Layout Modifications on the New England Berkshire & Western

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The Rensselaer Model Railroad Society has made several modifications to the New England Berkshire & Western layout since the beginning stages. The club devotes their time and energy to the progression of their model railroad. Even after finishing a scene, they continue to research, collect data, and make changes to maintain accuracy.

New England Berkshire & Western Layout Modifications

In part four of the 10-part New England Berkshire & Western series, Allen Keller discusses layout modifications with the Rensselaer Model Railroad Society president Mike Barenys. Allen begins by asking Mike about the progression of scenes that weren’t started in 1987. Less than half of the layout was complete by 1987. The club neared completion over the years. Mike describes the last 10% of the layout as the hardest because it’s never really complete. The club is constantly making modifications to the layout.

One impactful yet simple modification made to the layout is the renaming of structures. The club initially decided to use fictional names to model realistic places. After nearly 7 years, they decided to make big changes to the names on the layout. They interchanged all the existing names with actual historical names. The modeling was originally constructed loosely based on actual places, but with more research they began to accurately depict real places. It was only common sense to name them after the prototype.

The largest modification made to the New England Berkshire & Western layout is the removal of the hidden track. The hidden track spanned under the entire layout and served as storage for cars. The hidden track resulted in numerous difficulties, which resulted in the elimination of the entire section.

As the series continues, part five of the New England Berkshire & Western series offers a step by step tutorial on ballasting track. Learn tips and tricks from the Rensselaer Model Railroad Society on how to create the roadbed and ballasts the track like they did on the NEB&W layout.

Check out our library full of layout planning tips and techniques.