Prototype Trackplan: Sn2 K&DR (Part 6: Kingfield too)



In prior posts I wrote about the prototype Kingfield and Dead River Railroad (K&DR) and created several layout concepts for Gary’s K&DR. In the last post, two design concepts seemed best for representing Bigelow, the northern terminal of the K&DR. In this post I’m trying to add an “acceptable” Kingfield into those designs. Kingfield is the southern terminus of the K&DR. I use the term “southern” loosely, as the K&DR was railroad on paper only. It never had engines or rolling stock. All operations were run by the F&M and later by the SR&RL.


Initially, the F&M railroad built directly into the Kingfield. The covered depot was at the south east end of town. Quite likely there was a cross-over beyond the depot to allow locomotives to escape their trains and head for the turntable. This “early Kingfield” map was fudged from the 1916 map. For reference purposes I call this the “depot yard”.

When the Franklin and Megantic (F&M) built into Kingfield, the railroad proceeded straight to the south end of town. No concern was giving for expanding further North. When built, the railroad probably consisted of only the railroad yard at the Depot as in the image above. Turnouts were probably beyond the depot so that a passenger train could pull into the covered depot, then the locomotive could escape to the engine house and turn. Then the passenger loco connected to the south end and returned south to Strong.

At some point in time, mills were built and a small yard was added south of the “depot yard”. I call this second yard the “F&M yard” as it was on the original F&M line into Kingfield.

Later, Mills were built along the tracks headed into Kingfield and a small “F&M yard” emerged south of the depot. To avoid having the freight trains run-around through the depot, the “F&M yard” had a run-around. At this time, the run-around at the depot may have been removed, resulting in passenger trains being backed out a run-around in the “F&M yard”. Although, the depot run-around may have still been required incase freight cars were in the “F&M yard”. At this time, the passenger car shed may have been added too.

When the K&DR built north from Kingfield, it could not start at the existing end of the line, as the end of line was “in” Kingfield. So the “Kingfield Switch” was added 1/4 mile south of Kingfield. From there the K&DR branched north to follow the Carrabasett River. To support operations north the “K&DR yard” was added on the line north. This map shows the trackage of 1916. By this time, the cross over was removed from the “depot yard”. It may have been removed some time earlier.

Once the K&DR built from the Kingfield switch, north towards Bigelow, the dynamics of Bigelow changed. Passenger trains no longer turned in Kingfield. instead they back out of the station to the Kingfield switch and headed north on the K&DR. Without the need to turn passenger trains, the escape cross-over became obsolete at the “depot yard”. Thus the cross-over was likely removed and the tracks were dedicated to the Winter store and off-line industries (as a team track).

Likewise, the freight trains would be heading on up the K&DR. There was little need to haul the cars up the spur, the back them out. So a new “K&DR Yard” was built directly on the main to Bigelow. The new yard probably enabled a passenger train and a frieght train to both be working in Kingfield without conflict.

NOTE: The above is presented as history, but is conjecture. Review of photo and map history may identify flaws. For the purposes of the design of the layout, I’m OK with flaws as I do not want to dedicate time to the history. My goal is to do “good enough”. If Gary chooses one of the designs, then he can refine the plan to “his history”

FYI: The terms “depot yard”, “F&M yard”, and “K&DR yard” are my terms, used for reference in writing this blog. I have no idea how the railroaders referred to these areas.


The 1916 version of Kingfield is too large to fit into Gary’s room. It’s not reasonable to include the four major elements: “depot yard”, the “F&M yard”, the “Kingfield Switch”, and the “K&DR yard”. Something has to give, so what?

Each of the four elements is important to having a quality representation of Kingfield. My objective compromise elements in combination, such that acceptable, realistic operations can occur. Additionally, I want to preserve each of the industries (for operation and modeling).

In reviewing Kingfield, I felt that the Kingfield Switch, F&M Yard, and K&D Yard could all be compromised significantly (shape change, industries relocated, ..) while still capturing the feel of Kingfield. However, the shape of the depot yard most be preserved as the depot yard is the most identifiable element of Kingfield.

