Rutland - HO - Alan Palmer

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The plan is to quasi-model a portion of the Rutland's Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain division circa 1960. The portion being modeled is from Ogdensburg, NY to Norwood, NY, a distance of 20 miles. At this point in time the Rutland is on the ropes having not seen the promised traffic upswing into 1960 with the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Traffic is down with no more construction materials for the Seaway and grain and GLF (General Livestock Feed) are a good chunk of the traffic. Coal also is a portion of the traffic with the State Mental Hospital having a coal-fired powerplant and home heating dealers in Ogdensburg and Norwood. The overall goal is to create the FEEL of the operation and visuals, without being 100% constrained to the prototype and therefore getting bogged down in minutia.

Operation will consist of RS1 and RS3's as well as some NYC RS3s for interchange.


   * Room is 17 feet by 16 feet 7 inches.
   * There is a water heater that cannot be moved.
   * Layout height will be a minimum of 48 inches from the ground to clear the front-loading Washer and Dryer that shares the space.
   * There is a set of stairs that cuts a little bit into the space.
   * The door into the room opens to the outside playroom so there is no obstruction
   * Continuous running for interchange line (New York Central) at Norwood, NY
   * Rutland Mainline on lesser traveled line
   * HO Scale.
   * Minimum mainline radius: 27".
   * Maximum mainline grade 2%.
   * The layout will be built and maintained primarily by myself.
   * Layout will be operated by small crew of 2-3 people. 


   * Layout height should be around 50".
   * Needs to have the continuous running interchange line as overhead traffic played a roll in the line
   * Grain terminal and port facilities on St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg important
   * Creamery building in Lisbon (a donut factory in 1960) important as model already kit bashed for it.

Prototype Drawings

Ogdensburg Image:Ogdensburg.jpg

Lisbon Image:Lisbon.jpg

Madrid Image:Madrid.jpg

Norwood Image:Norwood.jpg

Layout Plan Overview I have tried to capture as much as possible in the space I have balancing the need for a longer run with the need to model what I want. Ogdensburg I managed to shoehorn in around the hot water tank partly because of a natural curve in the prototype yard. Continuing around clockwise, there is a 1x4 foldout shelf that the wye goes on. This wye is where loads for the coal power plant for the Mental Hospital will go. I am not going to model the actual hospital or plant, just a place to set out cars and turn locomotives. As I have found out, the turntable in Ogdensburg wasn't used in 1960 so no sense modeling it. The shelf will be removed when not in operation as the washer and dryer is directly underneath.

Continuing on, we get to Lisbon which I know I am not happy with just a siding so I will be changing that out.

Madrid is next and I opted only for one spur because of the space. After Madrid the line disappears in the trees to allow for the curve to run under Lisbon. We are rejoined at the bridge over the Raquette River in Norwood, followed by the team track, and a curve for interchange for the NYC. NYC Line is in green. You'll see the NYC line comes up from staging, crosses the Rutland and then runs along the back. This way I can get some nice interchange action going on plus in 1960 there still was Trackage rights from Norwood to Malone. I cut 2 tracks from the yard leaving me with 3 sorting tracks and one siding that actually is part interchange track with the NYC. These tracks carry onto the Grey area which is the lift out for entry into the room. Both the NYC and Rutland tie up at staging which is underneath Ogdensburg.

My thoughts

I had thought of putting a backdrop in just past the wye and having the rest of the space to model Lisbon more accurately, and leaving more of a run to Madrid in place. Possibly move Madrid to the other side of the peninsula to get both spurs in and allow more of a run to Norwood.

Revisions I have incorporated suggestions from the LDSig list. I have expanded Lisbon, moved around Madrid removing the S Curve, changed the Warehouses in Ogdensburg which lost me a track but allows me to spot to warehouse doors easily. I added a foot to the Cargill elevator and an extra track more like the prototype. In Norwood I straightened out the diamond a little.

Also shown is the planned staging underneath. I have three tracks for the NYC which can feed either side of their line plus two tracks for Rutland to handle the locals from Malone and Alburgh.


I have compromised on some of the curves to 24 inches in places where I can replace when this layout is moved and I have more space. Changed the angle of the wye, widened a couple of aisle so I have a minimum of 30" for aisle but in more places it's 36". Changed the staging, and I know I can fit more tracks in, Just didn't draw them in. There is a vital connection between the Rutland and NYC in that staging so Malone bound trains for the NYC can switch back to the NYC staging component.

Lisbon is the biggest change, with there being a narrower shelf but a more gradual curve to deal with. This also removes one of the grade issues in the previous plan where there was too much transition. After reading Jim Six's article in GMR about the L&IN I like the idea of narrower shelves. I also changed the yard lead/interchange switch at Norwood reversing them so I have more space in the yard. Even though the Yard tracks go 10 inches into the lift out, I don't mind moving cars when the liftout is used. Besides a yard isn't suppose to be "Stuffed" with cars anyways.. right?

There was mention made of the Watertank, it is slated for replacement before that section is built, hopefully I can get a tankless which means I have that much more space and can flatten out Ogdensburg a bit.


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