Learn more about the staging yards and model railroad yard design on Paul Dolkos’s Boston and Maine. North Gorham is open staging and consists of several stub tracks plus a return loop. The return loop makes it very easy to turn trains during an operating session, since you can come in and off the model portion of the railroad, turn the train, drop the cars, pick up new ones, and then have a new train. Open staging model railroad yard design gives access to cars to know where they are, what direction they are going, making it easy to remove or add cars physically from the railroad, and the ability to go through the car cards carefully. This is what makes open staging model railroad yard design enjoyable. For all intents and purposes, it almost makes up another yard on the railroad.
At the south end of the railroad, Paul’s staging is underneath the town of Woodsriver. The issue however, is that it is hidden staging versus open. While it works well mechanically with detectors, when running trains out and back in, it means the train is finished for the session. It is also hard to know exactly where the train is, and what direction it is facing, and it is difficult to get to cars if something should derail.
The town is in lift out sections so he can access underneath, if something goes awry. He can see three of the staging tracks with a mirror that Paul suspended from the ceiling. As Allen Keller says, Paul’s layout is 20 by 20 feet, which is a good size, but not too large. Allen wonders if Paul would have wanted a bigger layout if he could. While Paul would like a bit more distance running between towns to separate the activity centers, the model railroad yard design works for him. Check out our archives for more on model railroad yard design or using visible staging yards on a model railroad.