Current Layout by Dick Karnes

Layout Name:

"New York, Westchester & Boston"

Official Web Site:

Layout Status:


Track Type:


Layout Space:

12' x 39'

Layout Style:

Around-the-room, with peninsula

Track Manufacturer:


Rail Size:

code 100, 83, 70

Min. Turnout Frog:

#7 (main), #6 (yard)

Min. Radius:

42" visible (32" staging)

Ruling Grade:

2.5% (4% one downhill track)

Track Height(s):

58" to 64"

Mainline Track Length:

135' (double-track); 95' (single-track)


100% complete




eastern New York, western Connecticut

Railroad(s) Modeled:

NYC, NYNH&H, CNR, NYW&B (freelance)

Control System:

DCC (North Coast Engineering)

Featured In:

Great Model Railroads 2016

Railroad Model Craftsman, Jul 2012, pg 42


The layout provides for both continous running as well as point-to-point operations. Dick has played many roles in the NASG, including executive vice-president, and Dispatch editor. Dick was part of the first gathering where the idea of the NASG was created, and is the only surviving founder. Dick successfully completed the NMRA's MMR program.

Other Links:


Dick received permission to use this track plan, which was published by Kalmbach in their 2016 Great Model Railroads issue where Dick's layout was featured, on the S Scale SIG web site. Since we have permission to copy/move content over from that web site to this web site, Dick has granted us permission to use this track plan drawing here.

(copyright © Kalmbach Publishing; used by permission)

A southbound freight waits for a Boston-bound passenger train to clear the diamond at the Troy terminal throat. The scratchbuilt 2-C-2 freight electric is pulling an S-Helper Service NYC MDT reefer. The combine behind the scratchbuilt C-C passenger electric is spliced from two American Flyer heavyweights. The signal bridge is two Plasticville kits somewhat re-arranged. The water tank in the left distance is a Lehigh Valley Models kit. Trackwork and catenary are scratchbuilt.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

Dick's amazing trackwork, which is like art.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

The southbound Grand Isle Limited at Troy Union Station, down from Montreal, waits to depart for Cornwall Bridge, CT, where its CNR diesels will be replaced by an NYW&B electric motor to continue its trip to New Haven. The F3 A-B set was imported by Overland Models, and painted and lettered by Dan Kirlin. The Westchester heater car was cobbled from an American Flyer Alco PA. Behind it is an American Models baggage car followed by a Models by Miller NYC dining car. To the right are a scratchbuilt 2-C-2 electric and a River Raisin FT diesel.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

The Grand Isle Limited passes the Burnham, NY Texaco refinery. This scene consists of a host of components: a Clever Models S-scale quonset hut, Racing Champions 1:64 Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Ford automobiles, a guard shack scratchbuilt by Kent Singer, a homemade cyclone fence, a visitor's center cobbled from leftovers of an AHM HO-scale engine house kit, factory buildings from an HO-scale Kibri Factory Building, Walthers HO-scale refinery components, and a scratchbuilt pipe bridge. The observation car is an American Models (AM) kit with AM Budd car trucks. The house in the upper-left background is a paper cut-out kit. Catenary in this view is scratchbuilt.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

B+B-B+B freight motor #4301 poses for our photographer at the South Cornwall motor shop. #4301 is a "scratch-bashed" job built from two American Flyer (AF) Alco A-unit shells, one AF Alco B-unit shell, two cylindrical pill bottles for the noses, two scratchbuilt chassis, two Cascade Hobby Products drives, Loco Workshop truck sideframes, and American Models GG1 pantographs. To the left is a pair of New Haven FL-9s built by Vic Roseman. On the right, inside the motor shop, is an American Models New Haven Alco PA unit. The motor shop itself is a somewhat re-arranged Lehigh Valley Models kit.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

An NYC light Mikado pushes a Central of Georgia ventilated box car into the Ilzeb Wine & Produce Distributing loading dock spur while a company worker on a break enjoys (what else?) a bottle of milk. In this North Cornwall scene, the locomotive is an Overland Models engine, the box car is by Smoky Mountain Model Works, the produce company building is a kitbash of two Showcase Miniatures citrus sheds butted up against each other, the figure is from Arttista, milk cans are by B.T.S., and the 1951 Studebaker and 1940 Ford coupe are Racing Champions models. The 1955 New York license plates were created electronically.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

The year is 1955. The Gulf gas station fell on hard times after the recent closing of Port Hudson's Railroad Avenue crossing. Through traffic in and out of town now uses the overpass in the upper right. Roger Nulton, always on the lookout for new opportunities, bought the station and converted it to the Port Hudson Auto Rebuild. The auto shop was built from a Des Plaines Hobbies S-scale Gulf gas station kit. The highway bridge is an Atlas HO-scale truss bridge kit; the Masonic Hall in the top background is a modified Con-Cor HO-scale courthouse kit. The fencing, from an HO-scale Mouse Models cemetery kit, screens a barely visible S-scale picnic table and benches by B.T.S. The Kelly Springfield van is an Hartoy (AHL) 1:64 vehicle; the 1946 Studebaker and the 1949 Mercury in the garage are Racing Champions 1:64 models. The 1919 Ford Model T van, also 1:64, is from Efsi. Fencing is Central Valley HO-scale; the ads on the fence were captured from the Internet and printed on typing paper. The SW9, on the Port Hudson float yard switching lead, is an S-Helper Service product. Barrier fencing is scratchbuilt with old-style yellow stop signs from an ancient Model Railroader S-scale cardstock insert. Rocks are real limestone drizzled with a solution of alcohol and India ink. Track is hand-laid.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

The GE boxcab diesel working the pier.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

A passenger local chugs past the North Cornwall warehouse district. The camelback ten-wheeler is kitbashed from a brass Omnicon chassis and tender with a heavily-modified and detailed American Flyer Atlantic locomotive superstructure. The cab is scratch-built from brass. The Central Vermont reefer is from an old Kinsman kit. The crossing signal is from NJ International. The watchman, an Arttista figure, stands in front of a shanty by Mullet River Models. The milk platform is a really ancient Mini-Structures kit. The left-hand background building was bashed from a Pine Canyon "Back Alley No. 2" kit. The warehouse on the far right is constructed from O-scale Design Preservation modules.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

Southbound Class M-1 freight motor No. 1217 rumbles around a curve past the Texaco refinery at Burnham, NY with a through freight on its way to New Haven. The loco's chassis is scratch-built. Lead trucks are O-scale Bill Clouser traction parts; pantographs are old Walthers O-scale "short" ones; the superstructure is spliced from two American Flyer Reading cabooses. Windows are Grandt Line On3 D&RG caboose windows.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

Adjacent to the Port Hudson float yard, a fishing boat waits for the Scherzer rolling lift bridge to open. In the back (follow the line of the two box cars), you can just make out the little GE-Ingersol-Rand boxcab diesel #1000, switching cars on the float apron. Further behind #1000 is Port Hudson Express, kitbashed from a Grand River Models "Prince Edward Express" kit. The boat is a Lindberg kit; the corner store (top, center) is an HO-scale kit with S-scale doors. Bob Christopherson scratch-built the New England Coal Co. silos. The car body of #1000 is a Great American Locomotion kit perched atop a variable-length chassis kit from Pennsylvania Heritage Models.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)

The Flying Yankee has just arrived at Troy, NY. The Yankee is flanked by an American Models Alco FA-2 (heavily re-worked into a CNR FPA-2) and an Overland Models caboose. Catenary spans are from Model Memories. Dick's photo appeared on the inside cover of the May 2023 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman in the NASG promotional ad campaign.

(copyright © Dick Karnes; used by permission)
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