Cleveland & Eastern RR

Built after the Norfolk & Western prototype to match the look of the Appalachian region and set in a loose time period dating back to the early 1980ies.
It is a point-to-point layout designed for operation which can be operated by a crew of four or five members.
The C&E system is located between Cleveland, OH and Harrisburg, PA. It handles traffic form a number of local industries – including some coal mines and serves as a bridge-line too.

With some changes early 2017 on the layout, I’ve been able to exclude the peninsula from the mainline and now operate it as an own “branchline” the Greenhill Sub. It connects just west of Elizabeth Oaks via the Greenhill Junction.

The track-plan shows the 2015 extension. The current layout design is under revision with the goal to enhance branchline action, and to add at least one or two more industries.

A new visual layout plan is currently under development.

You  can get an overview of all major layout points on this system schematics :


Layout at a glance :

  • Layout is sectional and completely moveable
  • “Around the wall” design with peninsula.
  • Full-room size : 4.95 m x 4.80 m for the expansion on the tow right corner
  • Track : ATLAS Code 55
  • Turnouts : #5, #7, #10, curved TA and Wye
  • Control : DCC with Duplex Radio, most of the engines equiped with sound-decoders
  • Tracklenght : Mainline – approx. 14.5 m / Greenhill Branch – approx. 6.0 m / Coal Branch – approx. 3.9 m
  • Operation : Carcards & Waybills along with Timetable and Track Warrant via Dispatcher

Industries :

  • Elizabeth Oak including a small yard, engine shop with turntable, team-track and serveral rail served local industries.
  • East-Grain Flour-Mill, located at Elizabeth Oaks
  • Sarverville will include a large MFG Corp, Logwood plant and a small yard mainly to serve the Coal branch up to Wharton
  • Red-Rock with Depot, Track-side Transfer and a medium sized coal-mine – Now run as Greenhil Sub
  • Spot, which is primarily a passing-siding and serves a gravel loading facility. – Now run as Greenhil Sub

C&E RR at US Convention Rodgau / Germany 2017

Blogposts from the Cleveland & Eastern RR

  • An overdue update

    It’s been a way to long time since my last update on the Cleveland & Eastern RR. But I am still working on it but with a much slower pace than in the past. And because I put more time into developing cool stuff for you, things went real slow – really.

    But here are a couple of photos from the coal mine run section I am currently working on. It is not finished yet but I will hopefully get it done by the end of 2020.

    As the coal mine run with its two coal loaders is raised about 10 cm above the mainline level I need to form a tunnel where the mainline can below the western loader. As a tunnel liner I use 5 cm thick XPS insulations board which I cut in shape to match the clearance profile. Several sections of liners are glued together and covered with plaster cloth on the inside. The cloth itself is filled with plaster and colored in a dark grey. The tunnel entrances are simple concrete portals I CNC-milled out of 5 mm foam board. To get the concrete look I used thinned putty and applied it in thin layers. After the putty dried I carved some section lines in it. Some washes of dark brown / black and some fading added to get the aged concrete look.

    Same procedure applies to the stud wall separating the loader tracks from the hillside. In this case I glued the foam board into place and applied the putty and washes “in place”.

  • EMD NW2 for C&E RR

    Today I caught a new resident on the C&E at Elizabeth Oaks. I have never noticed that switcher around here. I saw C&E #76 idling at the engine facility earlier today. In the afternoon she was working the tracks at East Grain Mill complex. I took a photo from the depot side as she was pulling an empty string of cars out of the customer tracks.


    C&E #76 pulling a string of cars out of East Grain Mill
  • Work in progress

    I am currently working on the completion of my Kato NW2 for my own Cleveland & Eastern RR.

    Body paint and some weathering using powdered pastels finished.

  • Terraforming

    Last week I resumed work on the part of my layout I call the “Mine Section” – because there are two coal mines located. Within the week I spent some hours gluing down some foam board and shaping the rough landscape.
    Finally I filled the larger gaps with lightweight putty.

    Here are some “proof of work” pictures.

  • Back in action

    Last time I did some work on the Cleveland & Eastern dates back to late 2017 as I prepared the Elizabeth Oaks section for our local bi-anual train show.
    1 and a half years …. maybe a bit longer … later the Cleveland & Eastern is still here.
    I freed some hours last sunday and started to weather the mainline track on the next section.

