This page features an HO scale micro-layout that I built for switching operation. I have named it the "Whittier Railway". It is actually my previously built Inglenook Sidings switching layout that went through a "make over". It was originally the "Middle America Forest Railway" that I built and became dissatisfied with. I found that the Inglenook design took up too much space and it was not enjoyable for me to operate. I recycled the old layout by removing everything except the Atlas Turntable. The layout measures 5' x 1'.
My new design allows me to add more structures and scenic elements while maintaining a layout with an interesting switching track plan. This is a "Here and Now" layout, because waiting for someday to build a big layout may never come. Might as well enjoy something, anything now.
There are two distinct areas on the layout:
Whittier Terminal that includes theTurntable, Yard Office, Engine House, and Fuel Tank. The other area is the Santa Fe Springs Industrial District which includes a Grade Crossing, Loading Dock, Oil Tanks, and Aggregate Bins.
I used Atlas Code 100 track sections(both straight from the box and modified), a PECO Electrofrog Wye turnout, and an Atlas Turntable. The wiring is standard DC and is fairly simple. I use a stereo jack and socket to allow the MRC 1300 powerpack to be easily removed for storage. The buildings are removeable and a handle on the side of the layout makes it easy to carry the layout like a guitar case. Track is laid on cork roadbed with a 1/16 inch basswood shim so that the track will properly align with the height of the turntable.
I designed this layout to be good looking and fun to operate. I use 4-axel diesels with 40' freight cars and one caboose. With 3 or 4 freight cars staged in the Santa Fe Springs area, I make up a short train on the track between the turntable and the wye with the caboose on the end. Its simple but fun.