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HO logging-themed layout for public display
The request on the Internet discussion list was simple: an HO layout, 2'X8', intended for public display. A suitable environment for funky logging equipment was the primary goal. Heavy formal operations were not a priority, but if some purposeful car movement could be included, all the better. The era requested was the '50s or '60s, with the logging layout powered by small diesels.
This design is a little unusual in that the logging railroad descends from the mainline connection. While not too common on the prototype, this configuration serves our layout design purposes well because it creates a more effective public display, rising from front to back.
The mainline connection at the top of the layout (in blue) is a dummy track, although equipment could be posed there. We imagine that the mainline trains set out and pick up cars from the interchange track between the two mill tracks.
click image for a full view in a new window (you may need to resize that image within your browser for the best quality)
This leaves the logger to switch the mill and the interchange, swapping loads and empties (logs come up from below on flats or skeleton cars, loads of lumber go out in boxcars). There's a fair amount of switching required to get everything in proper order (and some giant hand action between "sessions" to move log loads).
The logger moves empty flats down the hill via the switchbacks and hauls loads back up -- the added reliability of making the uphill shoves with loaded cars is another nice benefit of siting the logger below the mainline.
This little layout would certainly benefit from more length to make the switchback more plausible, but even in this space offers an interesting display with a little operation as an added bonus.
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Copyright 2004 by Byron Henderson

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