The Nona Meyet Railroad


(All graphics were generated by RR-Tracks v5.3.) These are the plans for two G-Scale layouts started in January, 2018: one indoor and one outdoor.

In September, 2017, I moved from Massachusetts to Aurora. I brought with me about a third of the items that I had been accumulating since staring in G-Scale in 1994 with the BAGRS. Most of this was made by LGB because only their stuff still ran well after 24 years of service.

After Christmas, I started building an indoor layout in the basement and had something running by mid April. By my reckoning, this was my 7th and largest indoor layout to date. In May, 2018, I began the design and construction of an outdoor layout, which went into operation in mid July. This was my 4th outdoor layout.

I did not want to invest either time or money in remodeling the house or its landscape. So, each layout had to fit into the space available for it: the unfinished portion of the basement indoors and the existing garden and patio outdoors. This was a very enjoyable process since, for once, I didn’t need to buy much of anything to get these two projects off and running.

The two layouts are not connected mechanically, but they do share the same DCC system, which is LGB’s MTS with three power supplies, each with it’s own reversing section. Both layouts use the same three power supplies and reversing sections, making simultaneous operation of both layouts possible only with extreme care. (If two trains enter or leave the same reversing section at the same time, MTS cuts all power to the track until it is manually reset. During the open-house, the indoor train will follow a route that crosses no reversing section and thus avoid this problem.)

On both layouts a number of alternative routes are available for trains to follow. With enough operators and remote consoles at hand, both layouts will easily support four or more trains moving simultaneously from pain to point. Without constant attention, the indoor layout will support 4 trains running simultaneously, while the outdoor layout will support only two.

At the moment, neither layout has a name nor does it model a specific road name, location, or era. All of my locomotives and most of my rolling stock is vintage LGB 1:22.5 narrow gauge equipment, so that is the standard on the layout. This equipment has no problem navigating the curves on either layout. I have enough sidings on the indoor layout to accommodate all of the equipment I brought with me from Massachusetts.

All of the track is LGB sectional track with a minimum radius of 600mm. Most of the curves and turnouts outside are the larger radius of 1175mm, but to get anywhere on the outdoor layout, the locomotives and rolling stock still must be able to navigate the shorter radius curves, for 12 to 18 inches at a time. On the indoor layout, most of the curves and turnouts are the shorter radius curves, with a few larger radius curves and turnouts used where space could accommodate them.

There are very few buildings on either layout at the moment, since they were the hardest to pack for moving. I did manage to bring with me a fairly detailed 30’s-era town square, which I have had on most of my indoor layouts. It’s most recent incarnation was in my 2017 Christmas layout, which is documented here. That Christmas layout has now been completely integrated into the indoor layout.

Adding additional buildings, scenery (indoors), scale-appropriate plantings (outdoors), and other track-side decorations will be the main thrust of my efforts from here on out.

This is Flickr collection 72157700117258275.

  • Furnace Division of the Nona Meyet Railroad : The indoor layout surrounds the furnace and hot water heater for the house and has 300’ of single-track mainline, incorporating 4 independent, but interlinked loops ranging in size from 16’ to 80’ in circumference. The longest single route is 150’ long. A total of 465’ of absolutely level track (including 14 sidings) is mounted on 450 square feet of table top at a height of 42” constructed within 772 square feet of floor space.

    Benchwork is 3/4" particleboard on a 1x3 frame supported by 2x4's or 2x2's; strong enough to stand on.

  • Patio Division of the Nona Meyet Railroad : The outdoor layout has 458’ of single-track mainline in a single loop-to-loop configuration. One loop sits on the patio and the other is located under the tree near the front door. From the patio, the mainline descends east to west down into the garden on the west side of the house. It then turns back on itself and runs west to east past the patio and then continues up the east side of the house to the other loop at the front of the house. Maximum grade is 1.5 percent, rising 11.5 inches from the garden up to the patio in 67 feet of track.

    Currently, all of the track in the garden, is mounted on 1x6 pressure-treated decking. As the layout evolves, some of the decking will be replaced by bridges, trestles, and tunnels to heighten the realism of the model.