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I am modeling the Pennsy Ft. Wayne Line from Ft. Wayne to Valparaiso, Indiana. My HO scale layout will emphasize the mainline operations on "The Speedway" and have operational interlockings within other railroads at Columbia City (PRR), Warsaw (NYC), Plymouth (PRR & NKP), Hamlet (NYC), Hanna (C&O) and Wanatah (Monon). The Plymouth interlocking plant will be fully operational as all crossing routes are a functioning part of my layout. Columbia City will have a semi-operational interlocking plant.

In addition, I am modeling the South Bend Branch from South Bend to Logansport via Plymouth. The interlockings at Lakeville (Wabash), Lapaz (B&O), Hibbard (NKP) and Delong (Erie) are represented.

I will have one principal yard. While it is supposed to be Ft. Wayne, it is more of a generic yard. Depending on operations, it can be Chicago, Ft. Wayne, Crestline, Conway, Pitcairn or Logansport. The turntable and roundhouse will be based on the PRR facilities in Crestline, Ohio.

I have one staging yard that is hidden from view. This 5-track yard will primarily be used for the Pennsylvania's Blue Ribbon fleet of passenger trains as well as other trains such as Truc Trains (intermodal). Since my layout does not include any terminals such as Chicago, no thru passenger trains will terminate on my layout. Hence, the staging yard will be used for passenger trains to "appear" and then "disappear" on my layout as they go to and from Chicago.

The eras that I am modeling are late 1940's to mid 1950's as well as 1962-1965.

All of my benchwork is up now complete and the mainline track and roadbed have been installed. I am using code 83 for the mainline to resemble 131-140 pound rail while code 70 track for sidings, yards, and branchlines to represent 100 and 130 pound rail. I also installed DCC on my layout and it became operational in February 2004.

The yard and branchline will be addressed this fall and winter. Next year, I plan on working on the roundhouse and turntable. I will be posting a plan view of the layout and photos as progress warrants.

My druthers for this layout is to provide high speed mainline passenger and freight service, low speed branchline service with industrial switching, and fully operational interlocking plants. I believe that my layout accomplishes this satisfactorily.


A westbound merchandise train, pulled by Q-2 No. 6184, slams across the diamonds at Plymouth, Indiana. The track that crosses the Ft. Wayne line at right angles is the PRR South Bend Branch while the other track is the NKP (Indianapolis - Michigan City branchline). The Q-2 is a Westside import and custom painted by Gary Mittner.

A westbound train with empty livestock cars and reefers, roars through the sleepy town of Hamlet as the local sits in the siding. The tower protects the Ft. Wayne line's crossing with the NYC's Kankakee - South Bend line).

Train 55, The Manhattan Limited, slows to a stop in Warsaw, Indiana. The PRR line went right through the city; both buildings and frontage roads flanked the tracks. As you can see, I need to get cracking on those buildings!! The tower protects the NYC Goshen - Anderson branchline.

Train 49, The General, guides through Wanatah, Indiana on its last leg into the Windy City. In the distance, you can see the thru-plate girder bridge over the Kankakee River. The diamonds for the Monon Railroad's Michigan City branchline are inplace as is the crossover.

The mainline is 4-tracked here to accomodate two sets of passing sidings. The 8-foot diameter curve will soon be filled with a turntable and roundhouse. Both the turntable and roundhouse will be closely based on the USRA prototype at Crestline, Ohio.