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Hill Valley Industrial Track Plan.

Hill Valley Industrial

HO Scale Industrial Railroad

Track Plan At A Glance

Layout Theme: Industrial Railroad
Layout Type: Permanent Layout
Size: 10'x11'
Scale: HO Scale
Era: 1985
Track: Code 83
Turnouts: No. 6
Min. Radius: 24"

Article by: Jim Spavins
Published: November 10, 2015

Last week, we went back to the future and looked at a trackplan based upon the rail scenes in the movie Back to the Future III.  The first plan was based upon the fictional Central Pacific Shonash Branch which ran through the movie town of Hill Valley in 1885.  This week, the plan is based upon the rail line 100 years into the future - in 1985.

For this layout, the idea is take a bit more of a "prototype" approach.  Of course, the movie and the town featured in the movie - Hill Valley, CA - are all fake but there are enough bits and pieces to determine what a prototype might have looked like. In one of the movie scenes in Back to the Future III, the characters look at a map of Hill Valley which is where we can begin to piece together a prototype map.  Combining that scene, with some maps created on fan sites based on tidbits of information from the movie, I developed a map of what Hill Valley, CA, might have looked like 1985.

A map of the fictional Hill Valley, CA, in 1985. | Drawn by Jim Spavins.


The final scene in the movie shows a short train of about 4-5 cars being pulled by a pair of switchers.  Using this as our guide, we will assume that two to three customers are served by an industrial railroad which connects to a Southern Pacific line near the center of the city.  While much of the plan is freelanced, a few scenes are inspired by the movie, such as the grade crossing and the bridge over Eastwood Ravine.

Operating sessions would start by a crew picking up cars on the interchange track near the center of Hill Valley, then proceeding to the industrial park on the other side of town.  Here, the crew would work the various industries before heading back to the interchange track at the end of the day.

Obviously since this layout is based upon the movie, there would be a lot of opportunities to add subtle details alluding to movie references but in many ways, the look and feel of the railroad could be kept fairly true to real industrial railroading.

For Track Plan Tuesday's, I am digitizing all of my old track planning notebooks and sharing the designs here on the website.  To see all the plans, visit the track plan home page at: jimspavins.com/jimstrackplans.