Modeling the Rock Island
Railroad By Kelly Housman 

Recreating the historic Rock Island railroad 


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March 2015 Update

Posted by Kelly Housman on March 20, 2015 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi All,

 Sorry for the extended delay in posting new content. I've had a lot going on, and have made some decent progress on the layout. Not as far as I'd hoped, but I really struggled trying to find a backdrop sky I liked. I found a method that seems to work, and I'm sticking with it. It's a little dark, but by the time I add clouds it should look great.  -Kelly

Be Sure to check out the newest Photos in the March 2015 Update ablum.

November update

Posted by Kelly Housman on November 28, 2013 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Wow a lot has changed since my last post. I've made some great progress on the layout. I've got the Track laid on the Rock Island side, and I'm now working on the Silvis yard section. Although I'm missing some turnouts, so I'm waiting for those to come in. I did make some changes to the layout (AGAIN). but I think it looks much better. I completely isolated the Silvis yard from the mainline, and using the 1 into 3 switch I think it looks much better. You can see a picture of the new layout under the plan page. I also organized my tools and cleaned up the area, as it was starting to get to messy to work.  I'm getting ready to start work on the Chicago Union Yard, as I have to wait for a few switches to come in for the Silvis side main line. I also got a decent amount of fascia board installed. Also the mainline buss power feed wires are ran, and I have a set of feeder wires connected to it. I also ran the CAT5 wire for the locoNet, and installed 3 of the 4 fascia panel plates. you can check out the latest photos here.

Weekend Update

Posted by Kelly Housman on October 20, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Didn't get as much done as I hoped this weekend. Too much going.

Tonight I worked on the bridge assembly. It was a it tedious. It took quite a while. I have posted a few pictures on the Photos page.

Also today was out and stopped by Leisure Hours and picked up a new engine. It's an Illinois Terminal engine, which typical ran from Peoria to St. Louis, and around Decatur etc. So not really proto type for the line, but it's cool and will look nice on the layout It's a GP38-2. Here is a photo.


Girder and Joists complete

Posted by Kelly Housman on October 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The build is going up quickly. I managed to get the girder and joists completed. at least around the outer walls. I still have to frame the bridge part, and the furnace room cross over I think that'll be coming next. I added a few photos to the New build album.


Anyone looking to build a model RR I strongly suggest this method. SO far it's been way easier than the my old method of box frame and foam insulation (see old photos).

Moving along nicely

Posted by Kelly Housman on October 15, 2013 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Well  work has progressed nicely. I'm about 3/4 of the way done with the girder and joists. Once that's finished, it's on to the sub roadbed. I've mocked up the Union station yard and the Silvis yard to test for fit. They are going to work out nicely. I did make a couple changes to the layout which you can see the latest plan here. I added my double cross over switch right before the Union Yard. That way you can get in and out of the yard from either mainline. I also added a couple more cross overs to be able to change from one mainline to the other. I've pretty much used up all the reclaimed 1x4s from the old layout, so I need to pick a some more to finish the frame work.

Last night I work on my DCC decoder and put it into a GP38-2 I have. It works great and I also fixed and tested another engine I bought with DCC, it's a GP9

You can check out the latest photos of the new build here.


Work begins

Posted by Kelly Housman on October 12, 2013 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

After a week delay to put up the ceiling, I finally got started on the new layout! it's going pretty smooth so far. I really like the way the new layout feels in the room. It still leaves plenty of room in the center to utilize the space. I snapped a few photos and they are posted in photos albums.

Tear down complete

Posted by Kelly Housman on October 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I finished the tear down last night. now all I have to do is pick up the big pile of Styrofoam. Even though I can start building the new layout! Already ordered the new cork roadbed, and some other tools that I needed. I went with cork, as it was a lot cheaper than the black foam.

2nd night of tear down

Posted by Kelly Housman on October 1, 2013 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

A good solid 5 hours of work.... the hardest part was pulling up the pink foam... note to self NOT SO MUCH GLUE! This was about 7pm tonight.


These 2 photos were at 10pm finished up for the night.



This is all that remains







The tear down begins!

Posted by Kelly Housman on October 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I started tearing down the old layout in preparations for the new better layout. tear down is going quite well, it seems that tearing something down is easier than building it. :) Here are a couple photos of 2 nights worth of work. Well the first night really consisted of putting all my trains away, and that included running them a bit. But tonight was an all out blitz on tear down. made a lot of progress.




April Update

Posted by Kelly Housman on April 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

It's been a while since my last post. I took a few weeks off of building and ran some trains on the temp track for a while. I started building again about a week and half ago. Since then I have got a lot done. I had to pull up most of the temp track to glue the rest of the pink foam down. in the process I finished cutting and painting the backdrop. I had to get this done in order to glue the foam down through the Rock Island side.

Once I had the back drop up, and the foam glued down I started glueing in the roadbed. I got the main lines and the Silvis yard glued down. But now I have to redo some of it, as I ordered some needed turnouts for the Joliet Spur, and the Ottawa Spur. With luck I can get the rest of the roadbed glued down. I also glue down the hidden track behind the backdrop, and the ramp to the lower level staging. It's really coming along. I'll be glad to get the track work finsihed so I can start working on scenery.

I've also picked up a few more rolling stock, and a new engine from Mark Loos. Mark is a long time modeler, and he sent me a cuff link from a Rock Island uniform worn by a gentleman (Pete) who was Conductor on the Rock Island for 43 years! a very cool piece of memorabilia for my collection. Thanks Mark! Mark has a great layout as well, and some of his photos have been published in Model Railroad magazine. You can check out Mark's site here

I posted a lot of photos under the photos section here.