Category Archives: Inglenook

Incorporating an Inglenook in the design

Site seeing – May 11 (the Shelf layout Inglenook post)

It’s been some time since my last post, due mainly to work and other real world commitments. Recently while enjoying a little downtime, I cam across a great set of posts and the layout blog. I wanted to share that with you.

Site 1: Burbank Branch Layout

A simple Inglenook track plan, this layout has some outstanding features that make it worth looking into. Not least is the modelling skill shown going into the layout by the builder – survivaljoe over on the MRH website..

Burbank Branch Layout plan
Burbank Branch Layout plan

As a renter he needed to build a layout that could move when he moved and not mount to or damage any of the walls in the dwelling. The control is DC for the moment while he waits for new technology in the market to mature. That does not appear to change the slow running qualities of locomotives.

Designed for operating sessions of roughly 30 minutes at a time (which I’ve talked about several times before as the perfect amount of time to operate on a small layout) this layout really shines up well, even without all the scenery in place.

The video above shows a basic operating session and the modelling quality involved.

While the video above shows images taken during the build process. I hope that you enjoy look at the layout as much as I have. Look into the resources below for the build and blog over the MRH site also.


Site Seeing – April 9 – Small O scale layouts 5

While tooling around the Broadford MRC’s site looking for information on Glen Bogle mentioned earlier this month I found our next contestant for a small O scale layout well within the reach of anyone interested in the larger scale.

Site 1: Chard Creamery O gauge  8′ by 2′ (Richard and Sue Andrews)

Chard Creamery layout (8′ x 2′) – Richard and Sue Andrews

When it came time to build a new layout Richard Andrew’s thoughts turned to his boyhood memories of the S&D Railway to Basinbridge Milk Factory. Andrew says that “as I love small shunting layouts I decided to see if I could build a O Gauge layout representing a milk factory with either a river or as it turns out a canal running beside it in a 4′ x 22″ wide baseboard”.

With mock ups made Andrew decided he could put three tracks on the board without turnouts to give a loading/unloading bay for the milk, a centre road for coal and other goods, and a front siding which went to another loading/unloading bay for dry goods, butter, cheese, etc. He stresses that the layout is not a copy of Basinbridge, and chose to make the buildings of similar but freelance design.

Chard Creamery – O Gauge in a small space

The name Chard came about because of the canal that used to run from Taunton to Chard. While that canal is now long gone and Andrew had a Skytrex Barge built and painted in need of a home this seemed the ideal situation.

Skytrex Building Flats fill in the background while all main buildings are scratchbuilt out of card with a Slater’s brick overlay. The pub scene replaced a former building now relegated to the background and helps to block the view of the fiddle yard.


Site Seeing – April 5 – Small O scale layouts 3

With many thanks to David Bromage for sharing photos of his visit to the 2016 Bendigo Model Railway exhibition let’s take a look at a new O scale layout on the Australian exhibition circuit: Filching Road Yard.

Site 1: Filching Road Yard (courtesy of David Bromage)

Photo courtesy of David Bromage
Photo courtesy of David Bromage

New on the Victoria model railway scene is Filching Road Yard. A simple and not overly large O scale of 8 feet (2400mm) by 18″(450mm) wide. The layout is a budget build and was designed to fit into the back of the owner’s car (a station wagon).

With only two turnouts and a cassette fiddle yard this could be the ideal O scale starter layout. To keep your costs down you could also build your own trackwork, a project that I’ll be undertaking later this year as I attempt to increase my modelling skills into trackwork.

Like this post and comment if you find it useful or would like further information; if you’ve not already subscribed to keep up to date you can do so now using the link at the top of the post.

Site Seeing – April 3 – Small O scale layouts 2

In this continuing series during April I want to visit one of my favourite exhibition switching layouts: Ingleton Sidings.

Site 1: Ingleton Sidings

nevard_110330_ingleton-sdgs_DSC_1821_02_web1-400x267[1]Paul Allen’s masterpiece Inglenook, built in OO scale,  shows what can be scaled up very simply to British O scale (1:43) with the use of commercially available kits, RTR trucks and loco’s available now or in the very near future. The entire aim is to keep cars and loco’s short to keep the visible part of the layout within the 8′ (2400mm) maximum. Giving enough run and movement without taking up the entire house.

Ingleton Sidings, designed to sit on a standard home window sill or ironing board, illustrates what can be achieved in a minimum with RTR products and basic scratchbuilding techniques. The location as modelled is fictional and represents a small BR sorting siding during the late 1950s through to the early 1960s. The layout features point motors, 16v lighting, line side CCTV and Kadee automatic coupling. With the layout detailed and weathered to represent the last days of steam.

If you are thinking of going British O at minimum cost and personal commitment then Ingleton Sidings might be the place where you start.

