Layout plan

Move the cursor over the layout for a closer view.

The layout room is a modest 16 x 19 feet with the layout running along the walls – 24 inches off the wall.

The Turnout runaround is in Rock Island, IL, and acts as fiddle staging. Moving south the line services three different industries before crossing the Rock River and entering Milan, IL.

In Milan, the branch splits at the town’s namesake depot with part of the line moving east (Eagle Sub) to service a food distributor and a lumber dealer. The other extension continues south (Andalusia Sub), under Interstate 280, and then turns west to service a number of different companies.

Below is a Google aerial view showing the modeled and staging segments of the layout.

Categories: Planning


  1. Scott,

    What a great start you have to what will be a beautiful model railroad! I have wanted to build my own for many years but find myself challenged by the trackplan. I like your track plan, superimposed over what appears to be google earth images. Would you be willing to explain your technique a little bit? It might be a great way for me to break out of my trackplan paralysis! I like the idea of being challenged to model actual industries and details along an actual route.



    • Hi Ben,

      I just realized that I never responded to your question about my layout plan. I apologize as its been months.

      My plan was created using Google map screen captures of the prototype superimposed on a scale layout drawing in Photoshop. If you’d like to know more it may be best to talk directly sometime as it’s easier to explain via phone. Let me know if you’re still interested.

  2. Hey Scott, just checked out your page and I like it. Basically the same as what I am doing, except a little more proto freelance of CN along the north shore of Lake Erie, 1990, with a branch line about 12 miles long. This is my down sizing from major mainline railroading, (that you cannot run yourself properly) while using the same benchwork foot print. Therefore a lot less track with a lot more space! The old saying being used a lot these days, “less is more”. Thanks for the reply on MRH forum.

    • Thanks, Steve.

      Do you have anything online where I could check out your layout?

      • I plan on having a group on Facebook. I started one to show my old layout and how I was going to show the process of changes, but I spent my time making the changes instead of posting them. You can find me on face book and I can include you in the group. Sorry I am not much of a picture guy, but will start to post when things get closer to whatever………I like your idea of using a scale conductor, I do this when I am operating alone, but when I have a few guys over, I use the uncoupling tool to indicate where I am standing. I have made operators back up a train to pick me up, really? they say, and I say yes. Railroads do not work fast, hence the trucking business!

  3. Hey scott are you from the quad cities ? I worked at the eagle distribution center from 79 till it dwindled away in 2003 . Nice to see some one modeling the area. ithink the Davenport area along river drive would be a great area to model also.

    • Hi, Michael.

      No, I live in Ames and have made the 3-hour drive down to Rock Island and Milan to take photos several times. Since I’m modeling the branch in 2003, I’d be very interested to know if the Eagle distribution center still received an occasional car. Do you know if they did? Thanks!

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