Saturday, 18 June 2016

A Visit To The New Baltimore and Fair Haven RR. by Don Janes

The car ferry Hercules is loaded and ready to depart the ferry slip at East Bay on Greg Rich's New Baltimore and Fair Haven RR.

A 1920's Layout Designed for Operation With Beautiful Scenery

     Last fall I got an e-mail from fellow CV modeller Mark Olstyn inviting George, Peter and myself to visit Greg Rich's model railroad.  He included a link to some photos of Greg's layout and to say the least I was blown away by images of an awesome 1920's layout loaded with fantastic scenery and endless detail.  We had to make this trip.  Not long after that I was in Imlay City, MI at an operating session on my good friend Bill Moore's B&M layout and struck up a pleasant conversation with a fellow and happened to mention Mark's invitation and this beautiful layout we had been invited to.  As it turned out I was talking to Greg Rich, owner of the layout.  Greg also extended the invitation.  In the meantime Greg's layout was the cover story in the June 2016 Model Railroader.  Finally the stars aligned and George, Peter and I headed down to New Baltimore, MI this past Monday to visit Greg and Mark.
Greg scratchbuilt this old garage/apartment building from a single photo he found in a book.  Each porch is loaded with fine detail
        The layout looks awesome when seen in MR and other photos but to see it in person was a real treat.  It is located in part of Greg's nicely finished basement and features wide flowing aisles and lots of lighting that really highlights Greg's work.  There are long mainline runs as well as several well detailed city scenes.  What really impressed me was the number of scratchbuilt structures and scenes and also Greg's ability to modify kits to fit his needs and vision. I could go on and on about Greg's beautiful work but instead sit back and enjoy the photos and see for yourself.  Make sure to get a copy of the June MR to read all about this turn of the century work of art.
Here is another view of the yard and ferry slip at East Bay.
The city of Fair Haven is at one end of the point to point layout. Greg has done an excellent job using mirrors to extend the scene.
This photo shows three mini scenes, each loaded with exquisite detail.  Note the large poles holding up the water tower that has a lean to it.  Also note how the 3D scenery blends right into Greg's hand painted scenery in the background.
The new Baltimore engine facility is at the other end of the layout.  Again, the scene is loaded with details. You could not possibly see all the layout detail in one, or even two visits.
The Red Top Dairy located in New Baltimore is an example of Greg's kitbashing talents.  This is a old Magnuson Models kit that was built to fit into the available space.  Below is part of the harbor scene at Potominac. 


  1. Thanks for showing us Greg's layout.For some reason I mislaid my June MR, so this comes as a surprise to me. What a layout... The detail reminds me of some of the best of George Sellios, only in a more rural and more romantic form If I can say that, with apologies to George. Thanks again and greetings from Downunder.- And highest compliments for your own work.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. Having seen George's fine railroad, I am indeed humbled by your comparison.

  2. Hi: Glad you liked the layout visit. It is an amazing layout. Stay tuned for part 2 later this week....Don