another layout treat for those prepared to venture into Montgomery
County on a Saturday with excellent turnout from across the Division!
Benenati’s Maryland Junction is an operator and visitor friendly
basement layout that has lots of operational interest as well as scenic
vignettes for the sharp-eyed. It is a multi-level asymmetrical oval
track plan (I counted 4 levels) based on one in Model Railroader Track
Plans #39. It has subtle changes in gradients along with lots of
operational interest, including a turntable.
were interesting scenic breaks integrated into the different levels
that had me looking around the corner to see what was coming next.
Frank had an operations crew running trains who were all prepared to
slow trains down or stop for a chat. The operations seemed to keep the
crew occupied, not surprising given the different depot locations and
layout has two impressive high trestles over a river gorge, one wood,
the other iron, and five steel deck bridges over roads and rivers, with
what looked like some interesting action going on underneath, plus an
additional girder bridge.
track work was superb, with mainly ready-to-run turnouts suitably
modified to a very high standard. There were also hand operated
switches, most using mechanisms from Fast Tracks in Canada. And
although the layout is DCC, the locomotives were operating without
sound -- a nice change. Coal mine to domestic coal yard, milk churn
platform to Model T truck, it kept me occupied all afternoon.
should catch it in its current form while you can. Frank has expansion
plans afoot to increase the operational and scenic interest. Many
thanks to Frank and the operations crew for an entertaining layout tour.