"Hazel Mine Diorama" by Peter Vanvliet

Official Web Site:
Layout Status:
Layout Space:
4' x 8'
Layout Style:
Track Manufacturer:
Rail Size:
code 100
Minimum Turnout Frog:
Minimum Radius:
Ruling Grade:
Track Height(s):
Total "Mainline" Track Length:
benchwork: 100%; track: 100%; scenery: 5%
Summer 1924
Canonsburg, PA
Railroad(s) Modeled:
Control System:
Battery-powered (S-CAB)

This is a large diorama, consisting of three sections, that together span a space of 4'x8'. The plan is to make the diorama a part of a larger layout in the future. The layout is an exact 1:64 copy of the real thing, as best as current research data has revealed (no compression). Ties are cut from sheets of basswood. Each tie has two scratchbuilt (from styrene) tie plates. The rail is glued to the tie plates with superglue (no spikes). Be sure to visit the web site as that documents the layout's construction.

A general overview of the "layout" or diorama. One third of it has received the final ballast layer, and 31 trees have been planted (salvaged from the previous S-scale layout). Turnout-control is being finalized, after which the remaining ballast layer will be applied.

(copyright © Peter Vanvliet; used by permission)

This shows an earlier view of the layout, showing how the sections are separated from each other for ease of transportation, should the need arise. Overhead lighting is done with lightweight aluminum framing and lots of LED strips. The one structure on the layout is the Fort Pitt Bridge Works in Canonsburg; one of its buildings butted into the space I am modeling. This company actually manufactured the steel framing for the Hazel Mine coal tipple that is the central feature of this diorama (its construction is scheduled after the track work has been finalized and thoroughly tested; you can see its concrete foundation already in place in these photos).

(copyright © Peter Vanvliet; used by permission)

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