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Train Newbie
Hi everybody,

I'm ashamed to admit that it took me this long to stumble onto the forum. Hopefully I can contribute to the board (even if it's just moral support).

Currently, I'm working on an N-scale layout that I'm planning as I go. Based on the rolling stock I've bought so far, the time period looks like it'll be fairly recent (1980's?) and located in some area of the country with loads of hills/trees. Considering the scale, my "hills" are more like the Alps! Does anybody have suggestions for my layout's "location"?

I've included a few pictures of my progress so far, just for the entertainment value. Feel free to make suggestions - particularly how to get a road or two into the layout. I'd like to add a few structures, but the landscape is starting to look like only mountain goats will be happy there.

Looking forward to chatting with you guys...
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Hi Kevin,

That a nice looking railroad you've got so far. The terrain is pretty steep, but since you seem to have some western prototype equipment I think it'll all come together really nicely. The scenery shell you've got laid out so far looks very professional, with nice contours and elevation change above and below the tracks.

Are there going to be any crossovers between the mainlines? There don't appear to be any in the first photo, but maybe that's just because the track laid out there was for testing purposes. I'd definitely add a couple of those if you weren't already planning to.

As for a road, that spur you have set out along the lower peninsula in the first photo would be a good place to put an industry or two, so you'd definitely want to stick a road leading to that. Maybe have it come onto the layout somewhere near the spur, cross the tracks and then end at the industry.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing more of your layout. Keep us posted.


Train Newbie
Thank you for the suggestions.

When I began thinking about doing a layout, I had visions of West Virginia coal country. Obviously my choice of locomotive coupled with my topography is pointing towards the Rockies(?) Frankly, I'm open to suggestions regarding locations right now; without one in mind I'm kind of stumped for an image of what things will ultimately look like.

I agree that I should do few crossovers. Since I don't have much straight track, getting 'em in the layout should be interesting. Any suggestions on locating them are also welcome.

I'm just enjoying the process of building and am open to any comments/critiques - no risk of offending me. :)


Running the MC & Buffalo
Welcome Goose, Good looking layout so far. I don't think you would have a problem with West Virginia country seems to me those mountains would fit in quite nicely there also . But you would want to change to a more Southern Railroad Line which shouldn't be a problem either !


Train Newbie
Good points - thank you.

Regarding the location of the layout, I'm definitely not married to the idea of West Virginia. Of the locomotive choices offered by my local hobby shop, the Southern Pacific loco looked the best at the time. Since I've actually gotten a second Southern Pacific (SD35) loco, I'm starting to look at other areas of the country as a prototype. Wherever it will be, it's gotta have lots of trees.

I'm showing my ignorance here... I didn't realize they made curved turnouts(!) I'm using Atlas code 55 N-scale track, with approximately 18.75" & 20" radii. My main parallel lines are spaced so they fit side-by-side on Woodland Scenics risers. What brands/kinds of turnouts do you guys recommend in this situation?

Steve B

Well, the main supplier here in the UK is Peco, not a clue what's available over there but i'm sure i have seen some


Kevin, you are looking real good on your start. I'm like the others in that your hills/mountains would be fine for the West Va. or Appalachian mountain region. When you get them painted, brushed, tree'd, you will see. Unless you are a stickler for prototype, I wouldn't worry about what roadname you have. I have a UP Challenger running on my Appalachian layout (leased:D ). What era are you modeling?

Walthers makes very good curved turnouts of different radii. Not sure about "N" scale. I have a couple of them and they work fine. Also, is right next door to you in Indiana and have a very good selection of locos, buildings, track, electronics, scenery, and etc. You could probably get an item in 2-3 days.

Oh!! WELCOME! Glad to have you on board.
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grove den

naturally natural trees
GooseKeven: Hi kevin welcome too!! ( from the other side of the ocean and the North Sea
Please do not be ashamed!;) At least YOU 've got a N-layout. I have n't got anything besides one part of a module layout!:eek:
Did I read it well:"some area of the country with loads of trees"...:D :D
May be I could help you with some tricks to built them?
Looking forward to see more progress pictures...:)



I was thinking your mountains were very reminiscent of the Sierra Nevada's, or perhaps the Cascades in Oregon, those SP locomotives would fit in great either place. But then I'm biased towards the west coast in general. Either way, it's your layout, so those mountains could really be the Alps if that's what you want them to be.

I don't know too much about N scale, but I'm surprised that Atlas doesn't offer any curved turnouts. Steve mentioned Peco though, and they have a good reputation for being reliable and realistic.


In Training Down Under.
Welcome Kevin, I'm running some SP locos cause I live in the south pacific!! Really don't need a theme or a time period just do it for the fun of it if ya'll want.



Lazy Daydreamer
Greetings Kevin and welcome to MRF!

One thing that has always influenced me when choosing what raod to model, is: What lines run nearby? I like modeling what I see [or have seen] in real life, as well as the type of scenery I'm familiar with. Since I've lived near the Great Lakes and in central Maryland, the C&O and B&O were prevalent there. Of course both of them are now CSX, which I'm currently modeling.


Train Newbie
Glad you're enjoying the pictures and thanks for the kind words.

I've made some progress today and put down some more plaster (pic attached). I'm looking forward to getting the shell finished so I can smooth out the lower elevations; I didn't realize that the plaster-soaked towels would hug the contours of the wadded newspaper so closely!

As it looks right now, the entire landscape wouldn't be suitable for man or beast. In my mind's eye, I see a little more gentle landscape for the areas within the looped tracks. As always, I'll keep you posted - thanks for the help!

Steve B

I don't know,, i have been in terrain as rough as that, it will look different again with some colour


S.L.O.&W. Trainman
Welcome to the forum Goose! Your work is lokin' good so far. I am looking forward to seeing your progress. BTW, it is very clear that you are definitely not modeling Ohio....:rolleyes: :D At least not the Northern part.

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