All the Model Rail Layouts

While showing layouts as part of free-mo, I am often asked about my home layout. My response is often “which one?” At any given time I have at least four layouts in process (six right now). These layouts are always at various stages of completion and represent several scales, gauges…

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WWI Light Railways

Back in February 2013 we took a quick look at the WWI Military Railway as inspiration for a small layout. Since today is November 11, Veterans Day, here in the USA (Armistice Day, Memorial Day, Remembrance Day in other parts of the world), I thought it would be a good time to…

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Adrian and the LS&MS

The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern main line stretched from Buffalo to Chicago by 1857. It would become the backbone of the New York Central in the 20th Century. The line at this time went through Adrian Michigan which was fast becoming the major railroad hub of the area. Adrian…

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Prototype 30″ Gauge Railways – Kauai Plantation Railroads #modelrailroad #narrowgauge

Many people model narrow gauge in On30 and HOn30. Most of these are stand-ins for 36″ or 24″ gauge railways. I thought it would be interesting to look at some prototype 30″ lines that could be subjects for On30 and HOn30 modeling. This month we will start with the sugar…

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The Boat Yard

This week I started a new Free-mo module set called the Boat Yard. The design was a few years in the making. I was inspired by the Norfolk Southern (ex Norfolk & Western, ex Wabash) carfloat operation across the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor Ontario. A Brief History It…

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The Hemlock Central – A 30 inch Prototype

The Hemlock Central (legal name was Harbor Springs Railway) was a 2 ft. 6 in (30 inch) narrow gauge railway which consisted of 13 miles of track from Harbor Springs, Michigan to the lumber camps north of town. The railroad was primarily a lumber-hauling operation, although summer vacationing tourists paid…

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Chelsea Milling Company Home of Jiffy Mix

Looking for a prototype industry straddling a main line, try Chelsea Milling Company. Located in Chelsea Michigan, the company produces Jiffy brand mixes since the 1930s. Jiffy was created as the first prepared baking mix in the United States. The company has been family owned and operated since it was…

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Modeling The Celestial Railroad

Last month we took at the narrow gauge Jupiter and Lake Worth Railway aka the Celestial Railroad. This month we will look at modeling the line. The prototype itself is small lends itself very well to a small, operations based layout. There is very little information on the prototype except…

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No 6 Shaft Rock House

Small Layout Ideas – Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad

I recently acquired a copy of the new book, Rock Down, Coal Up – The Story of the Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad by Chuck Pomazal. It did not take me long to read the whole book, cover to cover. I have always thought the Q&TL was an interesting little industrial…

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Old critter abandoned on one of the old industrial sidings.

Small Layout Ideas – The Palmyra and Jacksonburgh Railroad

The area of Michigan that I live in has a colorful history when it comes to railroads. Every major eastern carrier at one time crossed lower South East Michigan through Monroe and Lenawee Counties. This article will take a look at one of the first and a little branch line…

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