I just realized that I did not post this earlier. For those that have been following my blog/website, for those that did not already know, my layout was featured in the March issue of Model Railroader magazine. The article appears on page 48 of the issue. Some retail stores may still have  a copy on the shelf, or hobby shops should have it, along with of course Kalmbach’s website for Model Railroader.

This was my first article published in a magazine, but the second time I’ve been mentioned in a different magazine. My article was submitted a little over two years ago, so of course the layout has changed/evolved since then.

I’ve been very humbled having a project that took over two years finally come to fruition with being published, and I might add, MR approached me to submit the article. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on basically the first layout I’ve completely finished. Well, to this point anyway…:)

I’m grateful for all the excellent help I had in putting this layout together. Hopefully you’ll see another article in print someday on the updated and hopefully expanded Hitop branch!

In closing, I’ve had people ask why I set up a FB page first for the layout, why I set up a website, and why I submitted an article. Well, the answer is simple. If I can show what can be done in a small space railroad-wise, if I can inspire someone to finally build that small layout, and if I can help someone with layout ideas, or that matter weathering and detail ideas, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do….:)


  1. I have read your article, nice job! A quick question, how long did it take from you asking if they wanted the article to you getting the contract? I submitted an article, and haven’t got a response.


    1. Well I actually submitted some photos and a short summary of copying their project layout first. I don’t recall how many months it was, but it was more than several before MR got back to me and requested I do the article

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad that MR decided to do an entire issue devoted to smaller layouts such as yours…

    Having been in the hobby actively for over 50 years, and built a few layouts, I can understand that a beginner these days might “overdose” on his design based on the massive home layouts he/she sees in print and on line, and get carried away. I know that happened to me when we moved to Kansas City in 2000, and I was able to visit and operate on the many HUGE basement empires in KC. So I decided to doublestack the layout, and even tho the overall footprint was just 9×12 with a 2×12 extension leading to a helix, it was SO much work that I just lost interest in it. I went great guns for several years, but since I lay my own track including turnouts, it takes time.

    Now that we’ve settled in our retirement house here in coastal North Carolina, I have begun construction on my Iain Rice-inspired shelf layout (two feet of width) along two walls of the 12×16 bonus room, with staging in a nearby connected closet. Smaller railroads CAN be fun. Your detailed operations and well-thought out sequence of events for your PC branch prove that!

    I will be watching your progress thru your blog here for sure!


    1. Many thanks PDFlynn for the comments and compliment! I’ve operated on some beautiful huge layouts in my time, but to me, I’d rather be able to run switching operations than run 110 car trains. Layout designs from the likes of Ian Rice and Lance Mindheim interest me very much, and thought about building one of their shelf designs as well right before MR’s Virginian project came out in print. I’m glad I did go with their plan, as it is expandable, plus was based in the area I’ve visited many times. Looking forward to seeing some news and photos of your progress as well…..:)

      Liked by 2 people

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