Current Layout by Alan Balma

Layout Name:

"PRR Elmira Branch"

Layout Status:


Track Type:


Layout Space:

18' x 30'

Layout Style:

Point-to-point, with continuous-running option

Track Manufacturer:

Shinohara, Fast Tracks turnouts

Rail Size:

code 100

Min. Turnout Frog:


Min. Radius:


Ruling Grade:


Track Height(s):



benchwork: 100%; track: 90%; scenery: 20%


Fall of 1956


Penn Yan, NY and Canandaigua, NY

Railroad(s) Modeled:


Control System:

DCC (North Coast Engineering)


Alan's beautiful benchwork is on display in this photo. While the layout is operated on a point-to-point basis, the construction is an around-the-room design with a central peninsula. His layout allows for continuous running which is helpful for when visitors come to see the layout. Be sure to watch the video, linked to above, to get an even better overall view of the layout.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

This photo, taken from the opposite corner of the first photo, shows that the layout has two lift-up bridges to allow for easy access into the layout space.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

Beautiful trackwork with a dedicated control panel to manage the turnouts in the yard on the center peninsula.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

In this scene near Aloquin, New York, a PRR American Models GP9 is moving a single hopper car. Alan does beautiful scenery work as is clearly visible in this photo. The culvert is by Pre-Size Model Specialties. The apple trees are modified Woodland Scenics armatures.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

Moving from Aloquin, NY to Stanley, NY.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

RS-3 PRR 8818 crosses a lake with a local freight coming from Penn Yan, NY on its way to the Division Point Yard in Canandaigua, NY. The RS-3 is from American Models and the freight cars are from S-Helper service. The house is a BTS 110 Second Street kit. The girder bridge is a 90' Walthers HO-scale kit and sits on Pre-Size Model Specialities abutments. The background trees are all Scenic Express Super Trees, and the foreground trees are made from Woodland Scenics' armatures. The water is art resin topped with Woodland Scenics Water Ripples.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

This scene represents the town of Stanley, New York.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

A PRR K4 is leading one of the last afternoon passenger trains on the Elmira Branch from Canandaigua, NY to Elmira, NY. The train is passing through the Stanley, NY PRR maintenance yard on its way east. The brass K4 was imported by Omnicon Scale Models, built for them by Samhongsa out of Korea. Alan installed the Jackson Standard gearbox to fix a common issue with these engines. He also installed the SoundTraxx Tsunami2 DCC sound decoder. The track is code 100 Shinohara laid on Homabed, and turnouts are hand-built from Fast Tracks jigs. The tower and shed in the foreground were built from laser cut kits. The maintenance building towards the rear is scratch-built. The smoke effects and sky were done by Brooks Stover. This photo appeared on the inside cover of the December 2022 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman in the NASG promotional ad campaign.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

A glimpse of the Shinohara flex track and the Fast Tracks jigs-built turnouts throughout the layout.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)

The Fall setting is emphasized via the colorful background hills. This view shows the wye at the base of the peninsula.

(copyright © Alan Balma; used by permission)
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