First, a little background. The Long Island Rail Road was chartered in 1834, and is the oldest continuously running railroad in the nation still operating under its original name and charter. Now primarily a commuter railway, the LIRR played a key role in the development of Long Island from mostly farmland to the suburbia it is today, moving freight to and from New York City. The Oyster Bay Branch comes off the main at Mineola, which is approximately 35 miles east of the City, and travels north and east to the North Shore next to the body of water known as the Long Island Sound. The branch ran through Mineola where I grew up, and I'm excited to bring this to life in O scale. I will be modeling 1948-1957. Steam made its last run on Long Island in the fall of 1955.

Attached is my track plan. In the PDF, the first page is the main part of the layout, and the second page is the staging west of Mineola, which is below the Oyster Bay yard. The staging allows me to turn and store the trains. 

My inspiration to build the Oyster Bay Branch came from an article written by Steve Lynch in the 2004 issue of MR Planning. Dave Keller and Steve Lynch have written two excellent books, The Long Island Rail Road, and Revisiting The Long Island Rail Road. Steve also runs a great site for all train things Long Island at:

Steve and Dave have been very generous with their advice and time regarding my layout. I can't thank them enough for their guidance and friendship.

Thanks for checking it out.






Last edited by Steamfan77
Original Post

This is my room. The column has to stay put. It supports an I-beam, but I can work around it. I'm not an artist by any stretch, that's why I went with the solid blue walls.



























Images (8)
Last edited by Steamfan77

I like commuter rail particularly when it captures something close to home.  One question/comment however.  Do you plan on running this as an out and back?  You have a return loop with staging and you may want to plan for a return loop on the upper level as well.  Otherwise, keep up with the pics, I am looking forward to seeing your progress.

necrails, Oyster Bay is the end of the branch. That's where I'll turn the engines and make up new trains to head West. That's the prototype, so I'll stick with that. I think it adds more operational fun too. The staging yard is only to turn and store trains. There is much more West of Mineola, but I don't have the space . Thanks Peter, I'm excited. I should be done with my first section of benchwork soon. I'll post a few pictures as I go.



Nice plan you have. The Oyster Bay Station looks as I remember it! I rode that turntable as a kid. We use to walk the tracks from Oyster Bay to Mill Neck then on to Glen Cove.

If my memory is correct, they never electrified this line, still remains as diesel.

FlatNickel, your memory is correct. They didn't electrify the entire branch. The Oyster Bay station is the future home of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum. They will be restoring the station, the turntable, and engine #35, a 4-6-0 G5s. I'm lucky, I live on the south Shore, and am able to visit Oyster Bay and Mineola as I need to. 





That's a good track plan. If you do much way-freight switching, you may want to include a runaround track at each switching location.



I hear what you're saying Jim, and it would be more convenient. But I want to stay as close to the prototype as I can. I realize that may mean more work, but I think it will add more "play value". 



The first section of Benchwork is complete. It's official, I have a layout! The section shown is Mineola, where the Oyster Bay Branch comes off the main. I will be using L-Girder, made from 3/4" plywood. The oval holes at the top of the joists are for pocket screws. That's how I will attach the 3/4" top. The larger holes are for wiring. I don't know about you guys, but I can't find a straight 2x4 anywhere. Too much time spent picking through the stacks .





Images (5)
Last edited by Steamfan77

Love the track plan and the early benchwork.  Please keep us posted on your progress.  This one has the potential to be a world-class layout.

You have a good size room there.One question I have is.Did they just have the 4-6-0 steam locomotives or did they have some biger steamers?As for your layout looks like your starting out on the good foot.

Thanks Streak. I believe the biggest they ran was the Pennsy K4s, which typically ran on the main. That engine was too big to run on the Oyster Bay Branch. Oyster Bay and elsewhere also had 2-8-0's (H10s) and they were primarily for freight. 



