Layout Photo Tour
A quick photo trip around the layout -
The layout is always changing but this is a snapshot as of May 2009
[Click images/Photos to Enlarge]
We will start our tour at the south end of the railroad.


Remember the railroad runs from Fort Wayne, Indiana
north to Mackinaw City, Michigan.  (see the map at the
right).  We only model the Northern Subdivision from
Grand Rapids, MI, north to Mackinaw City.  Grand Rapids
is nearly half way between Fort Wayne and Mackinaw City
and represents the division point yard between the
Northern and the Southern divisions.

On my railroad, Fort Wayne represents the southern  
staging yard.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne, as seen in the photo at right,
represents all traffic coming from or going to
the south.  Normally, trains come up from Fort
Wayne, interchange cars in Comstock Park
Yard in Grand Rapids and return south back
to Fort Wayne.

Some trains are strictly bridge traffic and
travel from Fort Wayne, directly to Mackinac
City, with little or no work along with way.
Fort Wayne is a six track loop with each track holding at least 25 cars.  There are also
several other stub end tracks around the loop area.  Fort Wayne is the lowest elevation on
the railroad at approximately 42 inches off the floor.  In an extended operating session, the
trains in the staging loop can be re-billed and be ready to go north again, giving the
railroad a perpetual operating scheme with little or no staging necessary between sessions.
To the left is a photo taken from farther back showing
the shadow box effect facilitated by the mushroom
design.  Behind the valance at the top is part of the
City of Petoskey that is viewed and operated from a
raised floor on the other side of the isle.  I am using
compact flourescent lights spaced approximately
every two feet.  The CF bulbs cut down on the heat
and give a nice light (in my opinion).  I have been
experimenting with different light temperatures to see
which color I like.
The Grand Rapids Industrial District is 43" off of the layout room floor.
Comstock Park Yard, Grand Rapids
The next stop north from the Grand Rapids Industrial District
is the main yard for the Chicago & Mackinac, Comstock Park
Yard, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  In the real world, as in the
world of model railroading, Comstock Park is a small town just
north of the large city of Grand Rapids, where the GR&I/PRR
had their large yard.  These are early shots of the yard, which
is now ballasted and weeded!

The top photo at the left show Comstock Park Yard looking
south.  The yard has 5 track classification tracks (most left
tracks), two arrival/ departure tracks, a siding and mainline,
plus a "0" track at the far right of the top photo.
The bottom photo is looking north at the engine facility in the
yard.  In the background you see the Grand Rapids
passenger station which is also the world headquarter of the
Chicago & Mackinac Railroad.
Comstock Park Yard, Grand Rapids is 48" off of the layout room floor.
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Photo Tour
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Heading north out of Fort Wayne you travel
through the Grand Rapids Industrial District
(GRI).  This is a narrow shelf switching area
ABOUT 18" DEEP.

This area is the bottom part of a mushroom area
of the layout.  Directly above GRI is the City of
Petoskey which is accessed from a raised floor on
the other side.  We will see Petoskey a little later.
The photo at the right shows a work-in-progress  
Fisher Body Assembly Plant along with American
Lots of buildings to build and scenery/ground
cover to add.  This is a shot facing north.  The
mainline, closest to the isle, curves right on its
way to Comstock Park Yard which is just north of
Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids Industrial District
Tour
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Page 4
To the right is the Grand
Rapids Produce
Terminal.  It occupies the
south end of the Grand
Rapids Industrial District.
Here is an updated photo of the GRI
district.  The red brick building is a
currently negotiating a shipping
contract.  This industry will soon be a
customer of the C&M.  Business is Good!
Here are a couple of updated
photos of the C&M World
Headquarters building. A leased
Pere Marquette E-7 is shown ready
to depart at the head of the  
Local/Mail train #102 going from
Grand Raids north to Mackinaw City.
Here is Comstock Park yard.  The
sanding and fueling facilities are in
view here.  The gray ALCO, #72, an
S-3 is ready for the paint shop.  More
photos to come.
More on Comstock Park.  On
the right is a ground level
shot of the engine facility.  
The Headquarters  Building
and passenger station are in
the background.