John Mitchell's Canadian Southern Railway

(HO Scale Railroading)


The Canada Southern is designed to represent the NYC high speed double main track through South Western Ontario in the mid-fifties. The upper level models the Windsor yard and icing facilities, the Detroit passenger terminal, the Detroit River Tunnel and the branch to the Heinz cannery in Leamington. Although the helix was completed recently, no work has been started on the lower level which will represent the small south western Ontario town of West Lorne and the division point of St. Thomas.
The layout is prototypical and operations oriented. It features NYC luxury passenger trains and high speed through freights as well as local switching. Two other railroads are modelled. The Pere Marquette (C&O) is represented by symbol freights and locals running on their own trackage from Detroit to St. Thomas, while CPR passenger trains use the Detroit River Tunnel during the course of their Toronto/Detroit/Chicago routes. Extensive staging is in place to handle this traffic. The layout uses Digitrax DCC and Soundtraxx sound decoders.
The comprehensive fleet of locomotives, passenger & freight equipment are all painted accurately for mid 50's paint schemes and weathered extensively. The Detroit Passenger Terminal and area are well developed scenikly, with most other areas under development with buildings or mockups in place.

Scale: HO
Size: 20ft x 24ft
Prototype: CSR (NYC), C&O, CPR.
Locale: Detroit to St. Thomas Ont.
Period: mid 50's.
Layout Style: Double level shelf with helix.
Layout Height: 40 and 58 inches
Benchwork: Cantilevered shelf.
Roadbed: Cork on homasote and plywood
Track: Microengineering Code 55, 70, 83 with Atlas code 100 in staging.
Turnouts: Microengineering Code 83, 70, Atlas Code 83, Peco Code 75 and 100.
Minimum Radius: 24 inch most substantially larger.
Length Of Mainline: 160 feet visible, 50 ft in staging, 90 ft in helix.
Scenery: carved styrofoam.
Backdrop: Pained masonite, cut out paper flats.
Power System: Digitrax DCC.
Operations: Switch lists, Dispatcher.
Typical Operating Crew: 3 to 8.



Photos from Feb 2002.


The passenger and engine facilities at West Detroit.

Another view of the Passenger Terminal at West Detroit.

The double track helix behind the white walls joins the upper and lower decks.


John scratch built this icing platform to service the express reefers.

A line industry located in the back corner of the Detroit yard.

Here is the President - John - operating a consist.


John created this sliding switch in order to squeeze the maximum amount of staging track without loosing space to a long switch ladder.

The Ontario side of the Windsor tunnel entrance.

Photos from the Sept 30'06 SLD Meet.












This Web page is written and maintained by Grant Knowles.
This page was last updated on February, 2002.

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