Thanks trainman, I have my wood shop next to the layout. I'm only a weekend warrior, but I enjoy it. Yardlet6, there is a lot of history on the LIRR. I hope that comes out in the layout.





if the quality of your benchwork is any indicator this is going to be one heck of a layout. I hope you keep posting pictures. Those blue walls are just begging for some beautiful LI beach scenes.


 I spend many of my younger days on the LIRR Ronkonkoma line going into the city.  That was back in the days when they had smoking cars,  bar cars, and some double decker cars.  


Thanks for sharing your work,


Looks great!!  I am a big LIRR fan  I lived next to the Bay Ridge branch in Brroklyn  LIRR owned the yard and car floats and the New Haven ran rectifiers down the branch.  The H10 is probably the hardest MTH steam engine to find  I have been on the prowl ever since I saw one at the TMB club

Looks like its gonna be a great layout to operate, definitely.


Not to get off subject, but Oyster Bay was the first place I had a visit to a locomotive cab.  I was 6 and the loco was RS-3 #1555.  That was back in 1960.  Can still remember my Dad helping me up on steps.



You could add the Beaver Dam Winter Sports Club to the scene.  It is located in Locust Valley.  Not certain that it existed in the period you are building but it would be a nice scene (clubhouse with skating rink) adjacent to the track.  They have a private grade crossing to near the facility.

Thanks Ed. I'll try to show more water by the Jakobson Shipyard area, maybe even a tug sitting nearby. The LIRR had more interesting cars back then, didn't they? I'll keep posting pictures as I go. The benchwork is the easy part for me. It's the rest that will be a challenge .

Ben, what a cool place to live near! Lots of action, I'm sure. My two favorite engines are the MTH G5s (Sunrise Special), and the H10s. I got them from Charlie at Nassau Hobby in Freeport. If you're interested, I'd start there. My white whale is the C-Liner. I'd love to get my hands on one.

Artie, what a great memory from the past! I have a couple of RS-3's for the layout. Nice looking engines. 

PW, I remember reading about that club. I'm lucky, because I live on the South Shore and can visit Mineola, Oyster Bay, and Locust Valley to take some pictures. I have a few of the spur that went into the lumber yard and of course the stations of all three locations. Thanks for all of the encouragement and kind words.



Oh well, timing is everything Ben. I look for a C-Liner every time a catalog comes out. I'll look into Beaver Dam a little closer. Sounds interesting. But definitely check with Charlie for the H10s. If anyone can find it, it's him.



Here is the next section of Benchwork. Haven't been able to get much done with work, etc.












Images (4)

The next section of benchwork is complete. It's where the main comes up to grade with Locust Valley and Oyster Bay. If you look at the PDF in the beginning of the thread, this is the area of the layout that has Kurtz Iron Works, Latham Lumber, etc. This area had more sidings than I'm modeling, and was known to the LIRR folks as "The Hole". I went to Latham Lumber (which is now Riverhead Building Supply) last year, and the track for the siding is still visible in the shed! I'm also putting heavy duty lifting levelers on the bottom of the legs. $25.99 for a pack of four. I had a fair amount, so I only had to buy a few more. From Rockler are a little pricey, but for me, ease of use outweighs cost. 





















Images (6)
Last edited by Steamfan77

Andy Nice design and quality L-Girder bench work. We at the TMB are just starting to put the bench work together on a new 4000 SF layout and we are now locate din Farmngdale, if interested in joining let me know  we would love to have you visit.



I might have a beat on the LIRR H-10 Sunrise special. The one you saw at TMB MIGHT be available



Originally Posted by L.I.TRAIN:

I might have a beat on the LIRR H-10 


Steve, I would also be interested in the H-10 if you have one for sale.

I've been able to get the majority of sub-roadbed down, and have installed Homasote and track for the staging yard. Before I cover the staging area with the Oyster Bay yard, I'll wire it up and test the track extensively.  




















Images (15)

Thanks for the kind words John and Mike. I'm getting more excited with each area I finish. I'm also finding that little adjustments need to be made on the fly. This is a blast!



Add Reply

The Track Planning and Layout Design Forum is sponsored by

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.