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Nice scene. However, just a little FYI. Having worked in the salt industry, I can tell you that salt is never shipped in open hopper cars. It is always shipped in covered hoppers or boxcars to protect it from the elements. What building did you use in addition to the Menards salt plant? The other building looks right at home for an older mine.


Hi Jeff, I’m not really sure what the building is. I bought it used at a hobby store. It is actually an HO structure but I installed O gauge doors to repurpose it.  Just a note, I have many Morton closed hoppers, as well as Morton boxcars that the running train that runs through this area pulls. Your info. is well received though. I guess I’ll just say the open ore cars are for underground transport only. Sound ok? Thanks.


@JDFonz posted:

Nice Straphanger,  I always say anyone can build a layout, but the real talent is building a layout under the layout! 👍

Exactly, JD - as you’ve done so well with your salt mine. I’m surprised more people don’t take advantage of that under layout space and do the same. When there’s no room to expand horizontally, building below is the only logical (and necessary) option.

Nice work on the mine scene JD. The only things under my layout are file cabinets and train storage. I claimed the air rights over the cabinets when the building permits were issued.

2018-01-30 19.49.00

2020-08-23 19.42.40

Next layout will have a subway. Growing up on Long Island and traveling to Manhattan for years, it's a requirement.



Images (2)
  • 2018-01-30 19.49.00
  • 2020-08-23 19.42.40

"Do you have anything “under your layout”? I built a salt mine under mine. Show me what you have."

Love the salt mine - unique and great work. Is there any history as to why you picked a salt mine? Just curious.
I have a small Lionel layout under a small American Flyer layout, and a subway station under my main layout. Both of these are highlighted in recent posts and pics on my website ( ).
Under the rest of the layout are display cases. Boxes are stored behind them.

JDFonz, that salt mine complex is awesome, very artistic.

Having run out of "above grade" space, I too have contemplated modeling the underworld; and, I thought of modeling an underground cityscape, a small area however that could only be about 2' x 3'. The idea was motivated by Seattle's underground city, ostensibly buried during a late 19th century earthquake, and they built a new city on top. Kolchak's Night Strangler episode also inspired me, the scenes of the underground were eerie.

While not exactly under my layout, I am currently working on building a seashore scene under a long truss's taken me all summer and am finally seeing it to completion.

Last edited by Paul Kallus

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