SCALE: N (1:160)
SIZE: 16′-6″ x 20′-0″
PROTOTYPE: Canadian Pacific
LOCALE: southern British Columbia
PERIOD: 1970

STYLE: multi-deck walkaround with double-
mushroom peninsula

MAINLINE RUN: 230 feet
MINIMUM RADIUS: 18″ (main), 14″ (branch line)

MAXIMUM GRADE: 2.5 percent
BENCHWORK: open grid
HEIGHT: 30″ to 76″
ROADBED: 3 ⁄4″ plywood
TRACK: Peco code 55 flextrack
SCENERY: plaster gauze shell
BACKDROP: hand-painted linoleum
CONTROL: Digitrax Digital Command Control with
JMRI/PanelPro control

Construction started in June 2005 after 3 years of planning. Housed in a two-car garage. Designed for operation.

All built with 3/4″ plywood.

The primary switching area is around 42″ (107cm) off the floor.


Nearly 20 trains in a normal operating session.

  • Nelson West Switching Job – Primary Classification Switching Job for the layout.
  • Nelson East Switching Job – Run hostling as well as switching the east end
  • East & Westbound Wayfreights over the boundary subdivision
  • East & Westbound Orefreights between Phoenix and West Staging and Tabanac and Trail – because of weights and lengths these often require pusher helpers to get up to the summit at Faron.
  • Plough Trains
  • Kraft Switcher – from Nelson to Castlegar and back
  • Slocan Branch

More Information

  • Dance, Mark. “Developing an N Scale ‘Mushroom’ Layout.” Great Model Railroads, 2016, pp. 28-37.
  • Dance, Mark. “The Columbia & Western.” Railroad Model Craftsman, vol. 81, no. 12, May 2013, pp.54-61.
  • Turner, Robert D. “CPR’s Boundary District.” Railroad Model Craftsman, vol. 81, no. 12, May 2013, pp. 47-53.
  • Model Railroader August 2016
  • Railroad Model Craftsman (February2014)(March 2014)
  • Model Railroad Planning (2012)(2016)(2017)
  • N Scale magazine
  • Canadian Railway Modeller August/September 2012
  • Dispatcher’s Office (April 2014)(October 2014)
  • Layout Design Journal (#37).