Farmington Faithful for Harry

Harry Downey just yesterday posted a Farmington design challenge to the Sn2_Trains yahoogroup.  Here is what he wrote:

I’ve finally gotten the time to get back to some serious work on the layout. I left off at the track work from Farmington to just south of Strong. On my original plan, I had Farmington as just a staging yard. Now, I see how much it is needed to show the purpose of the connection between the standard and narrow gauge as well as the comparision between gauges. I am, however, drawing blanks as to how to arrange the track. I have 15′ of layout space to work with and I really want the freight transfer yard area to be the highlight. However- I still need a place for those rustactors to transfer fron the ME. And, enough room for one crossing. All in 15′. My “plan” so far has the standard gauge at the rear of the benchwork (running paralell to the wall) with the station at the far right end of the bench work. At this end is the narrow gauge turntable, ME crossing and the station. This is in the first 5′ from the right end. I want to include the coal transfer at the north end- it never seems to get modeled. Because of space restrictions I have the NG turntable swinging out over the aisle by about 3″ or so. Also, the SG track running along the back edge will be a single track with no turnouts etc. The benchwork in this area is 18″ wide overall. I have thought about leaving out the crossing(s) but then realized how important to the scene. (What was I, thinking!!)   

From what it looks like to me, the railroad had the sidings laid out to minimize disruptions to as few cars as possible when switching. Hopefully someone can see what is right in front of my face and have a great suggestion.

While there is significant unknown in the Harry’s description, I thought I’d take a crack at answering the call.


Several years ago I considered modeling Farmington as a Sn2 Free-mo module.  It was a faithful design of the Station area (left) and the middle yard (center).  The upper yard would have been to the left.  Here is that design.

Sn2 Free-mo version of Farmington, ME on the MEC and SR&RL.

Sn2 Free-mo version of Farmington, ME on the MEC and SR&RL.

The MEC tracks were designed to be operable across the front with an option to build the full wye that existed in Farmington.  The design does not sows a very short (3′) runaround on the SR&RL.  A full 5-6′ runaround would have been added to the left in as part of the upper yard.  Harry want’s to include the coal transfer which is north of the upper yard.

15 Feet for Harry

Using the Free-mo design as a guide, here is a design for Harry.

Sn2 Farmington to capture Harry's desires

Sn2 Farmington to capture Harry’s desires

On the left is the Coal trestle.  I understand it to have been used to transfer coal from SR&RL gondolas to SR&RL locomotives.  The coal would have been loaded into the gondolas from the standard gauge cars right in the this yard.  An interesting bit of operations.  I’m not sure there is sufficient length to make the grade required.

In the middle is a single run around track that is 5 feet long, sufficient for a nice 6-8 car train.  At front are is the main MEC transfer tracks.  I’ve extended the front track to the left and added the small transfer track at the rear.  Proceeding to the right, the turnouts are overlapping unlike the prototype.

At right is the station area.  I’ve kept it simple  I’ve included the SR&RL canopy (where passengers got off the SR&RL passenger cars and the MEC depot.  Finally, I’ve provided a flat for the MEC freight house.  I my mind, the MEC freight house is a must, it is a signature building that caps off the end of the station scene.  The turntable could be moved to the left to keep it tighter into the scene.

I did not draw fascia, as I do not know Harry’s space limits.  Overall, as dawn, it’s a bit more than 15′ from the coal transfer spur to the MEC freight house.  Some slight changes on the left end of the run around can reduce the distance a bit.  I did not draw the MEC track along the back edge as Harry describes because that’s not the way the prototype was laid out.  Having the cars in front and SR&RL trains go behind will emphasize the size differences and emphasizes the freight transfer as he suggests.  I have one standard gauge turnout, it’s a key turnout seen in many photos and adds to the fact that the MEC and SR&RL had multiple locations to transfer.  I would consider adding one more MEC track where the “SR&RL Canopy” text is on the diagram.  It would not require a turnout but would add a crossing.  It would run to the end of the MEC Freight House, just like the prototype. and enable transfer near the turntable.

This entry was posted in Farmington, Free-mo, Layout Design, Trackplanning. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Farmington Faithful for Harry

  1. Pingback: Harry’s Farmington – 2,3,4… | Sn2 Modeler

  2. unknownidaho says:

    Thanks so much for posting this and giving me the link, I’ve never seen your page and actually never thought of Sn2 before: 3/8” gauge is just about N gauge.

    I appreciate your various steps from prototype to proposed model as there are always compromises involved but these must be acceptable to the builder. I am working on similar in On30, don’t know if it will work at this point but yours gives several options for how to arrive at an acceptable arrangement, thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s