Southern Layout : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

I am trying to do a Southern layout. I want to do a line that had used 4-8-2 on it. I was going to do the Western Div but I understand that they did not use them on the line. I only have room for a 8' x 12' layout and I might make it larger leighter on. I also have a Bowser 16' Turnable that is just about right for turring a 4-8-2. I am also going to use a 2-8-0 and a 2-8-2(4501). Any place that I can look on the net for a layout design idea. I just experimenting right now with a track plan that I have in my head. I would like to have a 12-14 stall roundhouse. I am also doing RS-3 F-7 SD-9 SD-24 SW-7 cow/ calf that I have in Southern

-- Greg (, October 07, 2001


During the steam-diesel period (which I assume you will model since you also have the RS-3, F-7 etc., the 4-8-2 was used for heavier passenger trains on secondary, more mountainous, lines while the Ps-4 4-6-2 was used on the Washington - Atlanta and Cincinnati - Atlanta lines. You would see the 4-8-2s on lines into Asheville and also Knoxville and Atlanta-Birmingham. The 2-8-0 and Ms (4501) 2-8-2 would also be appropriate here. Some of your diesels are appropriate, but remember, the Southern ended the use of steam locomotives rather earlier than most roads. The F-7 and RS-3 are OK, but the SD-9 (not a big SR favorite) is pretty late. The SD-24 was not built until after all SR steam was out of service.

I'm working on ideas for a Southern-based layout based on the area around Knoxville TN. I've also thought about the Asheville area as a good spot for a layout setting. Either would be appropriate. These areas are pretty much all single track with passing sidings.

Quite a few years ago, John Armstrong had an article in Model Railroader in which he presented 4 (I think) ideas about layouts designed around Southern Railway themes. I don't recall the issue, but you can order photocopies from Kalmbach Publishing (, I think.) Armstrong also had a plan for a south-eastern U.S. (Kentucky or Tennessee) based plan in a more recent issue. This one was also featured in one of the Kalmbach reprint books. It isn't specifically clamined as a Southern Railway theme, but it would fit quite well.

I assume you plan to work in HO, based on the comment about the Bowser turntable. With an 8' x 12' space, I'd be tempted to design an "around the wall" plan with a center operating space. If you mean 8' x 12' with access around the edges, I'd look at a walk-in space with the operator inside. This lets you use larger radius curves (very helpful for a 4-8-2 and 2-8-2); the view from inside a curve is also more realistic than the view from outside.

-- Tom Warne (, October 08, 2001.

Hey, you might look into a layout based in or aroung Ashville, NC. 4- 8-2 were used on the passenger trains, while Ms type 2-8-2 (4501) and Ks type 2-8-0 were used on the freght trains. The Ashville roundhouse would let you use the turntable and the number of roundhouse stalls you would like to have. However, if you have a USRA 4-8-2, it will need a facelift to look like a Ashville 4-8-2. Good-luck! -EVAN

-- Evan Whatley (, October 10, 2001.

Tom is right about mixing eras. Also, the SD9s were originally Central of GA and didn't come into the Southern family until 1963 (after the SD24s in 1959).

The ideas about modeling Western NC and the Atlanta Birmingham lines are on point. Chattanooga - Atlanta - Macon also saw use of all the engines you plan to model.

-- Frank (, October 12, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