It can be easy to get wrapped up in the appearance of a model train layout, but operation design is an aspect worth studying. Layout scenery planning and design can take an abundance of time and effort, but the most remarkable layouts give careful thought and planning to the operations as well. Understanding railroad operations and recreating it in your own design will greatly improve the realism of the layout. Close examination and analyzation of other model railroad operations may offer some guidance, and the operations of the Chesapeake & Ohio layout is a good place to start.
Operations on the Chesapeake & Ohio
In part two of the 11-part Chesapeake & Ohio series, Allen Keller examines the operations of the the model railroad created by Mike Burgett. He narrates the actions of the local as it travels through the double deck design. Thanks to expert operations, the mainline seems to extend for miles and miles across the mountains of Virginia.
The local makes its way through many different towns on the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad. It crosses bridges, makes its way through tunnels and passes many structures along the way. The local begins in the town of Stapleton and passes by the Thompson’s store. It then chugs along the tracks through vast open farmland where cows graze the pasture. Next, the local cruises over the Opossum Creek Bridge where old white farm homes and busy ranchers fill the scenery. The local winds up in the Sandy Hook Yard after making its way around the James River Curve. The next three stops are Washington Street, Lynchburg and Coleman. The local makes its way through a few more towns, a depot, and team track before crossing the Jackson River Bridge. It stops for clearance at JD Cabin before ending up at the Clifton Yard.
Allen provides a comprehensive breakdown of the operations of Chesapeake & Ohio. You’ll learn through a detailed description of the track layout and the trains that run on them. The operations of this layout are truly inspiring and monumental.