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 The New Heartland Central RR


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The NEW HCRR -- Modular Layout Construction Underway

 The New Heartland Central RR

Miami’s AM Express N Scale Club is undergoing a major expansion. From a layout that was approximately 9' by 23' the new Heartland Centrall RR will be more than twice as large. Although the main line of the new layout will only be about a mile -- that's an N scale mile, of course -- longer than on the old layout, the new HCRR is designed for operations (even though none of the Club members have experience with model railroad operations).

The previous layout was designed for display. Unfortunately, the modules were too big to be easily moved. Before reconstruction began our Wednesday night sessions consisted primarily of running trains around the layout. While we enjoyed ourselves, a desire for more prototypical operations was nearly universal among the Club's membership.



 Club President Gene McNamara working on the new mountain.

 Randy King working on scenery at the outskirts of Dogwood.

So when our sponsor, Tex N Rails, a local mail order and retail model railroad dealer, decided to vacate the premises last March, we decided to take on paying the rent in order to have control over the facility. In April we took apart the original layout and began refurbishing our warehouse bay. We put up drywall on the bare walls and the exposed celiling beams. We painted the walls, ceiling and floor including a simulated sky backdrop. Finally, we were able to work on the new benchwork, reconnecting the rearranged old modules, tearing-up some track and laying new track, making a new gourge and mountain scenery. A port has been designed and the old yard redesigned and expanded. While we couldn't afford to throw away the old modules and begin a completely new layout, we did spend a lot of time and effort in melding the original layout modules into a new, more operationally focused layout. As is always the case in model railroad design, it wasn't possible to satisfy all of our desires, but we're looking foward to running the railroad!



 The new Black Rock Canyon.

 Steve Lucas working on Black Rock Canyon.

We also decided to give the railroad a name of its own. Since the layout is supposed to represent railroading in mid-America, we settled on Heartland Central Railroad.


AM Express takes great pride in being featured in the January-Februay, 2000, issue of N Scale Magazine.

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