Welcome to my Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Web Site. The railroad is HO
scale and occupies about 75% of my basement. It models three branches of
the LIRR, namely the Port Jefferson Branch, the Atlantic Branch, and the
City Terminal Zone.
Depending on the engines, passenger cars, and cabooses that I put on the
layout, the era will change. It can be 1964 when the New York World's
Fair was being held in Flushing Meadow, New York, and the LIRR was in
the Goodfellow livery of gray with an orange "swoop" on the sides of the
engines, or the early 1950's when the LIRR was transitioning to the
Tichy light gray paint scheme on the engines and passenger cars, or
finally the late 1940's when steam ruled the rails and the passenger
fleet was in Pennsylvania Tuscan red.
I started the layout in October of 1988, when we moved into our current
house, and I only modeled the Port Jefferson branch between Greenlawn
and Jamaica, Queens. In 2005 I expanded into an adjacent 12' x 12' room
and modeled the CityTerminal Zone. This consisted of modeling the high
rise buildings in New York City, a double track overhead El subway line,
and also the trackage that went under the East River into Pennsylvania
Station in Manhattan. I modeled Pennsylvania Station, including a
cut-away of the underground shopping mall and the LIRR platforms.
In 2015, I expanded yet again into the back half of the finished side of
our basement and modeled the Atlantic Branch, which ran to Brooklyn. I
have modeled Flatbush Avenue as well as the Long Island City car float
yard, car float bridges, and car floats.
About the Layout
The layout started in a 13' x 17' room in my basement. As mentioned
above, in 2005 my youngest son went off to college, and it gave me an
opportunity to clear both of my sons' junk out of a 12' x 12' basement
room adjacent to the original layout. This room became the City Terminal
Zone of the LIRR. In 2005 I retired after 42 years of government
service, and received permission from management to expand into the back
half of the finished part of the basement, roughly an 11' x 20' area. It
is in this area I modeled the Atlantic Branch, which included Flatbush
Avenue in Brooklyn, Holban Yard, and the car float yard in Long Island
While the Port Jefferson Branch is an around-the-walls layout with a
center island, the City Terminal Zone was designed as an island due to
the need to access the furnace, water heater, and main water shutoff
valve. The Atlantic Branch was also designed as an island in order to
eliminate the need for a duck-under to access the bathroom.
While originally designed for just one-person operation, some time ago I
became a member of an operations group with nine members. Thus, over the
years I have made many track changes to the original track plan in order
to make the layout more conducive to operations with up to eight or even
nine operators running trains at any given time. I operate using
switchlists for local freights to deliver and pick up cars at various
industries around my layout and my passenger trains have six stations to
stop at and pick up and discharge passengers while traversing the
The layout covers a total of about 310 sq. ft. The mainline is
double track, folded dogbone arrangement. A trip around the layout,
starting and ending at the same point, is about 300 feet. All track
is code 83 Atlas flex track, except Sunnyside Yard, which is code
70. The minimum radius is 24" and the maximum grade is about 3%.
Benchwork is all L-Girder and the height is about 50" off the floor. The
layout is powered with Digitrax wireless DCC. Many of the sections have
lighted buildings, streetlights, and electroluminescent signs, which
contribute to some nice nighttime scenes. All roadway crossings have
operating automatic flashing crossbucks, and two roadway crossings on
the Atlantic branch have automatically operating crossing gates.
The layout has over 800 motor vehicles and over 2000 figures.
I did not intend the layout to be geographically correct nor did I
intend it to accurately model any specific scenes or areas. My intent
was simply to capture the urban and suburban ambiance of various areas
around Long Island and New York City that the LIRR served. For example,
my most recent addition models Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, but Holban
Yard, which is in Queens, is right in front of it. The trackage on my
Port Jefferson Branch runs through the Town of Huntington and I have a
waterfront scene near the Greenlawn Station. The LIRR actually ran
through a town called Huntington Station, which is 3 miles south of
Huntington Harbor, and Greenlawn was about 3 miles south of Centerport
Harbor. However, I enjoy modeling waterfront scenes, so my version of
the LIRR runs near the Long Island Sound waterfront.
I hope you enjoy your visit to my layout. If you have any questions or
comments, feel free to contact me at BWSheron@mac.com
My name is Brian Sheron and I am a native of Huntington, New York, but
have lived in Maryland since 1969 and in Poolesville since 1974. I am
married and have two sons and one grandson. Professionally I am an
engineer, with a B.S in Electrical Engineering from Duke University, and
Master's degree and PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the Catholic
University of America. I retired as the Director of Research at the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission after 42 years of Federal service in
November of 2015.
I have been actively involved with the model railroading hobby since
1980. I model the Long Island Rail Road, circa 1948, 1954, and 1964, in
HO scale. I chose those three time periods to model because it allows me
to run motive power as well as passenger cars with paint schemes
appropriate for those periods. My layout was featured in the September,
1997 issue of Railmodel Journal. I received my Master Model Railroader
(MMR) Certificate in 2011.
I belong to an operations group with 9 members, and we meet once a week
at a different member's layouts and conduct an operating session for
about 90 minutes.
In my spare time, when I'm not working on my trains, I enjoy playing the
banjo and play in a local band.
Last modified: May 20 2020 11:03:31. Site designed and
implemented by Marshall Abrams