Now see it in action:

First up an overview of the layout and features:

Next, from February 2014 – the initial running of DCC and Sound on the layout at the Milton Keynes model railway exhibition:

Site seeing – March 29 (Trackmobile layout edition)

The BLI HO Scale Trackmobile
The BLI HO Scale Trackmobile (image courtesy of BLI)

One of the better small locos to have come out in the last 10 years is the HO scale Trackmobile available from Broadway Limited Imports. I’m working on my unit to weather it into a loved if hard worked unit. There’ll be an article in April about how I weathered it and how you can do so too. The only drawback with this model is the dummy coupler on the front end. Somewhere on the internet I read about a change to the Trackmobile front where you add a shortened Kadee #58 coupler directly under the dummy coupler. Essentially the change was drilling and tapping a 2-56 hole in the bottom centre of the dummy coupler, shortening a #58 coupler and then drilling a hole in that for the 2-56 screw before screwing the two of them together. While not perfect it falls within the Kadee coupler height gauge requirements and allows the Trackmobile to be double ended. Saving the Hand from the sky (the 0-5-0 hand of god) traverser. Now, onto today’s site.


Thomas Van Hare's Rugenshaven Layout
Thomas Van Hare’s Rugenshaven Layout

Thomas Van Hare of Ashburn, Virginia, USA put this layout in the First layout design contest in May 2008. While the layout location is imaginary this HO Scale German fishing harbor corner layout Thomas says “involves a Timesaver (with eleven destinations), plus dual opposing Inglenooks, competitively running two DCC ‘Little Cow’ Trackmobiles”.

The layout features small fishing warehouses, boat maintenance facilities, fueling and supply shops, a fishing net manufacturer and marine diesel repair shop. At center is the harbor’s main canning smokehouse business, with two loading platforms.

You can find out more about the layout design challenge and the entries from the 2008 challenge on the site.


Site seeing 28 September – the Sprung has springed edition!

It is spring in the southern half of the world, and as a result everyone is coming down with seasonal allergies after a very long (well it seemed that way), cold (no it really was as cold as charity according to the weather bureau) and miserable winter.

Today is also marks my brother’s birthday – so Happy Birthday Scott. Hope that you get the message. More importantly I hope that you are reading the blog! But enough of me and onto the site seeing!

Site 1: One turnout layout variation

I’ve mentioned Chris Mears’ site in the past. His current post provides some interesting thoughts on variations among other thoughts on the “One turnout layout” posited by Lance Mindheim in the May 2013 edition of the Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine.

Read the article, and then read, and take part if you’re willing, in the discussion at the end of the post. It’s been thoughtful reading. Not saying that I agree with it all, but it has been thought provoking.

Site seeing – August 10th

Yesterday was all about passenger service; today is all about freight. Chris Gilbert pointed this video out, on his YouTube page. However the producer is ChicagoJoe28. But enough words let’s get to the video.

Site 1: Mike switches Batory Foods Chicago Terminal railroad

Video 1: Batory Food Switching on the Chicago Terminal

A little history

Located at 2234 W 43rd St, Chicago, IL 60609, Batory Foods began trading in 1979 when Abel Friedman opened Chicago Sweeteners. As a single source supplier of basic food ingredients such as sugar, flour, salt, starch, milk, oats, honey and corn syrup. Chicago Sweeteners expanded its product offering over time, as food manufacturers sought to develop healthier products.

With success in the greater Chicago market, the Company brought its broad line model to food manufacturing centres around the country. Some of the growth came with the original business; some by way of acquisition with:

  • Sugar Incentives bought in 1995,
  • Ingredients International in 2006,
  • Quality Ingredients in 2008,
  • LSI in 2009,
  • Industrial Ingredients in 2009,
  • Massey Fair in 2011, and
  • Mac Source in 2011.

Recently, the various names were consolidates into the single name: Batory Foods.

The layout idea

The site’s switched as an Inglenook. The two on-site spurs lead to undercover augers (I’m assuming here of course) for unloading powdered or granulated product.

Batory Foods Chicago - An Inglenook you can model

Image 1: The unloading spots (courtesy of Bing)

The storage track goes to other industries further down the track, but does not show recent use from my quick look. The loco has to push the cars into the site so you have a simple, prototypical Inglenook that won’t take up too much space. It is small enough that you could model any date from 1979 on in HO, S or O scale.

SCORE! What are your thoughts?

Thanks to Chris Gilbert for the vision, and to ChicagoJoe28 for filming it.

Why I chose not to design my layout – Part 4

I did some measuring on the new track plan (version 3) today and the result is pleasing (at least to me). On the HVRR we use a XAF10 Railbox car as our standard measure for cars; These car’s measure 190 mm over coupler faces – that’s right on the 54′ and some change that a real car has for door spacing if it is recorded as a 50′ car. With the numbers in hand I tried a few calculations to see how everything fit.