    After all – feels great to be back in action 😀

  • 6. US Modelrailroad Convention Rodgau 2017
    I have put up a little gallery with flicks from the Cleveland&Eastern convention setup. 6. US Convention Rodgau 2017
  • Preparations
    As the big convention shop in October is getting closer, work increases on the Cleveland & Easter layout. The past days I started to construct a movable foundation for the layout segments. They need to be solid and easy to assemble once at the show. Valance and backdrop will be made of cardboard, I will use the current light system at the show. 20170820_195140
  • Modifications II
    On my previous post about the ongoing modifications on the Cleveland & Eastern I talked about the ideas and expectations I have on the alteration of the layout. Well, a few weeks later I can summarize the modification as success ! We ran our first Operation Session mid January with the new layout and it feels like the newly established “Greenhill Sub” works well and Elizabeth Oaks Yard is now really working as it handles traffic for both, the old mainline and the new – southbound – Greenhill Branch. So I will continue with this setup for the future. extension_2017 Looking into the walkway between Elizabeth Oaks (right) and Red-Rock (left), the new alteration is completed. I have realigned the coal loader (far left) and added a new dedicated teamtrack (close-left) to Red-Rock. Greenhill Junction can be seen on the far right. The opening in the backdrop is the connection to Cleveland Staging.    
  • Modifications
    After running operation sessions for a while and placing load on the Elizabeth Oaks Yard it turned out that this yard is not frequented as intentionally planed.    The C&E has currently a maximum trafficload of 55 cars on all spots. Dividing the cars up to the two yards – Elizabeth Oaks an Sarverville – reveals that Sarverville needs to handle a maximum load of 111% whereas Elizabeth Oaks sees only 44% load.    So I shuffled around the numbers an options the Layout design has to offer and decided to detach the peninsula from the mainline and move it more to the far west of the system and connect it as a branch line – the new South Fork Branch. South Fork Branch will connect to the mainline west of Elizabeth Oaks at the Greenhill Junction.    I restarted the load simulation and came up with a more balanced load for both yards. I took the simulation one step further and added a fictive Paper mill ‘Northern Paper’ which I plan to build as a final section in the future. Even with this industry added to the system the load of Sarverville will stay below 100% cars_new So far for the numbers, now some more pratical. The plan below shows modification in the layout plan, I will rotate the current coal loader at Red Rock and add the Westend Staging to the backside of RedRock. The Gravelsite at Spot will remain untouched but loose its through-traffic as it marks the end of the branchline. Sarvervill will be connected to directly to the Eastend Staging IMG-20161207-WA0001 Below are some photos from the current stage. 20161210_093641_res Removing the Sarverville/Spot connection and the Westend Staging. 20161214_194239_res Framework for the new section 20161220_200943_res Backdrop is in place and construction of the new segtions is nearly completed. 20161218_172304_res The new Westend Staging
  • Engine Service Area Part 1
    After I finished the engine shed, it is now time to finish off the rest of the service area scene at Elizabeth Oaks. With a tweak in the general track arrangement I was able to have one dedicated track for fuel/sand loads and for caboose storage behind the two main engine tracks. Now I had to find the perfect place for the sanding tower to serve both engine tracks The photo below shows the overall scene with a raw assembled Walthers kit. 20161101_203611 As the overall look of the tower dimensions seem to be correct, I found that the included ladders and safety railings are out of scale. I decided to add some etched brass ladders to the tower and replace the plastic railings and pipes with some scratch built ones. After I assembled the tower structure, I removed the molded eyes for the railings and all other braces and filled the gaps and holes with putty. 20161102_205743 The safety ladders were easy to set up, I cut out the ladder from the sprue and gently wrap the cage around a stick to get the round shape. With this done I soldered the cage to the ladder leaving the cage one section longer than the ladder top. I added bracings made of brass wire to the ladder, drilled holes into the tower head to plug in the bracings. The safety railing are made out of brass wire and soldered together using a drawn template. Also the sand pipes are soldered after a drawn template, I adapted the height and length to match my given situation. The photos below show a final test fit to ensure the overall appearance is pleasing. The container incorporates the sand dryer and compressor. Sand hoses are made from black single stranded wire. 20161107_214747_001 20161107_214822

More Posts from the C&E