Allen Keller has never seen such a large staging yard in a home layout like that on Tom Harris’s Lakeside Lines model railroad. The staging yard completely circumvents the layout itself. This makes it about 30 feet by 35 feet in an oval. It is large and is divided into two yards, one for eastbound trains and one for westbound trains.
The secret to successfully designing a staging yard is throwing around many signs. In the end Tom had to have something that was convenient. So this yard is double ended, in fact both of the yards are double ended. This is really convenient for bringing a train out. Anytime he wants a train he just looks on his board to see where his trains are, dials in that track and brings the train out. This means that any train is available to him at any time.
Putting in the cameras was a big security blanket for one thing, because he could look at the screen and know where his train is and know what actually goes on the track and know what actually is running.
Tom goes on to demonstrate how that works. There are four cameras around the room in the most critical locations. One camera is located on each end of the east and westbound staging yards and two more cameras are located over where two staging yards meet on the other side. A train goes through Frost Tunnel and enters the staging yard area. The train entering the staging yard can be seen on camera two.
To see the cameras in action watch the full video, and watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroads in the Model Railroad Academy archives.