The Owens Valley Subdivision is my 5th N scale layout, and my 3rd to be double decked. Only one of my layouts progressed past the benchwork stage and into the scenery stage. Every layout I had built up till now was in a house that I was renting, and now that I've bought a house, this layout will be around longer than all the previous ones. Although my last 2 layouts were designed for operation, this layout will be the first to acctually have operating sessions, and the first to have a dispatch pannel.

The layout room size is 18.5' x 11.5'. Even with this modest amount of room for N scale, I was still hard pressed to include everything that I wanted in my "dream" layout. But after the compromises, I was still able to keep most of what I wanted. Double decking the railroad helped immensely. The lower level is 42" to the rail from the floor, and the upper level is 62" to the rail from the floor. The facia on the upper level hangs down 4" from the subroadbed, so that makes a visable separation of 16". This separation gets smaller as the lower level travels around part of the room on a 2% grade, where it meets the helix at a level of 50" above the floor. The helix is composed of just under 4 loops, and each loop gains 3" of rise, to make the final 12" needed to meet the upper level track.

The total main line distance from staging to staging is 171', or just over 5 scale miles of track. There are 4 passing sidings, with the shortest being just about 12'. The rest are at least 14'. There is also at least 15' of single track main line between each passing siding. This gives me enough room for the train length I wanted, which is about 3 to 5 locomotives and 25 to 40 cars.

The staging yards are located in an adjacent room, which they share with the laundry machines and the hot water heater. The dispatcher pannel is also located in this room. The lower level staging yard consits of 10 tracks, with 9 of them being at least 14' long, and one at 11' long, needing to be shorter to clear the washing machine lid. The upper level staging yard is a total of 11 tracks, and are all at least 14' long.

All track used on the layout is Atlas code 55 flextrack, with handlaid turnouts. The smallest turnout size is a #6. All turnouts use the rail from a piece of flextrack so that it all matches. Turnouts are built in place, and built to suite the situation. All turnouts on the main line going to passing sidings are no smaller than a #10. Any other turnouts off the main line are no smaller than a #8.
Minimum visable main line and siding curved radius is 20", and bigger where possible. Minimum branch line and hidden track radius is 18". All other curved trackage is as large as possible in respect to the situation.

Control for the railroad is Digitrax Digital Command Control. The layout is broken up into 4 circuit breaker protected blocks. 1 - Yard trackage, 2 - Lower Level trackage, 3 - Upper Level trackage, 4 - Upper and Lower level staging tracks. The layout is also divided into15 blocks for detection, with LED's on the Dispatch Pannel to show occupancy. For now, signaling will be used thru the switch machines.

I don't like to draw trackplans and then copy from them, I like to get the space up and then lay the track as I go. I will have some of the important features already figured out, like where the passing sidings will go, and where the yard will be located, but I feel that it is alot easier to "draw" the track plan "full size". So here you will find the "benchwork plan" with the names of towns and some key elements. Once I finish all the trackwork on the layout, I'll revise this page to include the track and make it "digital" instead of "pencil". But for now, here is both levels.

Lower Level.
Click plan to enlarge.

lower level

Upper Level
Click plan to enlarge

upper level

Bishop Yard
Click plan to enlarge
Click HERE to enlarge SUPER BIG


All material on The Owens Valley Subdivision website is Copyright 2007-20xx by Michael Stoner. None of the material (including text and photographs) on this web site may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission.