Daylight Express 2017 logo 
Pacific Coast Region NMRA
Daylight Express 2017 PCR Convention

April 19 – 23, 2017
Bakersfield, California


Layout Tours

Chairman:
Doug Wagner

Getting There

All layout tours and operating sessions are self-guided, with carpooling encouraged. Handouts with maps and addresses will be available upon check-in at the Daylight Express 2017 Registration Desk. The distance in miles from the Convention Hotel to each layout is shown in the descriptions below, following the city name.


Layout Tour Descriptions


Kevin Birkbeck Bakersfield 9.8 miles
BirkRidge Cascade & Comstock N & G scale
Friday 5:00 – 9:00 PM  

Kevin’s layout is a freelance N-scale layout, set in lower Western Canada or upper western United States during the 1950s to 1960s. Motive power consists of early diesel and some late steam-era locomotives. Many of the structures are kitbashed and scratchbuilt. Some of the structures are completed "boxed" kits. Industries served include logging, coal and barging, with some passenger and general express freight.

The shelf layout is 55" high, with an actual 150' of mainline trackage, powered by DC. There is a fiddle yard at one end and a curved sorting yard at the other end. Turnouts are hand-thrown. The track plan is a modified folded “dog-bone”. The layout is well-maintained and operated by a crew of one.

Kevin also has a G scale layout that is about 8 feet by 15 feet. The name of the railroad is the BirkRidge Cascade & Comstock (BRCC), the same as his indoor N scale layout. The line is a fictitious branch line off the Great Northern. See photos below.

N Scale Layout

Birk Ridge Comstock & Cascade Line - Birkbeck; view 1
View 1 N scale layout
Birk Ridge Comstock & Cascade Line - Birkbeck; view 2
Photo by Bob Chaparro
Birk Ridge Comstock & Cascade Line - Birkbeck; view 3
Photo by Bob Chaparro

G Scale Photos by Kevin Birkbeck

Birk Ridge Comstock & Cascade Line - Birkbeck; view 1
View 1 G scale layout
Birk Ridge Comstock & Cascade Line - Birkbeck; view 2
View 2 G scale layout
Birk Ridge Comstock & Cascade Line - Birkbeck; view 3
View 3 G scale layout

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John Drazin Bakersfield 7.8 miles
Oak Creek & Western HO scale
Wednesday 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM  

The Oak Creek & Western is a fictional branch of the real CB&Q, which John remembers well from growing up in the Chicago area. This is a large two-level layout inside its own dedicated 28' x 72' building with a 16' x 14' Dispatcher’s Office. The mainline alone is six scale miles long and there are over 1,000 cars on the layout.

John likes realistic track and employs a three-step process to weather every tie. You can imagine with a twelve-mile long mainline, sidings, spurs and yard tracks there are a lot of ties to be weathered. The completed sections look really great. He also experimented with anchor bolt cement, using this compound to cast some bridges. The result is concrete bridges in true concrete color.

The scenery reaches down to the floor in areas where it is completed. John is using very large Bragdon rock molds for this. These require a two-man team to position and hold the molds in place.

John uses the NCE DCC system and Tortoise turnout motors. In addition to NCE throttles, he is tweaking the system to also use cell phones to operate the trains and turnouts.

There is also a very nice collection of railroad signs and signals outside the layout room to add atmosphere to the surroundings.

Oak Creek & Western - Drazin; view 1
Photo by Bob Chaparro
Oak Creek & Western - Drazin; view 2
Photo by Bob Chaparro
Oak Creek & Western - Drazin; view 3
Photo by Bob Chaparro

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Golden Empire Historical & Modeling Society Bakersfield 2.0 miles
GEHAMS HO & N N Layout Photos
HO Layout Photos (+1 N) photo
Wednesday   1:00 PM – 4:00 PM  
Thursday   1:00 PM – 4:00 PM  
Friday   1:00 PM – 4:00 PM  
Saturday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM (HO)  
Saturday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (N)  

There will be operating sessions on the GEHAMS HO layout. See the Operating Sessions webpage for days, times, and how to sign-up.

This club boasts two large layouts, HO and N scale, on separate floors. The HO layout is approximately 30' wide and 100' long. Two large yards are located at each end of the layout and there are numerous industries located in between. The layout, while mostly complete, is a work-in-progress, but the club operates on it regularly.

The N scale layout is 18' wide and 80' long, and includes a scaled-down version of the Tehachapi Loop. There is extensive scenery work in progress.

