Large Scale Central

Building the Kittatinny Mt RR

I was able to escape from house chores today and broke ground on the new Kittatinny Mt RR. The area I am using is an existing flower garden to build the railroad in. The first thing was to rip out all the bushes and trees that were in the area. Then I had to tear all the Vinka vines that had overtaken the area. This took a good part of the day.

Measurements were taken of the area. I came up with an area of approximately 37ftX20ft. The one end has to be brought up about 1ft.

My next step was to start getting rock along the new property and build up the areas that will have to get back filled in. A friend of mine has a dirt bank at home that I can get fill from to raise the one end up.

A few reasons why I chose the area:

  • Easy access to garage (door comes out to layout)

  • I can replace garage side door light with a spot light for night running

  • I can relaxe on the deck while watching the trains.

-Leaves in the fall wont be as much as an issue

View looking up at deck

The walkway in the photos will be torn up and replaced with a more natural looking walkway, stepping stones. There will be a walkway along the garage side for easy access to the high end of the layout.

I made a rough sketch of the track plan with measurements. If anyone is bored and wants to convert my plan into a computer program I wont oppose it. The red dashed lines is my proposed track plan. If anyone has better ideas please let me know. It is open for discussion.


-Minimum of 8ft dia curves

-set up for Roundy round

-I want to limit the main line with no more then 4 switches (2 for a long passing siding, 1 or 2 for a yard/steam up area.

-I have about 150ft of track to play with. I can go over that if needed but rather not.

-the area where the well head is will be kept at that level and built up around it. A trestle will be used in front of well and the area will be all stone. This allows access to the well if need be in the future.

-Keep live steam in mind

Here is the track plan. I want to make it interesting with curves. Lets hear everyone’s ideas. Vic I would love to see if you have some track plans to fit the area. The area to the left on track plan has a curve to it. This area is flexible and can be brought out more if needed (I would rather keep it at the 20-25ft wide) The middle sides I want to try and bring in more if it can be done with 8ft dia.

I know I moved up to real paper and not napkins lol…

Lets hear the ideas.

There is a lot of inside space there, enough for a respectable town, or a small logging or mining operation.

You say 8 foot curves, but the logging operation line, where it cuts off after the tunnel on the right side of the plan, looks like its going to a bit tighter then 8 foot. Of course if its only for the logging trains, then a smaller curve would be acceptable.

I dunno. track plans are kind of personal things, so I don’t try to interject too much when it comes to them. But are you sure the yard will be big enough where its placed?

Looks good Shawn, Leave a portion for wood trestle.

David its just a rough sketch with track placement. I really don’t know what will fit in the area. I wish I had a program that can take my layout area and put in a track plan with the proper dia curves. The track plan is very flexible at the moment. Im just throwing one of many possibilities. The logging camp siding can be brought down to fit 8ft dia curves into it. Ideally I want to incorporate either the main line or the camp siding into the empty area.
Hopefully Vic will see something. He has a great idea when working in smaller areas.

Ron Tremblay said:

Looks good Shawn, Leave a portion for wood trestle.

Thanks Ron the area in front of the well head will be all trestle. Similar to what I had on my old layout. long and not too high.

Something to keep you busy this cold winter.

Remember that Miks Build Challenge 2015 will also take up January. You will look out at all the snow and dream of using your build.

Looks like a great spot for the new railroad. Best get cracken’- old man winter is coming soon! Good luck, we’re all counting on you…


Ah the Blank Slate… frustrating to some but it looks like you have a good plan there.
I agree with David M that it looks like your yard might be a bit short.

You have lots of room in the middle so why not add a secret line shaped like an S with a C attached to it. This snake could be attached to the main at the top and bottom of your diagram and would create a half loop without a short circuit.

Or you could add a inner loop say along the bottom of your sketch that would meet up with the main along the right hand side and you could put in a cross over. this way you could run 2 trains at once and introduce what I call train races to your RR. Run 2-3 engines and one is gaining on the other send it into the inner loop then back out again. It can get crazy especially at night.

Just a few ideas.



Try this out for a computer track planner.

I have used it and it is not too difficult to learn

It is NOT AUTOCAD ,but it IS free. probably all that you need to better visualize

your track plan and see what fits and what won’t fit.

I hope this helps


you have kids, you need another loop :slight_smile: in the middle…lotsa open space for a middle roundy-round or figure 8…great looking space BTW! Congrats on the move!

PS: Whats with the milk jugs?

Good location, you could even run a track through the garage wall for a storage yard. Less handling of your rolling stock and even have a steam up track in there as well.

If you are planning for a trestle near the well, I would make it removable, just in case you need access to the pump or wiring. Removing a pump you’ll need a lot of empty space, so don’t restrict your access to it.

Anyrail is another free track planning program. I use RRTrack v.5. It’s not free but it has a good library of most sectional track brands and Piko buildings.

Yup I like the idea of a steam up track in the garage. I would even add a small window, so I could keep an eye on things on those cold winter days.:wink:

I would stay to the inside of the well head, you never know when you will need access to it, Ours died a month after we moved in.

I would also add a second loop, but that is just me.

How many times do you have to be told to put your tricycle away when your done riding it.

Well, Shawn, aside from the wider radius curves, your new trackplan looks similar to the old one, so you must have been happy with that. The advice from Ken and Nico about keeping the wellhead outside the tracks is very sage. If things can go wrong, they will… You can dress up the pipe as a water tank or cover it with rocks or a building…

A steam up track, and a window in the garage sounds great - will save a lot of time in colder weather, and give you some added comfort.

As you know, I’d elevate the track myself, but then I’m built pretty high off the ground myself, and I have a stiff old back!

You’re going to have another great railroad. I believe in simplicity myself, as you may have noticed. Good luck with all this.

I doubt that you really need computer-aided assistance of any kind. Just get the curves right and lay the track where you want it!

I hope you and Desirée and the Viggiano sprouts enjoy your new home!

Thanks guys. I can try to rework the track to the inside of the well head. My plan is to make that section of track removable. I think no matter what side the track is on it will have to be removable if well work ever has to be done. That’s why I plan on making that entire corner a dry wash with stone and the track removable. In my 30+ years of having a house with a well we only had to get the pump replaced once, knock on wood (that was the house I grew up in) Hey the real railroads have rip up track or pipelines etc… Its all part of the fun for me.
I have to thank Ken for putting a track plan together. I really like his plan because it uses 10ft dia curves and has a nice flow to it. I posted it before but not sure what happened to that post.
As of now this is the plan to go with some tweaking once I start laying track.
Keep the ideas coming. Im getting lots of good ones on and off the form


Well done, Ken. You did no dishonor to Shawn’s original sketch.

I like where this is going, my only suggestion would be to put a link between the inner and outer section to create a reversing “Loop or a Wye type” section. just to the left of the word “deck”. Do you have any idea of the drainage needed from the house area off the RR?

If you would consider going under the deck by the stairs you can reduce foot traffic across the railroad.
I would move the passing siding switch just below the stairs on Ken’s track plan, and come out on the other side of the stairs

It would also mak a point of interest, as a tunnel.