I created several versions of the “depot yard” to be test fit into the concept (similar to the test fitting of Bigelow in previous post). In each of the versions I included the covered depot, turntable, engine house tracks, and the store. With these elements firmly in place, I’d be able to quickly asses how the depot yard would fit into a concept.

A model version of the Kingfield “depot yard”. This version has the cross-over and plenty of length to run-around a 3 car passenger. The spacing between depot and Winter store is ample. This version proved to be too long when inserted into the concepts.

Above is a version of the depot yard with the cross overs between the depot and the store. I felt that the cross-over may be required on the model, if the run-around is lost at the F&M yard or the K&D yard. Preserving the cross-over would enable passenger trains to run clear of the freight trains.

A shorter version of the “depot yard” fit much better into the concepts. With the cross-over it still preserves all major elements. The runaround is limited to just two passenger cars.

The first version with cross-over was quickly deemed too long. So I designed the shorter version above. It’s one foot shorter, yet still preserves enough length to the depot track that 2 cars could be spotted on the team track beyond the depot. The short version might limit the runaround of two passenger cars where as the longer version could handle three passenger cars.

Eliminating the cross-over makes this version the shortest of all. The distance between depot and store is shorter than I’d like. Still all major elements are preserved. Adding a single switch once could make this the same as the 1916 map.

Admittedly, the cross-over might not be required or may take up too much space. The above design eliminates the cross-over and compresses the distance between the store and depot as much as reasonably possible. If more compression is required, then eliminate the store or convert to a flat.


Below are the latest concepts for your review. Again, I comment on the
merrits of each. Please comment and vote on your favorite.

Without being exacting to prototype, I’ve suggested structures on both plans. The suggestions are not exacting to prototype. Additionally, on the Concept #6 design, I included logging spurs. The spurs were an attempt to ascertain the potential of the design(s). Iteration is required, and may be left to Gary.

Concept #6: Kingfield in the middle

Concept 6 with Kingfield added. The “K&DR” yard is mostly complete. The large main aisle between Bigelow and Kingfield is advantageous.

This version captures all of the elements and includes two runarounds at Kingfield. The “K&DR yard” includes a run-around so freight work can continue when a passenger train comes through town.

  • PRO: “Depot Yard” area is without compromise and includes the cross-over. In absence of a run-around at F&M yard, the cross-over enables passenger train switching to be completed without at the “Depot Yard”. A passenger train need not go all the way to the K&DR yard to complete a run-around sequence.
  • PRO: “K&DR yard” is without significant compromise, includes the full run-around and sawmill. The sawmill spur is not double ended, but that is an acceptable compromise for a model railroad.
  • CON: F&M yard is yard is too short, resulting in the elimination of the run-around. The coal shed is present and both mills are present. However, the mill spurs are shortened (possibly too short). The shortening of these spurs is the most significant CON to me. Adding length would enhance switching at each site.
  • CON: The Kingfield switch is present, but reversed. The straight route is for the K&DR yard.
  • PRO: Aisle space is grand. The large main aisle between Bigelow and Kingfield is sufficient to socialize (4-5 bodies could fit). Operators can work both Bigelow and Kingfield without interference. This version could handle 3-4 operators (1 passenger/dispatch, 1-2 man freight crew, and a one man mixed/logging crew)
  • PRO: Bigelow and Kingfield seem further apart. When standing in the main aisle once could only see Bigelow or Kingfield. Admittedly from the secondary logging aisle one could see both location, but they are mostly 4-5 feet apart and angled, so they feel far apart. It seems fitting, that the “K&DR yard” is the background for Kingfield, when viewed from the main aisle.
  • CON: Bigelow does not fit as well and requires 1-2 curved turnouts. I think the Bigelow sawmill yard is acceptably size. It would contain 4 tracks each over two feet long. A log train and freight train could be consumed at the sawmill.

Concept #6r: Kingfield in the middle (rotated)

Concept 6r with Kingfield added meets the majority of requirements. Tighter aisles than Concept 6 is a concern.

