The car barn in eight pages

Earlier this year I wrote a layout planning article about my NS&T car barn – my first, 2’x8′ chunk of the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway in 1:64. That article has now been published in the April, 2023 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.

In eight pages, I tell the story of why I find the NS&T such a compelling, meaningful subject and how I’m finally able to pursue this prototype, which I’ve wanted to model for 40 years.

This landed in my mailbox today. Huzzah!
As the cover notes, my article begins on page 76. Also: 116 pages. Wow!

I’m grateful to RMC editor Otto Vondrak for publishing this piece. I know he’s a traction fan so in that sense, it was an easy sell. But still: It’s a pretty niche subject – traction in any scale is already out on the margins, but in S it’s barely on the map. I appreciate that Otto is committed to covering as broad as possible a swath of modelling.

With that in mind, I did try to make the article scale- and subject-agnostic. Planning is planning – so I included lessons and strategies from this exercise that should be useful for anybody looking to model something that isn’t mainstream. I hope my approach gives others some ideas about how to decide whether they can bring their own favourite-yet-weird prototype to life in their layout space.

I’ve had a lot of articles published over the past two decades. Even so, this one is special. It’s nice to see the NS&T in print: It makes the prospect of a layout “more real” to me, somehow.

I’m already thinking about the follow-up articles – from a progress report, to construction pieces, to “What’s next?”.

If you’ve found this website because you read the article and went searching for more online, then welcome aboard!

Published by Trevor

Lifelong model railway enthusiast and retired amateur shepherd who trained a border collie to work sheep. Professional writer and editor, with some podcasting and Internet TV presenting work thrown in for good measure.

6 thoughts on “The car barn in eight pages

  1. Trevor,

    I read your article…It’s great. You do a good job getting across your passion for the NS&T and all of the other aspects of building a layout under wire. Thanks for sharing.

    Walt Huston Editor, N-Scale Magazine


    Liked by 1 person

  2. As Otto said in the recent NASG Dispatch (copied from an earlier RMC editorial), good modelling is good modelling, regardless of subject matter or scale.
    More power to your elbow!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Trevor:

    RMC showed up in my mailbox this afternoon. Only skimmed it so far but I realized that I know three of the authors for this issue! Definitely a record for me. The authors, other than you, are Joe Green and Jon Schmidt. I have operated on both of their layouts and will be seeing both of them this weekend at Bay Rails including operating on Jon’s layout again on Sunday. I am on an airplane early tomorrow morning so I now have some reading material. The trip back will take some time as I am leaving San Jose Monday on the Coast Starlight, overnight in Seattle Tuesday then on the Cascades to Vancouver. A couple of days in Vancouver, including what will probably be my last visit to Central Hobbies then on the Canadian back to Saskatoon arriving home early Sunday morning CN and VIA willing.

    Cal Sexsmith

    Liked by 1 person

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