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Just published latest layout update/overview video.   I go into detail about using various foam products to elevate track and create inclines.   More Potomac river railroad bridge history and inspiration.   Finally some train running action featuring recently added B&O, C&O and N&W engines.   I've gotten a lot of new subscribers since my Greenbrier video.   Will be trying to publish new videos twice a month.   Let me know what you want to see.   I've got the 'new train' bug bad now that I have a working layout.   Might go to York to meet other Youtubers (and buy trains ;-) do great work! Love your are a great teacher!


Peter, thanks I really appreciate the compliment.   I used to teach a computer mapping (GIS) software class at the local University.   I enjoy sharing my project via YouTube since I don't know any local train guys.   I enjoy other peoples detailed descriptions of how they built there layout.   Before YouTube there was CD's and I really enjoyed ToyTrainsOnTrack Black Diamond Railroad series by Rich Battista.

@Bill Park posted:

Great start on what looks like a very interesting layout. I think it will be spectacular when the scenery is done Nice track plan, interesting to watch.

Bill, what you see is just phase 1.   I have an extension I've already planned that will increase main line track by about 30-40%.  That's the reason I used O-63 on inner loop so I could 'twist and fold' the dog bone in area near Potomac river.   Will post plan once I buy additional track.  I promised I wouldn't start on expansion until I got some of scenery done on East (viaduct) side of layout.

@Chugman posted:

It's really looking good, Ken!  I enjoy seeing your progress.  I love scenery and obviously so do you.


Chugman, I think of model trains as actors and scenery as the set.   A beautiful setting will make the ugliest actor look better.   My goal with this layout is to make scenes that are recognizable by their prototypes.   Unlike HO and smaller scales, it is challenging to represent O scale scenery in the space that most of us have.   For example the prototype Potomac river bridges on my layout are 2.5x wider.   Thanks for the compliment.

Another Lionel engine!   What happened to the MTH guy!?   I'll tell you...  I discovered that I can run TMCC effectively and cheaply with my DCS remote.   Since adding TMCC to the layout last year I've added 5 Lionel engines.  The TMCC engines are great values too, I paid no more than $800 for any of them.  All except the Legacy Chessie Greenbrier are TMCC (I run the Chessie with LionChief app and TMCC).   This C&O F19 Pacific has Railsounds 5 and honestly more detail than some MTH Premier and Lionel Legacy engines I have.   Check it out:

Please like and subscribe.   I'm trying to build the channel with my new layout.

Testing continues with my WM M2 Challenger 4-6-6-4.   As the name of engine implies it has 'challenged' some of my layout design decisions.   The swing out boiler of articulateds don't like S-turns or curves into bridges/tunnels (needs at least a 10" straight beforehand or boiler will clip bridge).  Atlas track is 4.5" on center which is barely enough to avoid the swing out boiler when it is on the inner curve.   On the plus side, several of my MTH articulateds (Challenger, Allegheny, Class A) will negotiate O-63 (my smallest mainline curve) without derailing.

Last edited by Obsidian

Mark, you'll be glad to know that I've decided to extend the layout to Cumberland.   I originally was going to Martinsburg but with a handful of WM engines (expecting the Lionel 1309 next year) Cumberland was a better destination.   Besides the MTH passenger station that I already have closely resembles the Cumberland station.

The extension will turn my existing dogbone plan into a twisted, folded dogbone.   It'll add about 50% to mainline which will make runs a lot longer.  I had planned on waiting till I did some scenery but that would require nailing down track.   Testing has revealed that I need to completed track plan to make sure all fits in room.   Trying to include a O72 loop for Texan, EM1, Turbotrain, etc.

Hey Mark, I've got the WM itch bad.   It gets worse during York week :-)

Glad I bought these new MTH WM coal hoppers.   Didn't realize MTH had added so much detail to newer models.   700 subscribers!   If you haven't subbed yet please do.   It really helps my channel and encourages me to make more content like this.

Ken Holbert's Trains

Added a wiring panel to organize my track power and command control components.   Simple but very satisfying project that will enhance control of layout power and improve wire management.  No progress on real scenery or making track permanent since I plan to start expansion this winter.   Expansion will shift some existing track alignments.   Will post a track plan expansion vid soon.   Please subscribe if havent already.   I truly appreciate and welcome your feedback.

Last edited by Obsidian

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