The NWV Modular Layout Project

Module Group:

At the 2012 Annual Meeting, the members decided to form a module group. Members joining the group would build member-owned modules to be available for display at local train events.


The Group decided to adapt the Free-Mo Double Track Module Standards. The module width is 26 inches. Two main line tracks are placed at the center of the module interface. The track centers are 2 inches apart. The group will use Atlas code 83 flex track with Peco code 83 turnouts. The modules are each 4 feet in length. While the length requirement is not part of the Free-Mo Standard, it was thought that an individual 4 foot module could be transported easily in a member’s vehicle. The track electrical power follows Free-Mo standards with a two wire bus under each main line track with Jones connectors at each  module interface.

A document with changes to the Free-Mo standard as modified for use by the NWV is available ==> (click  here).

The module frames are built from inch MDO plywood. The end plates are 6 inches x 24 inches. The length wise frame piece is 4 inches by 48 inches. Cross brace supports are 24 inches by 3 inches.

Sub-roadbed is inch CDX plywood. It is placed under all track work so each module becomes unique at this point. A module with only main line track has a 5 inch wide plywood panel placed down the center of the module. DOW inch foam board is placed on each side of the roadbed to support scenery.

Main Line Only Module: Roadbed equals 5 inches wide. Daniel and Mike are each building one.

Mainline with passing siding & spur track module: Roadbed equals 9 inches wide.  Mitch is building one.

Mainline with an industrial area: Roadbed equals 15 inches wide. Dana and Dave are each building one.

Mainline with a river cut out for a bridge (50 HO feet long). Paul is building one.

A special deep module to support a 10 inch steel deck bridge with steel towers is also being built. A sheet of inch plywood provides the river floor. The bridge will be placed into the river and roadbed will be built up to the bridge.

Module Progress

As 2012 comes to a close, we’re making some good progress on the modules.  Most now have roadbed, track and track wiring, with additional wiring for the module interconnects to be done this month, along with legs. Here are a couple shots of the bridge modules described earlier:

As the new year rolls along, the module project is pushing forward.  An initial operational test is scheduled in the next 2 weeks and modules are now beginning to get scenery, ballast, etc.  Here are the latest photos of the 2 bridge modules:

Modular Layout