2014-10.1: Quebec & New England RR ops

07 Oct 2014

Average: 4.4 (25 votes)
26:45 - October 2014 Act I - Quebec & New England RR operations (2014)

In this segment (ACT I):

The Quebec and New England Railroad is a 350-square-foot HO-scale layout built by Sheldon Frankel, a civil engineer and real-world railroad planner.  We take an intense look at his operations, as TrainMasters TV host Lionel Strang participates in one of Sheldon's operating sessions.

Also in the October show …

  1. The Backshop Clinic:  Train crew signals for operating sessions
  2. The Roadshow:  Building Free-Mo modules
  3. Back to the Basement:  Subroadbed with Miles Hale

Act II: Backshop clinic: Switchman's class ...

Go to Act II

For more Q&NE resources, see the listed attachments, below.


Bill Brillinger's picture

Fantastic! There is so much packed into this segment, I'm gonna have to watch it a few times just to take it all in. Probably my favorite TMTV spot yet!

WOW  great layout i have to watch it another couple of time


Very nice layout. Great design and operation. I like that he left room for the operators with wide aisles. I also like the height of the layout too. Great tip seeing the track cleaning device is on the bottom of the caboose.  Looking forward to seeing this layout in the future. 

Thanks. I have about 30 more videos on YouTube at "QNERailroad" if you are interested. Enjoy.

We've added some PDF attachments to this video, so enjoy. We're also discussing with Sheldon the possibility of posting a writeup on his spreadsheet paperwork here.

Bill Brillinger's picture

Thanks for the additional resources!

Question - what do the "Do Not" circle symbols mean on the schematics?


Those are the locations of hidden uncoupling magnets. For the most part they work well in industrial settings, but there are one or two locations where if I could do it again i would not have installed them, as they can cause unwanted uncoupling of train movements.


I was a little confused with the talk about the high and low yards. I wish you has shown an overview scematic of the entire railroad. Is it one level or two? Is there staging and if so where? Whats the status of landscaping and/or finishes or is it complete?

Beautiful detailing where done and obviously a well thought out and designed operating scheme but I couldn't get a sense of where the trains were coming from or going too.

Was it built as a switching layout only?


If you look just under the video screen there are five pdf files that you can refer to to orient you when watching the video. All of the yards and industrial areas are shown on the first file, named "visible". I only call the industrial zones "upper" and lower" because they are actually higher or lower than the interchange yard and train movements have to climb some grades to get to or from them. Everything other than staging is on this one visible "level". The staging yards and continuous running connections are located on a lower (hidden) level that is reached via two helices. You can see the track arrangement for the lower level on the last pdf file.

Landscaping is about 20-25% done - to the point where there is ground cover and trees are planted. The whole layout is ballasted and there is a base coat of green/brown paint that stands in for ground cover until I get around to it. I'm starting to experiment with static grass now, and over time I may redo some of the ground foam areas.

The operaing focus of the layout is the interchange with Conrail and the many industries served by the QNE. A daily QNE train arrives from west staging (actually southbound from Montreal) via Conrail trackage rights with local traffic as well as cars for interchange with eastbound and westbound Conrail trains. The QNE crew and power lay over and return northbound during the following operating session. There are two separate staging loops so that westbound Conrail trains are automatically turned to become eastbound trains (and vice versa) in a later operating session. The same trains do not show up on the layout more often than once every third operating session because there are seven complete Conrail train consists and two QNE consists in staging, but only one eastbound Conrail, one westbound Contrail and one southbound QNE train work the layout during each operating session. There are also two staging tracks for through trains that use the continuous running connections.  

Hope this helps.


Nice layout, and very nice length of video. It worked out well.

I hope you'll do another segment on this layout when he gets a little further along with the scenery. This has all the makings of a terrific layout!



Sheldon, thank you very much for the explanation above. I've watched the video again with your feedback and everything was much clearer. Beautiful railroad. I hope we get to visit again. Bob

great switching layout

Great layout, wish I could join in an operating session.... :-) You also show that railroading is fun!

Hi Sheldon

Seeing this video is awesome can't stop watching it gives me ideas for my N Scale layout.

I know that on this site you can see the schematics of your layout but on your video, you are using an Excel macro for your switch list.

My question is can we get a copy of that Excel file somewhere?



Hi Sheldon! Gary here. I joined Trainmasters TV back in December and I finally caught up to your layout and this rather enjoyable but intense feature (for a rookie like me) of the QNE :-) Great stuff and it's nice to see that you have found time recently to upload some YouTube clips on your latest scratch-kit buildings. Keep them coming! BTW, my retirement project is building my own 20 x 10 layout and I owe a lot to you for providing some inspiration and renewed interest toward one of my long-time goals. Thanks pal