2. Bring Out Your Kits!

Pola kits dominate my picks for three reasons. One, they were among the first to be imported into the US, starting in 1967. Two, they made a great many useful, generic railroad-related structures that weren't overtly European in design. And three, they captured my imagination. I have a number of favorites, many of which made it onto this layout (although several didn't). Arnold made similar railroad-related structures, but the kits were fewer in number and harder to find. Heljan suffered from a very limited product range, as well as low quality.

By contrast, Faller, Kibri and Vollmer started out making mountain chalets, urban buildings and large train stations, most of which were simply way too European-looking for use on a layout that's pretending to be American. Although a few companies did produce some first-gen American-style kits, there were simply too few of them to populate a complete layout. So, back then we were stuck having to make do!

The project got under way in March 2019. After almost a year of construction, it sat in suspended animation for about a year, then saw renewed activity beginning in February 2021. At that point I made a great many changes, such as swapping out some buildings and rearranging other stuff. Changes continued through the layout's completion, albeit much smaller and more subtle.


  1. Factory Powerhouse
  2. Yard Office
  3. Enginehouse
  4. Coal Tower
  5. Phone/Relay Shed
  6. Switch Tower
  7. Tool Shed
  8. Water Tower
  9. Diesel Fuel Station
  10. Machine Shop
  11. Scale House
  12. Freight Depot
  13. Newport Passenger Station
  14. Houses Under Construction
  15. Rolling Lift Bridge
  16. Freight Crane
  17. Factory
  18. Gravel Works
  19. Plate Girder Bridges
  20. Foot Bridge
  21. Rock Falls Passenger Station

See Also...

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