UNDER CONSTRUCTION -  will add photos soon  -  PLEASE CHECK BACK

My model railway is an HO layout based very loosely on the transition years between steam and diesel on the NAR [Northern Alberta Railway].  I have taken lots of liberties with time and location.  While the main time frame is through the 1950's and 1960's, occasionally one might spot a steam locomotive that should have been retired many years before pulling a consist of mixed boxcars.  Or, sometimes one might spot a locomotive that never ran in the mountains or during these decades!  Such are the joys of freelancing one's imagination.

My main reason for selecting the NAR and the time frame was for the diversity that I could get away with!  The NAR was at times partially and jointly owned by the Canadian National  and Canadian Pacific railways so in addition to NAR locos and rolling stock, I can 'justify' the use of all three railways on my track.  Additionally, since my wife and I lived in Calgary for a few years, this brings the magnificent Rocky Mountains right into my basement.  What could be better.

The layout consists of a basic double-tracked mainline with a separate section for the yard area.  I can run trains around the main track while working on putting a consist together or doing locomotive maintenance in the yard.   The basement layout room is approximately 23ft by 20ft. 

Here's the first few pictures to be posted to show the early stage of development of the layout. 

The first pictures are looking at the rock cliff rising above a lake.  Haven't named the lake yet but there is already a summer cottage that's been built to take advantage of the 'future' fishing potential.  Environmental concerns weren't quite the same back then and the outhouse might be just a tad close to the lake.  There has been a bit of geological formation taking place.  The rock wall on the far side of the lake now has some 'colour' and definition along with a bit of foliage but work continues....


This next photos shows 'Main Street' in Graham's Corners.  The town's main dry goods retailer has the prime corner real estate and has been a mainstay of the town for many years.  Apparently there has been a major sale since the store appears to have sold everything to the bare walls.  The owners have also been complaining to town council quite a bit since the sidewalk has yet to reach their front door and the dust from the street is quite bad in the summer.  A bit of local improvement would be greatly appreciated.  The picture second from the left is the other end of Main Street with a bit of industrial area in the foreground and Graham's Corners station trackside on the left.  At the left side of the photo is a train heading out of the yard area with a mixed freight consist.  The third photo is Main Street from the west end - there appears to have been an incident in the [future] park since an ambulance has been called to the scene.


The next photographs show the beginnings of the yard/staging area. A two-stall engine house is in the foreground and in the back is the roundhouse/turntable area.  The turntable is causing a bit of grief with the union at the moment since it has not been powered yet and all engines must be turned by manual labour.  There is a main line looping around the yard and access to the yard is from both the left and right as viewed in the pictures.


Here we are in 2011 and Graham's Corners has had some activity recently so it's time to catch up with the work.  A couple of new families moved in to the east side of town and are now occupying two bungalows -


The barrel factory is also in full production these days and has hired new employees to keep up with the new orders that have been booked.


There is a farmstead just to the east of town as well and they are developing a mixed farm so you will see beef and milk cattle along with some horses.  The barn was in need of some repairs but it's looking quite good these days.  The farm house was in fairly good condition so just needed a bit of sprucing up.


And, with all the new activity in town and all the new people, the train station is also getting a lot more traffic.  Regular passenger service has been restored but there are still lots of freights going though town as well.