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BRAD'S
MILWAUKEE ROAD 
& SOO LINE

 

OWNER: Brad Nelson
LAYOUT TYPE: Dual Level each having Dual Mains around the wall type
RAIL CODE: Code 148 on lower mains and code 215 Gargraves on upper mains
POWERED BY: DC on all four mains with each having individual controls

Brad began his S-gauge adventure in 1971 with an American Flyer layout that lasted nearly 20 years. As with most modelers they are inspired to try something different so some do. Brad took the challenge and tore the Flyer layout apart and started over putting things into a perspective that he felt was right for him. From 1991 and forward, this layout was to be the ultimate in operations and flexibility. The running of trains was important so ach of the mains has it's own power allowing 4 train operation without incident. The inside on the lower level feeds most of the businesses in town. The upper level provides clear view of the drivers on the steam engines which is a plus for those who love the action of miniature power. The layout is four feet wide allowing the detail to form a forced perspective using larger things near the front (some O scale) and S-scale towards the rear. Brad did get rid of some of the flyer accessories he had because they just didn't fit into his vision.

As the rails leave the mountainous regions that hosts a lumber mill and coal mine, they enter a city called Evergreen. This city is located somewhere in the western part of the Midwest, possibly Montana. Evergreen is a hub of rails that intersect many lines including the Soo Line and Milwaukee Road. These freights service most of the industries in Evergreen including the cement factory. There is a turntable and maintenance yard that will take on any service for any line that has a contract with them. Now that's something you don't see every day.

The bench work is higher than most rail systems coming in at 52 to 56 inches for a reason. Brad felt that it put the viewer closer to the miniature detail and created realism. Many of the accessories and buildings are recessed into the bench work giving them a more scale height and natural appearance. Bridges are scratch built as well as some of the buildings. Other buildings are from kits built by either Brad or Roy Meissner one of BSG's master builders. Some of the buildings are Plasticville weathered to look amazingly real. Brad has the ability to tether a remote panel for activation of switches and accessories by plugging it into remote locations in the attractive control panel that was built surrounding the inside of his layout.

Photos by Doug Stoll

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