Yard Tracks

With measurements now completed on all of the storage and “yard” tracks our holding ability on all tracks suggests that the:

  • Main (at 1400 mm) can clear 7 standard cars,
  • Loop (at 1500 mm) can clear 8 standard cars.
  • Classification track 1(at 1800 mm) can clear 9 cars ,
  • Classification track 2 (at 1300 mm) can clear 6 cars, and
  • The total on-track yard capacity is 30 cars (not including the interchange as I consider the interchange loadings to be a part of this number).

Yard Occupancy

I don’t want to flood the yard on any one day so I expect that the total yard occupancy at maximum will be 50% of the total – leaving me with 15 cars maximum. So that even with a full train of 9 cars coming in from the interchange I can use Class 1 & 2 to store all of the cars and leave the main and the loop free to work. More on this though below.

Industry tracks

On the main board there are two industries:

  • Industry 1 is 800 mm long and can manage 4 cars
  • Industry 2 is 1600 mm long and can manage 8 cars
  • Interchange track (at 2400 mm) can clear 9 cars plus the loco. The interchange track is considered an industry also.

The trackage on the base of the L are to be built based on an article in Model Trains International #58, page 106 by Bruce Petty. While this was essentially an article on scratchbuilding the Strongheart Packing Co. there was also a track diagram included. While I cannot post the magazine article here for you, I can point you to Bruce’s website which has the same information and track diagram (link here)

The current track layout in this area bounded by East 49th and E 50th Street is somewhat different from that of 25 – 35 years ago, this is reflected in the two images here:

Strongheart Packing Co - Vernon CA

Image 1: Block bounded by 49th & 50th Street, and Gifford To Corona Ave

This is an overhead view of the same block as in the article, but several of the buildings have been removed; specifically Union Malleable and Strongheart Packing. Otherwise the track for the most psrt seems to be intact.

Vernon CA - 49-50th Street - Gifford to Corona Ave - Track Layout

Another overhead view showing a slightly different angle that puts the article map in perspective.

I’ll be leaving building’s in place at Ingle Bros. It is a nice, generic building, plain brick that will be easy to model. It will have the two car spots as on the plan. The Chase Bag Co will go. In it’s place I’m going to put a team track. This will ensure that I can have a range of cars in that spot, and in addition give a great view of the remainder of this section of the layout.

The other buildings will be changed slightly to give that 1970’s renewal look of tilt-up concrete construction so prevalent in Texas.

Industry occupancy

Just as for the yard, I do not want to flood the industry tracks with cars. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I like that industries are not always blocked with cars – this is also very prototypical, and
  2. I am aiming at maximum to have industries be 50-60 percent occupied

Thus the total car numbers of the main board will be:

  • Industry 1 holds on average 2 cars with a maximum of 3 cars
  • Industry 2 holds on average 4 cars with a maximum of 5 cars
  • Interchange holds on average 5 cars (rounded up from 4.5) to 7 cars.

As noted earlier it can clear up to 9 cars at any one time if needed; this ensures that the interchange and the yard tracks should never be flooded with cars to stop the operations of the railroad.

The industrial park (bottom of the L) boards will hold on average 7 cars using the same occupancy rate. In total then the maximum cars in and out of the layout (should all of the occupied spots be switched on one day) would be 17 cars. Luckily that is not going to happen because these car movements would be spread over 6 days.

I am hoping the average will be in the range of 4-5 cars per session. This meets my goal of a short switching session, but with plenty of interest for me as the crew. More on this later.

Site seeing – February07

There are some sites that I find myself returning to time after time. Vibrant sites with lots of new ideas and a great wealth of modellers, who love to share.  My favourite message board is to be on and partake in is RMWeb.

There is always a project or layout build under way that has something to give you. Today I’d like to point out two projects on RMWeb that I find really interesting for a number of reasons.

Site 1 – Down Ampney

Built in 7mm scale as a basic garage-garden-garage line; the garden section is in effect just a single track with a couple of sidings and scenery provided by mother nature. Control is planned to be a mixture of DCC and RC.

The Scenic modelled section is to be situated within the garage with a cassette fiddle yard on the other side. The garden will include a viaduct but be fairly basic for the sake of ease of building and getting something up and running quickly and to reduce maintenance.

Site 2 – Draycott (Camp) Halt Sidings

The model depicts a small corrugated Goods Shed and two sidings, with the tail-end of the Head-Shunt also represented, the Loop being ‘off stage’ so to speak. This is a classic Inglenook type ‘shunting plank’ and will give somewhere to have some fun with ‘shunting puzzles’ and to test new stock whilst Down Ampney is being built.


While both are 7mm O scale layouts, the standard of modelling is very high, while the area and layout being modelled is small and simple. Lots of working potential too.

Well its a very warm day in Ballarat, and my son and I are off to the local pool. Hope you’re having a great day where you are too.