This is the best overall view of my main layout space. The main peninsula is about 5 by 9 feet. It is connected along the back wall to both an engine yard and a freight yard. These yards are along the right side of the picture. The freight yard actually extends through a wall past the right hand side of the picture. This allows me to stage trains of 10 or 12 cars without having to break them up. 12 freight cars is about the most I add to a train on this layout due to short radius curves and steep grades.
This is a view from in the aisle where we usually operate the trains from. Johnstown Station is on the lower tier and an as yet unnamed stone cutter is on the upper tier. Vehicle access to the stone cutter is under the bridge, around an extremely tight corner and up the ramp on the other side of the tracks.
This is a view down the right side of the peninsula. The B&M trailers aren't really right for my era, but my typical visitor doesn't know the difference. Actually I'm not even sure if they are based on a prototype or not! The farmhouse and station are lighted which the typical visitor always gets a kick out of.
This is the left side of the peninsula. Pretty much the only thing here is the gravel plant, pasture for cows and a wooded hill. I like the feel of openness it gives the layout. If you look very closely you might get a glimpse of a bear breaking into a camp on the hill. If there was one major thing I might have done different here, it would have been to combine the two tunnels into one double track looking tunnel entering the hill.
The Thomas Gravel sign is the only custom sign I have produced so far. It was printed on a laser printer. The paper was then sanded thin from the back. Finally it was glued to the gravel plant with lots of thinned white glue. The sign was inspired by the sign on the Boston Sand and Gravel plant seen just north of Boston from I-93. The second picture is a recent photograph of that plant.
This section will be the mill town and is not very far along. I'm just starting to construct some buildings for it.
My yard extends through the wall and into a space occupied by our furnace and hot water heater. A bit of hassle to switch the yard, since you sometimes have to walk around the partition to the furnace area. However it is well worth it, because I can much more easily store and switch my trains with a bigger yard. The track is not perfectly straight, but so far it is good enough for my purposes. I never had any plans to drywall back here until my railroad popped through the wall. Now it is a distinct possibility. I use a biscuit joiner to join the pieces of plywood I use for subroadbed. I can't image what I would do without it, though I don't recall ever hearing anything about other model railroaders using one. You can see one such joint in the foreground of this picture.
This is a close up of my favorite locomotive. This is because I painted and detailed it, myself. I have a couple of nice Lifelike and Atlas ready to run models, but so don't a thousand other folks. No one has a Guilford GP40-2 like this one. Actually Guilford doesn't either, since they have a GP40, not a dash 2. It's not quite accurate in many details and I have bunch of improvements I've been thinking about, but that is what makes model railroading fun. I've really got to change the red pilots and slow plow, though. The second picture is an actual photo of Guilford number 515 for comparisions sake. It shows I have a ways to go on this model.