The Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad

in On2, ca. 1919


Albert Churella



Click HERE for a video of the layout, made by my friend and fellow model railroader Bob Wood, from EMS Productions  


         I have been involved in On2 for nearly 20 years, but since 1996, my goal has been to model the SR&RL as accurately as possible, as it existed during the summer of 1919.  I am fortunate to have a large walk-out basement, encompassing about 1,800 square feet.  Even so, 46"-radius curves and #8 turnouts will require that I build the layout on two levels.  I have described several stages of the design and construction process in issues of the Maine Two-Foot Quarterly.  The track plans shown below represent my initial planning efforts.  I have made some changes, as you can see from the photos.  Nevertheless, I have been quite successful in my goals, which include:


  • Modeling as much of the SR&RL as possible
  • Modeling the track layouts as accurately as possible, in order to permit prototypical operation
  • Modeling all major structures as accurately as possible with minimal selective compression
  • Arranging the tracks so that viewers will see a scene that "looks" right – i.e., they won't have to look down the hill at Farmington, toward the Sandy River, when virtually all prototype photos were taken from the other direction
  • Avoiding duckunders wherever possible, allowing engineers to follow their trains around the layout with a minimum of effort – not an easy thing to do, with the railroad having what is essentially a wye at Strong


     I completed several sections of the layout, including the Phillips yard and the Rangeley / Marbles area, prior to moving into our current house in 2001.  I spent the next several years building cars and structures, while working on all of the necessary installation of drywall, suspended ceilings, lighting, etc.  The mainline between Phillips and Strong was in place by the summer of 2005, with work then proceeding north from Phillips to Reeds and South from Strong toward Farmington.  I am still working on Room 4 (the right-most room, on the plans below), with the large balloon loop containing the trackage between Maplewood and Strong, as well as the South Strong station and (on the line to Kingfield on the next level up) the site of Starbird's Mill completed in the summer of 2013.  All of the On2 and O-standard track is in place at Farmington, with the SR&RL / MEC station completed, and scenery added in the summer of 2015.  Aside from the Rangeley / Marbles area, I have not done much with the upper level -- there are always little glitches to fix on the lower level, and there is a reason why they call this scale "no-run-2"!

     I have made some modifications to the plans below, most notably in the position of the International Mill in Room 2 and in the position of Strong in Room 3.  The photos will give you a better idea of what went where.  I have been working on the layout for quite a while now and, for the most part, I am quite pleased with the results – I hope that you will be, too!


Click HERE for more detail on the lower level

Click HERE for more detail on the upper level


Send me an e-mail