blog

Welcome to the NORMHC Layout Blog. If this is your first visit be sure to use the archives feature to read all the blog posts from oldest to newest. This will allow you to follow the progression of layout construction from start to finish.