The Sandy Lake & Northern (model) Railroad

The Sandy Lake & Northern Railroad is an 1890s era layout set vaguely in northern PA (including the Pennsyvania Oil country and the 'big level' mountains in the center of the state) connecting with the Merrimac valley of New Hampshire & Massachusetts. In my imaginary world, New York State is conveniently "elided" :-) Inspirations include Boston & Maine and its precedessors, Vermont Central and the Vermont short lines (e.g. West River RR, White River RR, St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain), Rutland RR, Pittsburgh Shawmut & Northern, New York & New England, New York, Ontario and Western, Delaware & Hudson's Gravity RR interchange in Honesdale PA, Virginia & Truckee and Colorado Midland. I'm particularly indebted to the extensive documentation on the Rutland, CM, V&T and O&W railroads and their rolling stock of this period.

For "Givens & Druthers", the minimum radius is 18" (15" in a few tight spots). Emphasis is on scenery over operations, and freight over passenger. Why 1890s? I don't know, but I've always loved the look of 4-4-0 and truss-rod cars of varying sizes, etc. (And the trains are short, a blessing for a small layout.)

The layout room is a converted storage/furnace room, with the significant advantage of having a sink. The layout is a 'right angle Z', with a yard on one end, the mill scene and future 1890s oil refinery, along with Narrow Gauge transfer in the center, and the main part of town on the other short end of the Z. Things are cramped in this space.

Photo sets:

Here's a schematic of the layout itself.: When I get around to finally operating it, I plan to be flexible about the identity of the railroad for the interchange:

And a sketch of the layout (organized in modules, as described in Early Layout Construction: (I need to redo this sketch, it's badly pixelated...)

The yard/turntable goes in the blob at the top of the sketch. The mill district is about where the text "148 in" appears in the sketch.
All text and photos copyright (c) 2007 by David Emery, President, Chief Engineer, etc, etc, etc. Last modified: Sat Sep 22 20:37:15 EDT 2007