Welcome to New Britain Station where you can read all about my HO Scale model railroad. I'm modeling the New Haven Railroad in New Britain, CT. Operating sessions will cover the New Haven's transition from steam to diesel from 1946 to 1954, although initial sessions will focus on late autumn of 1947.

See videos of my layout on


Layout at a Glance

Prototype: New York, New Haven & Hartford
Locale: New Britain, CT
Period: 1946 to 1954
Scale: HO (1:87.1)
Layout Size: 10' x 20' plus a 12' x 4' alcove
Style: Walk-in
Benchwork: OSB/dimensional lumber, masonite helix
Roadbed: N-scale cork
Track: Micro Engineering Code 70
Mainline Run: 40'
Maximum Grade: 2 percent
Turnouts: Micro Engineering Code 70 #6
Turnout control: Manual, Tam Valley Depot Frog Juicers
Minimum radius: Mainline 26"
Control: MRC Prodigy Wireless
Decoders: OEM and ESU Loksound
Scenery construction: tbd
Backdrop: Coved masonite

The Highland Line in New Britain, CT from East Main Street to Curtis Street.

New Britain offers a unique mix of small industries, several large industries, three small yards with two locally assigned switchers, and a double-track mainline. It has a reasonable amount of traffic to model, with relatively short passenger trains, and a mix of short and very long freights. Industries accept almost all types of cars, from reefers and box cars, to lots of gondolas and hoppers. About the only cars not delivered in town are stock cars, but they are seen on the the through freights to Hartford.

The layout room is 10' x 20' with an alcove on one of the long sides of about 12' x 4'. It is an around-the-walls layout with a helix at each end leading to staging under the main deck. Including the staging, the trackwork is a complete loop allowing continuous running.

The model covers the Highland Line portion of New Britain only from about Smalley Street to Burritt Street. The Berlin branch is represented by a small yard that may also be used as a fiddle yard.

To model the entire area to scale would require about 150' of mainline run (it's about 2.5 miles). In this particular model I will not be able to do that. I can model the station area pretty faithfully, though. It only requires about 10' to model. The rest of the layout uses selective compression. More compression and changes are the a result of the necessity for curves to fit the room rather than actual distance.

The design of the layout follows the prototype as faithfully as possible, but operability is of utmost importance and where necessary changes have been made.

The lower staging deck follows the same footprint as the upper scenicked deck, although it is narrower in most places. The staging is all stub-ended off of a single-track main with a 10' passing track that also bypasses the majority of the turnouts. I am not concerned with the helixes (helices?) from an operational standpoint because trains will only originate and terminate from them, instead of running between decks on a multideck layout.