Frost River Layout Tour

Welcome to Frost River!

Current Status

Basic benchwork is complete. I am laying track, installing lighting, and creating an operations plan.

Layout Design

Track plan design by M.C. Fujiwara, Yardgoat Layout Designs, San Francisco CA

  • Name: The Frost River Sub (or Frost River Branch)
  • Scale: N (1:160)
  • Prototype: Freelanced
  • Locale / Era: Central Kentucky, modern day
  • Style: Walk-in / Around the walls shelf
  • Room Size: 10' x 10' (4.7 x 4.7 m)
  • Layout Size: approximately 48 ft2 (22.3 m2)
  • Turnouts: Minimum #7 (mainline) or #5 (yard/industry)
  • Minimum Radius: 15"
  • Maximum Grade: 0%
  • Height: 54"
  • Benchwork: EPS foam on box grid
  • Roadbed: Cork
  • Track: Atlas and MicroEngineering Code 55
  • Control: Digitrax DCC

3D Model

This is a 3D Sketchup model of the layout as I plan to build it. Some walls have been omitted for easy viewing. You can zoom, rotate and pan the view, and go fullscreen.

(Works best in Chrome or Firefox)

  • Click/drag to rotate
  • Shift-click/drag to pan
  • Two-finger drag (Mac) or scroll wheel (3-button mouse) to zoom

Layout Theme

Frost River is a fictional town in South-Central Kentucky, and is the Western terminus of the CH&FR Railroad, save for its extension to the Norfolk Southern interchange at Danville, KY. The industries on the layout are fictional, but are based relatively closely upon actual businesses in the Lexington, KY area.

The time frame is modern day, 21st century, though the exact date is left open to interpretation, and the season is (tentatively) springtime.

Operations are focused on industrial switching on the Frost River Branch and on the main line through town, with attendant yard ops. Main line through trains are supported through a hidden five-track staging yard.


Industries on the layout are based upon (or at least "inspired by") real industries in the Central Kentucky area. Some are still awaiting names and stories.

  1. Commonwealth Printing -- Manufacturer of printed boxes and packaging materials. Indoor loading dock
  2. Unnamed industry with indoor loading dock (hidden staging)
  3. Dixie Cup -- model of Georgia Pacific's Lexington KY Dixie Cup factory. Indoor dock plus exterior tank car spot.
  4. JIF Peanut Butter Plant -- covered hoppers and tanks
  5. GAF Roofing Proucts -- Asphalt shingles and related roofing products. Covered hoppers and tanks
  6. 84 Lumber -- retail lumber yard with unloading of centerbeam flats
  7. West 6th Brewing Co. -- loading dock and storage track
  8. W.T. Young Storage -- transfer warehouse with dock doors doubles as cover for hidden staging
  9. Frost River Yard
  10. Pepsi Co. bottling plant -- tank cars. Also covers hidden staging
  11. Frost River Yard Engine Service
  12. Standlee Forage -- hay distribution warehouse. Dock door with boxcars.
  13. Amtrak flag stop
  14. Possible Amtrak flag stop

Information for Operators

Frost River Yard

Frost River Yard models a typical small yard as might be found at an interchange or branch line terminus, with facilities for crew change and light car service.

  • 2 A/D tracks (413 and 653 scale feet)
  • 6 Classification tracks (avg. 468 scale feet)
  • Engine Service for yard engines
  • Light RIP service for cars
  • Passing siding (560 scale feet)


Staging for mainline operations is along the East wall of the room, hidden behind and beneath the W.T. Young warehouse complex. The warehouse structures will be removable for maintenance access to the staging tracks. The five staging tracks range in length from 960 to 1200 scale feet.


Links to forum threads and other sites with additional information. Links will open in a separate tab.