Digitrax Digital Command Control powers both layouts.

All photos courtesy of Bob Chaparro.

GEHAMS; view 1
Hidden storage yard on GEHAMS HO layout
GEHAMS; view 2
Grain operations is a big part of the GEHAMS HO layout
GEHAMS; view 1
A Union Pacific stack train makes its way up the grade to Summit on the GEHAMS HO layout
GEHAMS; view 3
Caliente on the GEHAMS N scale layout
GEHAMS; view 1
A Union Pacific stack train snakes its way up the "Spaghetti Bowl" grade on the GEHAMS HO layout
GEHAMS; view 3
Cattle is one of the industries on the "Norman Branch" of the GEHAMS HO layout

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Robert Pethoud DoubleTree Hotel Kern River Room
Fall Creek Branch HO
Thursday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  
Friday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM  
Saturday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM  
MR 2016 Cover photo

There will also be operating sessions on the Fall Creek Branch. See the Operating Sessions webpage for days, times, and how to sign-up.

Measuring 12 feet long and 15 inches wide, Fall Creek Branch uses less than half the area of a standard 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood to create a fully-functioning HO scale model of an industrial yard at the end of a branch line. The setting is the northwest United States in the years just after World War II.

The crew of a peddler freight brings the train into town and follows a printed switch list to make multiple set outs and pick ups, properly place any off-spot cars, and put their caboose on the rear of the train for their return trip along the branch. Sessions for the one- or two-man crews last 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the expertise of the operators and the difficulty of the day’s assignment. The layout, featured in the March, 2016 issue of Model Railroader, has full scenery, structures, and details; and control is DCC using NCE.

Fall Creek Branch trackplan

Fall Creek Branch view 1
Approaching Town on Fall Creek Branch HO layout
Fall Creek Branch view 3
Welcome to Fall Creek Branch HO layout
Fall Creek Branch view 3
Co-op Area on Fall Creek Branch HO layout
Fall Creek Branch view 1
Switching American Furniture on Fall Creek Branch
Fall Creek Branch view 2
Fall Creek Industrial Area Between Locals
Fall Creek Branch view 2
Crossing Bridge Entering Fall Creek

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Al Sandrini Bakersfield 7.4 miles
Dixie Creek Central HOn30
Wednesday   6:00 PM – 9:00 PM  
Thursday   2:00 PM – 5:00 PM 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Friday   2:00 PM – 5:00 PM  
Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM  

The Dixie Creek Central HOn30 railroad is located in a 7' x 12' room, with only 27 square feet of aisle space.  Due to these limitations, only two visitors (and myself) can fit  into the room at a time.  While waiting, a slide show of the layout runs on a continuous loop in my garage.  There will be hot coffee and cookies for those waiting.

The operation will feature a passenger train running from the town of Clear Creek to the town of Sawyer and a double-headed freight from Sawyer to Clear Creek.  Clear Creek is located about 17” above the town of Sawyer.  To gain this elevation, there is a helix located on each end of the layout to keep the grade reasonable.

This operation will take approximately 10 minutes and it will take me another ten minutes to answer questions and restage the layout for the next group.  This will only allow me to handle 6-8 visitors per hour.  The layout will be open for visitors for afternoon and evening visitation.

NOTE:  The railroad is not handicap accessible, as there is a short step up into the room and nowhere to turn a wheelchair.  Visitors using a walker or crutches should not have a problem.

YouTube™ Videos:
The Dixie Creek CentralLog Train Heading for the MillOre Train to the Mines

Dixie Creek Central Trackplan

Dixie Creek Central - Sandrini; view 1
Busy Morning in Clear Creek
Dixie Creek Central - Sandrini; view 2
Fiddletown & Copperopolis #1 at the Depot in Sawyer
Dixie Creek Central - Sandrini; view 3
Mountains and a Lot of Railroad in a Space of Less Than 75 Square Feet
Dixie Creek Central - Sandrini; view 4
Fiddletown & Copperopolis #3 Prepares for a Night Run to Clear Creek
Dixie Creek Central - Sandrini; view 5
Rounding the Dome and Approaching the Wye
Dixie Creek Central - Sandrini; view 6
Loading Coal to Run the Grand Central Mine

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Larry Saslaw Bakersfield 8.7 miles
Southern Pacific Shasta Division HO scale MOV Video A (11.1 Mb)
MOV Video B (6.8 Mb)
Thursday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM  
Friday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM  

Larry’s HO scale layout is based on Southern Pacific's Dunsmuir engine facilities and Shasta Division, circa 1954 (and last day of Southern Pacific operations on Sept 11, 1996).  Larry has used plans of the roundhouse, machine shops, mallet shed, sanding tower and station from MAINLINE MODELER articles of the early 1980s.  The layout is built within the third stall of his garage and measures 12' x 21'.

