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


Friday, March 15, 2013


This is a pictorial record depicting the build of the Lyon Valley Northern.  PART 1 shows the railroad development from the bench work, to the roadbed and track work.  The photos show the progress and captions highlight some of the approaches to the build.  With a general plan in mind and a dedication to daily progress a railroad can emerge rather quickly.  Further records will appear in the near future when I have a chance to go through the photos.  This may encourage some to get started.
Part 2 is a pictorial presentation of the progress on the Lyon Valley Northern from April to December 2006.  The show covers further siding builds, backdrop painting, as well as, lots of information on approaches to creating the Port and Starboard coal mines including scenery considerations.  Hamer's Curve Scenery and the building of the Par 3 thirteenth hole on the golf course.
In Part 3, the Lyon Valley Northern is depicted through photos taken during the building of my layout from January to April 2007.  Lots of progress on structures and scenery.  Visitors and operating groups come by and put the layout through its paces.  Ideas about industry locations are bandied about to try to set up an interesting operating scheme.  More backdrop painting and scenery development in Richmond Yard. As well as completion of the Port Mine and golf course area.  Always working from the walls out.
This pictorial record shows progress on the Lyon Valley Northern from May to Oct 2007.  Scenic blocks, numerous structures and a vertical perspective project are demonstrated with step by step photos and captions. New rolling stock and power are introduced.
In this episode the progress moves along the back wall.  Additional structures are built.  Step by step painting of the backdrop in Shelby.  Adding scenic materials into Shelby Yard.  Also there are a few photos of the Friday Night Group.
In this part in 2008, scenery making is explained as I completed the area along the back wall in Shelby.  The farm is started in the other corner.  The beavers get their pond and I build my first wood lasercut craftsman kits.
From Nov 2008 to Nov 2009, I had the opportunity to work in the Edmonton Yard and terminal Area.  The focus was in creating depth using buildings, trees and scenic blocks.  Also this is the year Switcherama was introduced.  There is a pictorial record of building the cattle feed pen and barn yard on a base with ideas for farm detail/scenery.  As well as craftsman Structure Elspeth Tower is built in honour of my eldest daughter who was serving in a field medic in a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan.
The Spring of 2010 was full of operations as well as adding Newby Chemical Storage and Walton's Lumber distribution.  Storage tanks are assembled and painted while the beginnings of the BNSF servicing area are dry-fitted.  This was a busy time for me as I had other commitments to module construction, craftsman structure dioramas and painting backdrops and figures for friends.  nevertheless there always was time to run trains.  After all..."Every day is train Day".,

Sept - Oct 2010 was a busy time on the LVN.  Numerous projects were undertaken in the Shelby Area.  BNSF servicing was completed, the Grain Elevators were weathered and planted.  Farmer's Co-Op siding was installed.  The highlight is a blow by blow description of a scenicing process used in the creation of "Swamp Lake" and "Radio Hill".
This segment features scenes around the layout, some roster shots as well as the building of the Shelby Station area.  Some ideas on using wood stains for craftsman structures are highlighted, as well as details are shown that tell a story.  FOS scale Tower One, The Rooming House and City Station were used to create the scene.    For Christmas I got curtains.  My wife Lela previously painted the benchwork grey to match the ceiling and now sewed matching grey curtains which went a long way to hide the clutter under the layout and formalize the room.  The grey ceiling, layout edge curtains and carpet all come together to create a cheerful environment.


Blogger jgotts said...

Thanks for sharing Chris! I think I tuned in around 2010. So, seeing the earlier developments was very interesting.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Great series of videos, Chris. You have an excellent chronicle of the layout through the years there, and much progress has occurred!

I was at the Kingston Rail O Rama and saw you there, but I didn't make it over to that side of the room to chat. I was busy manning my table with my VIA Rail books and other 'treasures', but I hope you had a good time at the show as I did.

Thanks for sharing these videos!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Chris Lyon said...

Thanks for the encouragement guys. Eric I saw you at the show as well but was very busy. Hope to see you at Ottawa Train Expo on 4/5 May 2013.

1:23 PM  

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