This version captures all the four main elements too. However, it only includes one run-around. The single run-around is at the “F&M yard” so freight crews would have to stop work when passenger crew trains come into town. Operations would have to be established in a manner to minimize occasions when passenger trains being built and freight switching is occurring at the same time.

  • PRO: “Depot yard” area is complete and represents the yard as it would have looked around 1900-1910 (add a turnout and it could like exactly like the 1916 map). The versions “Depot Yard” is shortened, so the store is closer to the engine house than desired. Likewise, the team track is shorter than desired.
  • PRO: The F&M yard includes the run-around. Both mills are present and have sufficiently long enough tracks. However, the spur to the Jenkins & Bogert Mill come from the wrong end of the yard. The coal shed is on sharply curved track, so may not look great. One of the curves is too sharp (30″ Radius, see red track line in design). Likely, addition design work could ensure all curves of 32″ or more.
  • PRO: The Kingfield switch diverges correctly toward the “K&DR yard”.
  • CON: The “K&DR yard” is extremely compromised, the passing track is not present and the passenger car shed has been located adjacent to this yard, rather than inside the Huse Mill spur track near the “F&M yard”.
  • PRO: Bigelow fits easily in this arrangement. No track compromises required in the main yard. The sawmill yard is grand and could handle a log train and 1-2 freight trains.
  • CON: Socializing is a bit harder in this layout. Both aisles are sufficiently large for 2-3 operators, but for 4 operators or an open house with guests, it would be tight. At least the entrance area is 40+ inches deep.
  • CON: As one enters the room, Bigelow is directly behind Kingfield, thus both are in the same view. I think the layout will seem small (smaller than other design) because both ends of the railroad are seen in the same view ones first view on entering the room. One can see both turntables in a single glance. For this concept, there is no simple way to avoid this CON.
  • CON: The F&M yard area is quite wide, yet most of the track is closest to the Bigelow aisle. Kingfield operators will gravitate to the Bigelow aisle causing a human traffic jam. Several turnouts will require remote control. I will admit that the plans shape is “cooler” than I thought it would be.

Both plans have merits and limitations. I think some of the Kingfield limitations. Some of the limitations can be overcome by perfecting the design, but other limitations will have to be accepted. To me, the deciding factor between the plans is in the answer to this question: Is Bigelow or Kingfield more important to Gary? If Bigelow, then Concept #6r is probably best, but if Kingfield is greater importance than Concept #6 is probably best. If I were building one of these concepts I’d weigh the two towns equally (they are both great for modeling) and go for the more open, inviting main aisle of Concept #6.

These concepts are still lacking on three of my requirements: 1) Staging, 2) Continuous run, 3) Bridges. Each of these will need to be worked into the concepts. I have been thinking about both staging and continuous run as I’ve worked on the concepts. I hope my ideas are workable or these concepts my bust. As for bridges, I figured they’d just sort of fit in, but I’m struggling to identify the right spots.

In my mind, neither concept has an advantage on these last three requirements.  I’ll let Gary review the concepts and indicate his preference. I’ll then work the remaining requirements into the selected design.

If you like or dislike the designs, please comment.

Staging and Continuous run…

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2 Responses to Prototype Trackplan: Sn2 K&DR (Part 6: Kingfield too)

  1. Gary says:

    Dave, excellent ideas and options. I think that staging will be challenging as I see it living under Bigelow in both plans, which means not a lot of space to “work” on putting trains together coupling and un-coupling… I figure six inches in clearance at best… Which means it may be some basic storage and an area to allow continuous running… I think both concepts right now are very viable and have me dreaming of that layout coming to life…. In the mean time I will keep building rolling stock and structures.


  2. John Rogers says:

    further note, bending Kingfield would make a narrow aisle between Kingfield and K&DR yard but help the space by Carrabassett. Also, you don’t have the small storage shed off the turntable.but the paint shop is in the right place. Not so with 6r which is more like my Kingfield and for me only marginally satisfactory. However, I expect to rebuild my Kingfield after the rest of the RR is complete.

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