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Mark Gionet’s B&M Western Route   September 21, 2019

Article and pictures by Bill Lyders

It had been a long time since I had been to the Mount Vernon area, about an hour from my home in Gainesville, VA. But the visit to Mark Gionet's Boston and Maine Western Route was well worth the trip. The layout has quite a bit of scenery on the two "peninsulas" and the roads/streets are constructed in the two towns to complement the structures in each. I had discussions with Mark about making his trees, building his structures, and most important to me his track [since I am working on my AP Civil certificate]. He had a diesel locomotive with passenger cars slowly and smoothly doing a continuous run around the layout See the picture with the train crossing the bridge.

The big town in the layout was based on Dover, NH and other New England towns. See the picture of a large unique church in the middle of this town. Mark has numerous background scenes around the layout made from New England pictures he and a friend have taken and he integrated with Photoshop See the trees, pond, and backdrop photo next to his small town.

Mark also kitbashed two craftsman kits from South River Model Works as a Paper Mill. See the picture of the mill along a stream in the town. If you want to see some good water construction, take a look at the raceway spilling going by the mill and over a wall next to the mill. There is also an intriguing collapsing "dock" going out into the stream that has sections literally modeled as collapsing into the water. The weathering on this dock is excellent See the dock picture.

Mark said he originally modelled the 1970s but has slowly drifted back in time to the 1950s. The B&M Western has a fiddle yard where he builds and starts his trains and three industrial sidings with turnouts controlled by Bull Frog machines Since I had not seen one in operation, Mark let me operate one of them. His layout is controlled by the NCE DCC system. I had a detailed discussion with Mark and John Paganoni about the scratchbuilt turnouts and some details needed for the Civil AP certificate. The B&M Western is code 83 tracks on the mainline and code 70 on the sidings.

In all it was a very good Open House visit. If you have not made any, try it as the conversation and comradery with attendees and host are very enjoyable.

Last modified: October 31 2019 18:18:33.