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Great Model Railroads By Allen Keller Vol. # 6


Volume 6 - Dick Elwell's Hoosac Valley Railroad
Dick Elwell's Hoosac Valley is a bridge route that interchanges with the Boston & Albany, the Delaware & Hudson, the New Haven and the New York Central. The HO railroad features magnificent New England scenery with lots of rivers and forested mountains.

Dick will show you his method for making super-detailed foreground trees. That skill at detailing carries over to the layout's many mini-scenes. These are life-like vignettes that tell a story of a slower era.

You'll tour the 40x26 foot Hoosac Valley from one end of the layout to the other behind a GP-7, and then an RS-1. You'll go on board to enjoy a beautiful looking and operating railroad that Dick and his friends have created with exquisitely weathered structures and rolling stock.

The 31 year old Hoosac Valley has kept up with changes in the hobby by adding radio control throttles and walkaround design. Although the mainline has changed very little over the years, the scenery itself has been re-done 3 times as new methods came into the hobby. Some changes in the trackplan required more space, so Dick used a practical approach to negotiate for additional right- of-way.

You'll be inspired as Dick recounts some of his early pitfalls as a beginner in 1959. And you'll enjoy knowing that this layout evolved from an idea on a piece of paper into a Great Model Railroad.


By George Ardwin
Dick Elwell's Hoosac Valley is HO Scale and 40' X 26' in size. It has quite a varied topography. There are lots of hills, canyons and rivers. It can be run point-to-point, but also has a continuous loop.

The track is all handlaid, which is something Dick enjoys doing, and he does it well. This layout was built over thirty years ago and has seen many changes throughout the years, mostly to the scenery. He uses block control and a bit of radio control too.

The weathering is well done and muted colors are used to their best advantage. The backgrounds are all hand painted and go with the scenery quite well.

Dick did not choose a specific time frame to model. The scenic details suggest somewhere between 1930 and the mid fifties. The colors of the foliage suggest the season as early fall.

Structures are mostly scratchbuilt or kitbashed, which gives the scenery an original look to it.

Motive power in the video was almost ALL diesel, but a solitary Steamer did show up in a few scenes. HOWEVER, there is a roundhouse FULL of steam power.

The railroads running on the layout include New Haven, New York Central, Delaware & Hudson plus Dick's Hoosac Valley Line. There is mostly freight running with a smidgen of passenger service for added flavor.

The following demonstrations are shown:

As with all videos in this series, every one is a winner. They are both enjoyable and informative.

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