Lyon Valley Northern

This site is designed to promote the hobby of ferroequinology. It also provides an opportunity to show the development of the "Lyon Valley Northern": an HO railroad featuring CN and BNSF action in the West. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments at

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Passing Siding in and Container Terminal Started

Friday was a hoot at Mike Hamer's. We ran trains on the old Boston and Main and had a great time in the lounge munchin' on his home made muffins and sippin' tea. Really keeps you regular:) Also, I thought the rumble we experienced might have had something to do with it or it was a big audio sound on the video that Fred brought UP route (10 locomotives on one train to get up the 3+% grade), but it was an earthquake. Ya really... I then had a great time showing the guys my slides from the eighties. BC Hydro, BC Rail lightning Bolt and EXPO, Kennecott Coppers, Onieda and Western, Santa Fe, Chessie, VIA,TH&B,CBDC,CP and of Course CN. From Halifax to Vancouver. Really got me in the mood to lay the passing siding for the outside main on the Lyon Valley Northern on Saturday. The first picture shows the route to the right of the outside main and the turnouts at the yard throat. The unfinished track below goes to a coal mine. There is an unfinished run-around track next to the passing sidung. Sunday was an afternoon and evening cutting floor tile which happens to be a great match for weathered cement for the container terminal. Laying it in place gives me a good perspective on where the track will go and how the crane will fit over the rail to lift containers for the waiting trucks trailers. Progressive cutting and placing gave me a super project for this week. Track laying will then stop and I will begin building some structures so I can get a better perspective for the sidings, mines and grain terminal locations. That way I can figure how I want to build the background flats and foreground buildings to give the scenes some depth. The other photos show angles on the new container facility from each end. It sets next to the passing siding for the outside main.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The double track Mainline is finished

What a weekend. I spent hours adding 3 ft sections and turnouts to complete the outside mainline. Pictures below depict CN5501 leaving the east end of the classification yard and you can see the yard lead on the left and the double track main on the right. CN5501 is on the inside main right hand running. The second photo shows a meet on the two mainline tracks in the yard. The tank car train running east and the BNSF coal drag heading west. The final shot is the same two trains meeting at the crossover east of the classification yard and west of the visible staging yard.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 Railfan Photos Link

Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!

The pictures below indicate CN2573 eastbound near Hinton Alberta. The second shot is a CP RS18 at Guelph Junction Ontario. She is scrap parts for the Ontario Southland RS18s. The third picture are GMD1s pulling a string of grain hoppers from an elevator through the streets of Saskatoon taking them to the main yard. The final picture is a CPR AC4400 West bound at Carberry Manitoba. An interesting location on the CP Main there is a diamond with a CN branch near the ADM seed mill not to mention the steam era water tower.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The visible staging yard is in February 2006

Well it was a busy week and I had the great fun putting in a eight track staging yard. This puppy is a real challenge trying to keep the flex track as straight as possible and move forward to get it done. This is the last big task as now I must fill in the blanks of the outside main. Outside arrival departure, container terminal mines and a grain terminal and a few boxcar tank industries:). I can feel the excitement as it will soon be on to structures and scenery. Here are a few photos of the staging progress.

Tomorrow night it is off to OVAR where we will enjoy another great evening of food, displays, presentations and time with good friends.

Hey I understand that Mike has a new blog for his layout. Wow this is great fun. Well done Mike. Soon all the gang will have one.

Here is a shot of a grain train pulled by two RS18s that were modified from the old Atlas KATO RS11s. Lots of fun. great hobby.

This yard will be home to three grain elevators, passanger station and a three track engine facility. This is the junction to the coal mine in one direction and the industrial area and container terminal out the other end.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Fridaynight Group First Operating session January 2006

Well it has been 20 days since the first bit of track went in. The Friday night gang came to visit. We enjoyed operating the time saver. It was interesting to see the approaches taken. Every move made changed the parameters for the next pair. In the mean time others operated the newly completed inside main and classification yard. They had fun with the unit BNSF coal train, the Grain train and double stacks.

Here is a shot of the classification yard with Overland's latest BC Rail release in the view.

The Fridaynight group are great guys. We visit each others model railways and share interests in the hobby. Lots of activities here in Ottawa as well. We take part in OVAR has 175+ members and meet once a month to have dinner, and have a presentation on a railway related topic.

The NMRA is alive and well. The Saint Lawrence division located in the Ottawa area is very active with layout tours and clinics every month.

Started laying track in the timesaver January 2006

Remember the center was a 12 foot section. I had built a time saver previously which was great fun. Based on an excellent New York port design I had to have it as there were two classification tracks a run around and three industries built on the basis of five siding in each direction. My concept was to have a lumber industry on the west end and an oil refinery and cement plant on the east end. Anyway it was great fun. I used PECO code 75 track layed on underlay cork that comes in roles 50 ft by 4 ft. I got the track from cherry creek hobbies in the US They were nice folks who offered excellent service at a great price.

The picture you see above is looking west. You can
see I made a further addition of a small engine and caboose servicing facility to the south. It takes aproximately 2.5 hours to switch 17 cars in and 17 cars out as most moves can handle only two cars at a time. Not often can you see a time saver where the car sizes very from 50-80ft. The shed in the foreground sets the yard limits when the competition is on, however when we are operating the lead extends around to the large classification yard. The picture on the right shows the beginnings. Three classification tracks, an arrival departure track and an inside main. The s curve adds the sense of size and provides an interesting profile for the trains. As you can see I enclosed the waterpipes and created a scenic backdrop which divides the room nicely. You cannot see everthing at once. You can see some of the cork. The way I layed the track this time was quite different. I painted the right of way black, applied 100% white glue. Layed the track and covered with ballast. I then vacumed up the ballast when dry which left just a thin layer in all the right places. No cleanup of the track either:) Thanks to Jim for this suggestion.

Next Came the lights December 2005

One of the big issues for me was to have great lighting as I am in the basement and it is difficult to enjoy the hobby if you feel your in the dark. Based on advice from a good friend Richard, I purchased floresent bulbs that were specifically designed by Phillips to be used in Hospitals to help treat folks with SAD. They are twice as bright 40 W rating and based on what the electrician said draw very little power. I installed 24 double bulb fixtures and placed them along the benchwork so they were centred nine inches from the front. This reduced shadows and ensured great coverage. The natural colour is amazing and I really do feel great going to work down there on the dark winter days.

Here is a second shot of the lights.

Putting in the Benchwork November 2005

I started to work in a triangular room by taping the floor to establish where the benchwork could fit giving adequate space for walkways. It became an around the room concept with a centre 12 foot extension. My idea was to have a double track main with major classification yard industries and a double ended visable staging area. I went with 2x4 consrtuction which greatly reduced the cross bracing and enabled the drilling of holes for wire. The top was 3/4 inch particle board giving a good solid foundation for the layout. The 2x4s were cut and fitted in 8' by 34" sections where ever possible and the legs were cut to fit a 48" height off the floor. The legs were doubled with one part attached on the inside to the bench work and the other underneith the benchwork to maximize support. I used three inch deck screws for the 2/4s and 2 gyprock screws for the particle board.