Quarter-inch scale has much to offer a modeler but space required to develop a layout is not it. Many are discouraged because they don’t have a large room to work in. English modelers have addressed their space challenges by modeling a small terminal or branch end. A Canadian modeler by the name of Trevor Marshall had developed a highly interesting branch with lots of operational possibilities with a very simple track plan. I believe there are only eight turnouts on his Canadian National branch. Trevor works in S scale but his approach could be done in 1/4″ scale in a slightly larger basement. Visit his blog site Port Rowan and see what he has done.
Robert Leners picked a good candidate for a quarter-inch scale. Benton, Wisconsin on the old Chicago & Northwestern. Benton ended up at the end of a truncated line that once ran south of Wisconsin Illinois border. What was unique about the branch end was a turntable on what was the former mainline.
The branch terminal was the subject of an article in the March 1958 Model Railroader. The Benton depot was drawn in the MR as well. There were a few industries like a oil and coal dealers at Benton. As you can see above, the line lasted into the diesel era.
The little depot was about 32′ long but apparently longer when the line continued south. Robert built the depot from styrene and reworked a narrow gauge turntable to serve standard gauge equipment.
The Benton scene will fit in a relatively small area and could be an interesting operation with an off-stage fiddle yard to set up inbound trains.
The neat part of this prototype is that Glacier Park Models imported four different R-1 ten-wheelers like the 1400 model shown above in Robert’s pictures. Not all roads are represented by steam era locos but then there are those newfangled diesels.
I wanted to thank Robert for the pictures.