Royal Oak and Southern

Stan Knotts

Welcome to the RO&S.  It has been in progress for about 17 years but did not really have a lot of progress until I retired.  It occupies a 17 x 25 foot area and represents a small local carrier with a narrow gauge subsidiary.  The era is 1939 and the locality is generally western Pennsylvania with no specific towns modeled. 

My modeling preferences are prototype freelanced (which means to me that everything should be reasonably prototypical).  I lean towards an industrial theme and thus you see many industries on the layout.  This interest lead me to create the Railroad Industry Special Interest Group (RRI SIG) recognized 19 years ago by the NMRA (information on the SIG is in the lounge area). 

I enjoy building structures and have numerous craftsman kits, scratch built structures and kitbashed structures on the layout.  Many industries are named for friends and family. The layout is controlled by NCE DCC radio control, with most switches controlled by DCC stationary decoders (a work in progress – all switch control panels have been removed).  Turnout switch motors are either Tortoise or Switch Masters. Many engines have sound decoders with all to be sound equipped as time permits.  The lumber drying area of the sawmill is a lift-out to permit me to reach that area.

The are several sound CD’s installed under the layout including harbor sound, sawmill sound and logging area sound.  These CDs are produced and sold by Fantasonics Engineering.  There are additional sounds to be installed and will be changing to solid state players called “Dream Players” so they can be selectively controlled by DCC stationary decoders.  I have also installed two lighted and animated billboards by Miller Engineering with more to be installed.

All structures and scenery have been built by me with a few exceptions where I have included mostly some small structures from my fathers Troll & Elfin railroad – mostly for sentimental sake.

The scenery has been built using a variety of methods, but predominantly uses a cardboard web covered by red rosin paper with hydrocal rock castings and Scupltamold scenery base. Scenic materials are everything under the sun including real dirt and ground leaves.

As you can see, the layout is not complete.  Progress continues somewhat slowly since it is heavy on structures which take more time than scenery.  I will probably never be “finished” as I tend to replace or change items with improved or different ones.  I like building and do not spend much time operating (or in my case running trains).  If I ever felt the layout was “finished” I would probably tear it down and build something different.

I prefer my structures and equipment to be weathered and frequently rusty.  This is also a work in progress and I have not yet tackled weathering the locos.  I have several model bench areas and usually work on multiple projects simultaneously for variety.

In the lounge area is the remnants of an On2 modular layout most of which was dismantled and discarded as I don’t have time to do multiple model railroads.

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