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The Mountain Scenic Railway: N Scale 4X8

July 23, 2008

A Spectacular N Scale Layout, based loosely on the Mt. Tamalpias Scenic Railway, “The Crookest Railway in the World”, will travel you back to the turn of the century.

The Second Artist's Concept Reveals much more details and a Drawing that matches the Trackplan.

Imagine this layout with more than 250 Redwood, Pine and Oak trees. I didn’t add them to the drawing because it would obscure the trackplan. This Second Draft of the Artist’s Concept Matches the Trackplan.

The Mountain Scenic Railway


Atlas' N Scale Shay (Photo from FiferHobbySuppy)
Motive Power would most definately be Atlas’ N scale two-truck shay, due to the heavy grades on the layout.

Jackson& Sharp Open Coach
The Jackson & Sharp Open coach (HO scale model shown, N to come soon) would be absolutely ideal.

Freight Rolling stock would be Trussrod wooden flats with Archbar Trucks. High-sided wooden gondolas or early steel hoppers would be used for gravel. two wooden boxcars, like the ones made by athearn would bring supplies up to the hotel. One tank car for oil heating, and one Wooden passenger combine for bad weather and mail service.

My Layout Statistics.
Last updated: 03/26/08

Railroad Name: The Mountain Scenic Railway *(Name your Mountain!)

Scale: N 1:160

Size: 4 x 8 feet

Target time to build: 3 years.

Minimum # of operators: 1

Maximum number of operators: 2, but I’d image there would be a lot of spectators!

Theme: Scenic Tourist Railroading in Victorian Era Australia or Western United States. Even more exotic places acceptable, like Switzerland, Eritrea, Indonesian Island or Mytical country.

Setting: Small Coastal Town, Huge craggy mountain with deep canyons, rugged western American or Australian Terrain.

Era: 1880-1930

Railroads: The Mountain Scenic Railway *(Name your Mountain!)

Style: Island 4X8 Walk-around.

Rail Height: 3″ (Floor) to 48″ upgrade

Aisle Width – ideal: 36”

Aisle width – typical minimum: None.

Aisle – pinch point: Island Style Layout, No isles.

Continuous run length: Not Calculated, about 20 feet.

Visible mainline run: 0.5 miles, maybe.

Minimum radius: Main – 10”, Switching – 10”, Industrial – 10”

Rail code: Code 55 – Mainline, Code 55 – switching and industrial

Parallel track spacing: Not measured, but satisfactory clearance even longest cars.

Minimum Turnouts: #6 Main, #4 Secondary and Industrial

Maximum grade: 5%

Track: Flextrack whre possible, sectional for curves to maintain curvature.

Operation: Mainline running for tourists, A Marble local train, A supply train to the Hotel

Rail served industries: One Quarry, One Railroad Hotel, One Wharf.

Interchanges: Optional Interchange with Another Railroad down at docks.

Schematic: Point to point “straight-line” with spurs at water stop and Gravel/Marble Plant.

Staging capacity: None.

Manual Staging Between Sessions: Empty/fill cars that have visible loads – flats, gondolas, hoppers.
Passengers would be permanently inside open cars.

Car movement: Beautiful Custom Waybills made by myself personalized for every car that I own.

Control: DC Throttle, DCC would be overkill.

Train detection: Visual Train Identification System (eyes). No large portion of hidden track to worry about.

Signaling: None Necessary, only one locomotive.

Turnout control: Tortoise Machines

Turnout count: ~5 Atlas Switches

Diamond crossings: 0.

Control panels: A Standard DC Throttle will suffice, as only one locomotive is necessary.

Typical mainline train: ~5 Passenger Cars, 4 Stone Flatcars, 4 Ballast Hoppers

Train types: Tourist Special, Hotel Supply Train, Marble Train, Gravel Train

Scenery: Plywood w/sculptamold base, The usual scenicking methods too. Wood framed cliffs, either Chicken wire base or stacked foam.

Buildings: 1880’s-1900 Stone, Wood and Metal downtown buildings, American or Australian Victorian Era structures

Preferred scenes: Spectaular Canyon with multi-level bridge crossings, The Beautiful wharf scene, Attractive scenes of Shay pulling tourists upgrade with Jackson&Sharpe open cars.

Industries: Tourism, Mostly. Cars full of passengers. Food, and Supplies for the Mountain Top Hotel, A Gravel Quarry exports marble via flatcar down to the wharf.
My First Version of the Artist Concept. Doesn't Directly match the trackplan, but captures most of the ideas.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2008 8:30 pm

    Wow, what a fun idea! The Mt. Tamalpias Scenic Railway was always a fanciful idea and the level of creative exaggeration you’ve applied is very John Allen-esque. I could see many opportunities for little vignettes (picnic scenes, hikers, hunters, maintenance teams, fire fighting teams…).


  2. Patty permalink
    December 23, 2012 10:34 pm

    Love this RR.

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