Bryan Kidd’s Chesapeake and Ohio Railway - Alleghany Sub-Division

March 24th 2018

Pictures by Gary Mason, Brian Sheron, and Brian Kidd

Bryan Kidd’s HO Scale C&O Railway, Alleghany Subdivision
by Brian W. Sheron, MMR

After the annual Division meeting on Saturday, March 24th, members were treated to a quadruple-header layout tour bonanza!

One of the layouts on the tour was Bryan Kidd’s HO scale C&O Railway. I had heard great things about Bryan’s layout, but I had not yet had the opportunity to see it. I must tell you that I was not disappointed.

Bryan’s Alleghany Subdivision is set in the early 1950’s, allowing both steam and first generation diesels to operate side by side. As far as layouts go, it is relatively large in size. Bryan said that he started the layout in 2012, so I think he has made great progress in just 6 years! What was most interesting is that Bryan said that he bought the house “for the basement!” He confided to me that once he and his wife moved in, she said to him “When are you going to start your layout?” Many of us only dream of receiving that kind of encouragement and support from our better halves.

Bryan uses a point-to-point track plan that has a double track mainline of about 140 feet. In order to run some of the large steam engines, his minimum radius for mainline curves is about 32 inches. Smooth operation of the large steam engines is further assured by Bryan using mostly number 8 turnouts on the mainline, with a few number 6’s.

Bryan controls his layout, including mainline turnouts powered by Tortoise switch machines, using Digitrax DCC.

The section of the layout closest to the outside entrance to the basement serves as temporary staging using old, but sceniced modules. They will be replaced with permanent benchwork to complete the east end of the layout representing Covington and to provide staging.

The main part of the layout is located in two rooms. The larger room is the main part of the layout (Alleghany, White Sulphur Springs and Roncevert), and the smaller is Hinton yard and staging. Benchwork and track are complete, foam blocks are in place that will form the base for future hills, and some structures are in place; both completed buildings, and cardboard mockups.

What is impressive about the layout is that Bryan is modeling prototype scenes. All around the layout are photos of the actual areas being modeled, and one can easily recognize the trackage and structures in front of you on the layout as being exact replicas of the trackage and structures in the photos.

Bryan is just starting to set up operating sessions, and is using the car card system.

I am hopeful that as Bryan progresses in constructing his layout, we will have more opportunities to observe his outstanding modeling skills.