|Could you put a layout here?|
Model railroads can be found in many different places—basements, attics, garages, living rooms, even a long-distance truck cab. But this is the first time I’ve heard of one in a swimming pool.
Well, a swimming pool room, to be exact, although the pool itself is used in the design.
The unique layout belongs to Andy Panko, who lives in the Niagara region of Ontario. For a long time he has wanted to build an HO scale layout that faithfully duplicates mainline operations in the Niagara region in the transition era.
Following negotiations with his wife, he has converted his indoor swimming pool to a layout room. Andy was kind enough to share photos with me; the pictures on this page show progress so far.
As for the pool itself, the deep end provides access to parts of the layout—stairs down from the aisles allow operators to walk under the layout. (Talk about eliminating duck-unders!)
Andy’s layout was open for the May, 2014 Grapevine Express, the annual convention of the Niagara Frontier Region of the NMRA. He’s going to take a break now for the summer, then resume construction in fall. That’s when I hope I can show more photos of this unique model railroad.
A track plan for the layout is at the bottom of the page.
In addition to his modelling, Andy is a fan of the old Niagara, St, Catharines & Toronto Railway. He has published two books on that railway: The Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto Electric Railway in Pictures (with Peter Bowen) and NS&T: Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto Railway (also with Peter Bowen).