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Basement Model Train HO Scale Layout


The Brandywine & Benedictine Railroad is a Class 1 Appalachian Coal Hauler modeled in the era of 50’s, specifically the year 1953. This marvel was created by Norman Stenzel and is an HO scale layout located in the basement of his home. We talk about needing space a lot in model railroading and Norman lucked out by having a ginormous 2,000 square feet basement!

This Appalachian retro themed model railroad is based on a fictional railroad called the Brandywine & Benedictine. Here’s a video tour of this highly creative layout for you to enjoy: (after viewing the video tour, be sure to check out the photos and descriptions section to gain more insight and possibly some ideas that you can implement in your own model train layout design.

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One thing that really separates this layout from others is how realistic it looks. We all know how much of an art it is to bring your layout to life. An intangible quality of this hobby is the ability to build something that helps lets everyone’s imagination fly when admiring the beautiful piece of work. It’s such a great feeling to create something that others admire and makes for an excellent topic for discussion around the dinner table with friends and family.

This is perhaps one of the better model train layouts out there in terms of its realistic attributes. One of the key factors that help make the layout seem very realistic is the quality of the materials. As we already know, the higher quality trains and cars always have more details that make it seem like the real thing. The same goes for the materials used in the scenery and track as well.

High-Quality HO Scale Locomotives

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Remember to always pay the extra buck when it comes to purchasing locomotives and other cars. Not only is it important for the cars to look as real as possible but it also has a large utility component. High-quality trains will have all the bells and whistles plus strong wheels so the train does not derail as easily. It will be much more smooth on the most critical part of any train, the start and stop mechanism.

Great Model Railroad Track Plan

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A crucial aspect as to why this layout has gained so much popularity is the overall track plan. The entire layout is utility based and provides a great idea of how functional it would be in real life. The turn radius for the curves is ever so smooth and looks aesthetically pleasing as the trains rotate across them. Also, the contrast between the track and the scenery is another standout feature.

Exceptional Buildings and Scenery

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If you’ve viewed the video, you’ll notice the super detailed buildings and drama that encapsulates the everyday life of 1953.

Astonishing Model Train Tunnel

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One of the most beloved features of the Brandywine & Benedictine Railroad is a Class 1 Appalachian Coal Hauler is its majestic tunnels. Now that the layout is on display at the Annual Tour of Atlanta’s Great Model Railroads in October and November many people comment on its tunnels.

Interested in taking ideas from this layout and adding it yours? Try to get the fundamentals down in this free exercise with the Ultimate Model Trains for Beginners Starter Guide, it’s free.

Want to visit this gem? Here are the details:

Norm Stenzel
1620 Highland Farm Drive
Suwanee, GA 30024
Wheelchair Accessible: No

Free Track PlansClick Here