The layout design, which began in early 2017, went through numerous design phases before arriving at version 44A shown below.
Dennis Cherry created the initial design from concepts of Jerry Holmes, Ed Juaire and Jim Thurston with input from other TVMRi members. Now at design 44D, more detail, including signaling is being added.
In designing the track plan, many meetings were held. Jim brought an enormous amount of information regarding the Rathole. Jim uses 3rd PlanIt software which yielded the basic concepts of the layout, track locations, type of businesses, etc. AnyRail was then overlaid on the 3rd PlanIt design for the final (almost) design. Lumber was cut using the data generated from AnyRail. All surface lumber is cabinet grade to minimize warping.
The model railroad is HO scale (1:87), has of 1,110 feet of track covering 18 scale miles with some 146 turnouts (switches). It begins at Danville, KY, ending at Harriman Junction, TN, a distance of 141 miles.
Construction began in August of 2018. The track design was printed on paper at a 1:1 scale, then placed on the layout base. This allowed checking clearances; the track location was then transferred to the surface and the cork roadbed was then laid in place followed by track and turnouts. To minimize warping, cabinet grade lumber was used below all track locations.