During my time at Model Railroader and now at Model Railroader Video Plus, photos have proven to be my greatest source of inspiration for designing and building new layouts – and often as not, a single picture is all it’s taken to get the ball rolling. Therefore it’s not surprising that it was a photograph, or at least a small file-folder full of them, that gave the HO scale Winston-Salem Southbound layout its start.
I’d never heard of the “Southbound,” as the locals called it, until I’d found the photos. But it didn’t take much digging to realize that this railroad would make an ideal modeling subject. It covered a single region, served a variety of industries, had a fair amount of traffic, owned a varied roster of locomotives, and possessed a quirky history – all characteristics I deem necessary for a rewarding project.
After conducting some research on the WSS – and admittedly, there wasn’t much to go on – I focused on one small piece of it: the very tip of an industrial branch line. The result is a design for a shelf-style layout that will fit along an 11-foot wall, which can also be expanded as time and space allow.