The concept is based on a railroad climbing out of the Sacramento River Valley from lower Dunsmuir yard, through the engine facilities, up the canyon past Shasta Springs, across Hotlum (Dry Canyon) up to a second level to what could be the summit at Siskiyou (Larry has used artistic license to switch lines) up to a helix and down, or reverse loops on top and bottom.

The layout climbs twice around the room, from the helix and Dunsmuir yard and shops located on the center peninsula, around the room twice, back onto the peninsula to the top of the helix.  Larry’s intent is to portray the scenery and feeling of railroading along the Shasta Route.

He uses Digitrax Radio DCC and has a sample of SP steam and diesels, the Shasta Daylight and the Cascade and Klamath lumber trains of the 1954 era.  He also can switch out the whole power and rolling stock to portray the last days of the SP with the Coast Starlight.

Write-up and photos courtesy of Bob Chaparro.

Southern Pacific Shasta Division - Saslaw; view 1
View 1
Southern Pacific Shasta Division - Saslaw; view 2
View 2
Southern Pacific Shasta Division - Saslaw; view 3
View 3
Southern Pacific Shasta Division - Saslaw; view 4
View 4

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Larry Saslaw Bakersfield 8.7 miles
Donner Pass N scale
Thursday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM  
Friday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM  

Larry's N scale Donner Pass display is a 4' x 22' “Bend Track” modular layout. The “Bend Track” concept is based on a two-sided module with a double mainline on both sides and an optional center divider which can serve as a scenery backdrop for both sides. When a center divider is installed, it is similar to having two traditional modules assembled back-to-back with no space between the two.

This display has three 6-foot (two-sided) sections and one 4-foot section, depicting the Overland Route in California. The layout has double-tracked scenes of the Yolo Bypass trestle near Davis, the Sierra foothills and the Sierra Nevada high country that includes Long Ravine, wooden and concrete snow sheds and the cliffs between Soda Springs and Yuba Gap.

This display has appeared at the Bakersfield Train Show and the Central Coast Railroad Festival.

Write-up and photos courtesy of Bob Chaparro.

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Doug Wagner Bakersfield 8.0 miles
AT&SF Porterville-Orosi Branch N scale
Thursday 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM  
Friday 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM  

Doug’s N scale Porterville-Orosi Branch of the Santa Fe opened for the first time for the May 21, 2016, Daylight Division meet. You’ve followed Doug’s exploits in The Daylight Observation newsletter, as he designed and constructed his layout. Now, you get to see it first-hand! The Porterville-Orosi District/ATSF Valley Division is a work in progress. It represents the East San Joaquin Valley area between Bakersfield and the Porterville, Lindsay and Exeter areas in the late 1940s to early 1950s.

At this writing (May 2016) there is no scenery on the layout and much is to be completed. The layout eventually will have rolling hills for the citrus groves that were prevalent in the area’s agriculture industry. The layout is 10' x 20' with 1.6 scale miles of an all branch line route. This route is operational, as are the industrial sidings in Porterville. There is a middle peninsula that serves as a classification yard, representing both the Bakersfield and Fresno yards. There is a separate staging yard which will represent off-line trains coming into the Bakersfield/Fresno yards. The benchwork is made from cantilevered shelving material with 3/4" plywood and 1/2" builder's board for the subroadbed.

The layout room has a duck-under at the door that is removable for any visitors that may have difficulty entering the room. Doug plans on using car cards for operations which will run point-to-point. The track plan also allows for continuous show running. The layout is controlled by a Digitrax DCC system.

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Operating Sessions

See the new Operating Sessions webpage for complete information. (added 3/25/17)


Getting There

All layout tours and operating sessions are self-guided, with carpooling encouraged. Handouts with maps and addresses will be available upon check-in at Daylight Express 2017 Registration Desk. The distance in miles from the Convention Hotel to each layout is shown in the descriptions below, following the city name.

Doug Wagner
Layout Tours Chairman

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