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BNSF Creston Sub - WIP

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  • Member since
    August 2013
  • 17 posts
Posted by PhaseOne on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:58 PM

So as I mentioned in another thread, I used Ikea Ivar 20" deep shelve modules to be the basis for my layout.  I was inspired by this idea from this awesome layout here:   In my case, I've noticed several benefits from using these unites so far to include

1.) You can either buy this in 12L"x36W" deep units or 20L"x36W" deep units.

2.) They offer a way to assemble bench work in minutes and momentum is important when you are starting out.

3.) They provide a great opportunity to incorporate storage space in a layout which for any married folks, is always a plus, especially if the wife likes trips to Ikea.

4.) They allow you to "mock" a layout by arranging them first in different orders.

So with these ikea units built in my basement, I arranged them in various different ways to help eye-ball the amount of real estate my layout was going to take up.  I'd originally intedend an around the room, up against the wall layout. This was the idea I'd been mulling around in my mind over the last year, taking trips down into the basement to brainstorm and visualize...But then out of nowhere it occured to me.

In the July 2014 issue of Model Railroader on page 50, there is a nice example of an oval layout.  It struck me like lightening that this was the way to go for my own purpose.  I think the benefits of an oval layout option so far represent the following.

1.) It allowed me to determine a begining and end to this layout; a finite goal if you will.  Otherwise I was stuck trying to decide how to use every square inch of my basement, in N or HO scale, and where I'd "leave off" for future extension.

2.) As a newbie this is simpley like an oval railroad on a door, except can be made large enough to actually feel like a real model railroad that has a purpose.

3.) Making an oval in the center of the room allows me to monitor the condition of my walls in an old 1950's midwest house.  I installed new windows and fixed many leaks short of a $20,000 French drain system.  Moisture seems to be under control however I don't want to find out I have a leak when I see water under the layout or my backdrop starting to shrivel or colors run.

4.) By making an oval, I'm going to include a duck-under and store our bicylces, baby strollers, and other bulk items that are otherwise strewn throughout the basement.  My wife was skeptical about this but quickly baught into this idea once she saw it.

 IMG_0076 by Garinek Keith, on Flickr

(mocking up a layout by arranging these in different directions)

 IMG_0112 by Garinek Keith, on Flickr

(The oval, or rectangular layout is born.  The intended dimensions are going to be 22' long by 9' wide)

 IMG_0111 by Garinek Keith, on Flickr

(Inside of the rectangular modules will be storage for all the large random items in my basement.  This should provide a nice clean look to the basement with the layout taking center stage on one side, with room for the kid and childs crafts and hanging-out on the other side)

In the next post I'll descibe my first experience installing a backdrop and some do's and don'ts that I learned right out of the gate, through trial and error.

P.S - Please don't judge me to harshly on my lack of spelling or command of the English language.  I only work on this layout on the weekends and find time to hit the computer and type this up during the 20 to 30 minutes it takes my wife to put our daughter to sleep.  I know many of you all have been there!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 10,947 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:17 AM

Please, please, please keep this build log updated.


I love following the build logs in here even if I do not comment much, I always read them.




Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • 17 posts
BNSF Creston Sub - WIP
Posted by PhaseOne on Monday, January 13, 2020 10:41 PM

Hi everyone,

This is just a thread to chornicle the progress on my layout.   As someone who has never had nor built a layout before, maybe some of you will find this an interesting perspective from a newbie.  I also wouldn't mind anyones advice along the way either as I am sure I'll have a lot of questions.

The Creston Subdivision

The Creston Subdivision runs from Creston, IA to Lincoln, NE.  It is formerly the CB&Q but today is home of the BNSF.  I work in the rail industry and was recently on the Creston sub last year and was struck by the amount of rail traffic across this line, given that it is neither the BNSF northern or southern transcon routes.  Lots of manifests and empty coal hoppers.

After debating for years about what protoype to model, and being a fan of mountain railroading, I chose this subdivision and railroad for a number of reasons.

1.) I like heavy Class I railroad operations and modern loco's.  Scaletrains looks like they have an empressive selection for this ultimate layout.

2.) I like mainly mixed manifest and unit trains vs. intermodel; This sub has a lot of that traffic.

3.) I figure being my first attempt at a railroad, the scenery commonly found in the heartland of the United States might be a better choice to cut my teeth on so to speak as apposed to trying to replicate a mountain scene.

4.) I wanted to incorporate some water on my layout and this sub crosses many creeks and a rivers.

And with that it was settled. Going forward I will describe the overall construction of this layout to include Ikea Ivar legs, 2" Foam board and 1/8" masonite backdrops as the main components.

 Before by Garinek Keith, on Flickr



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