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Greetings everyone,


With a new shed recently installed in the garden and the necessary electrical and insulation works soon to be completed there is no time like the present to start work on my US outline layout - Cambridge Heights.


For the last few years I've been the part-owner / operator of an N-gauge exhibition layout called Moose Lake Canyon. Whilst the layout has been great fun to operate, its size at 16' x 3' made it impractical for us to set-up anywhere other than at exhibitions. Increased transport costs - van hire charges - has certainly reduced the number of invitations we have received, with the added side effect of the layout not being seen by other potential exhibition managers! As a result of this I want to build a medium sized portable layout that will fit in the back of a medium sized car.


The project is to build an 8' x 1' (excl fiddle yard) shelf style layout which is to be based in / around the Blue Island district of Chicago. I have an interest in CSX, IHB, BNSF and METRA so this is an ideal location to base the layout on. Unlike the previous layout, I wanted to have a small yard that I could 'switch' and 'spot' cars. The added bonus of no height restrictions will now enable me to operate autoracks, double-stacks and more importantly the recently released METRA passenger sets!


I intend to install adjustable shelving along two sides of the shed, so this and my other 'work in progress' layout will have a permanent home.

Despite only two of them being shown in this picture, I've now got the three baseboards I need built and ready to go. Nothing overly fancy, just sturdy traditional baseboards.




I decided to use the AnyRail software package as a change to my trusty pencil and paper. I've spent a good few evenings now tinkering with various ideas and with probably go with something like this.





I then printed out the plans 1:1 scale and laid it out with some stock to make sure it all fits. It didn't, so a little more tinkering is required!








Well that's where I am so far. Once the shelving is in place then progress will step up a gear.


A little more info on the project (along with photos) can be found here at :- http://cambridgeheig...blogspot.co.uk/

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Have got two of the three Atlas GP40's that were produced in IHB livery a few years back. My mate has the third one that I will ask to 'borrow' when the layout goes live!

Same goes for the Atlas extended vision caboose produced about 4 years ago.

Bluford shops are producing a transfer caboose this year, so I've a couple of them are on order aswell!

Shame no-one does an SW1500 in 'N', as a couple of them would go down a treat. Will have to use my CSX MP15 as a stand-in.

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