NS/CSX/Amtrak/X? Railroad/Division/X?

Updated January 20, 2008


This website will document the design, construction and operation of the YET-TO-BE-NAMED N Scale model railroad owned by David McDowell.

The idea for this project came to me on 10/3/2007. After getting rid of much clutter from my condo, reducing the computer footprint in my office and general consolidation of stuff, my 10x13 foot 3rd bedroom is ready for a working layout. I'll give more description and better website design later once I have a name. Until then, here are the basic design specs:

  1. The room - train_room.jpg
  2. I'm modeling an area between Raleigh and Greensboro, NC.
  3. RailRoads - NS (primary), CSX and Amtrak.
  4. Size - A double level around the room, walk-in style with a helix between levels.
  5. Shelf is 8"-14" depth off the wall. In general, the smaller the shelf, the more likely a peninsula can be added into the layout design. I would like this particularly for the advantage of longer total runs and visual separation from one side of the room to another.
  6. DCC - I plan to use Digitrax with radio throttles and Digitrax signaling for operations with JMRI and CATS for CTC type dispatching... I'm gonna need MAJOR help with those pieces at some point. I'm building a 30" x 6' sample loop to test these technologies: SE8C, SMBK, BDL168 and RX4 from Digitrax interfacing to the computer with a LocoBuffer II.
  7. The goal of this layout: operating sessions, with the ability for me to just turn on a train and watch it loop endlessly if I don't feel like operating.
  8. Track - Atlas code 55 track
    1. Mainline - 15" minimum radius, #7 turnouts, 1.25" center spacing.
    2. Branch and industry - 11.25" minimum radius, #5 turnouts.
  9. Trains size - I don't see any freight trains having more than 2 engines and 10-12 cars, possibly smaller. Anything bigger might be too much for this space.
  10. Grades - max grade 3% (should be fine for these shorter trains)
  11. Have fun!
© 2007-2008 David McDowell. All Rights Reserved.