Enduring Express 2018 logo 
Pacific Coast Region NMRA
Enduring Rails 2018 PCR & NWPRRHS Convention

April 4 – 8, 2018
Rohnert Park, California

Layout Tours

Layout Tours Chairman:
David Grundman

Schedule   (as of: 27 March 2018)

Day Morning Afternoon Evening
Wednesday  Horstmeyer, 12–8pm
 Learn, 1–8pm
 Horstmeyer, 12–8pm
 Learn, 1–8pm
Thursday  Pethoud, 9am–5pm  Pethoud, 9am–5pm
 Learn, 1–8pm
 Wells, 1–4pm
 Learn, 1–8pm
Friday  Pethoud, 9am–5pm  Pethoud, 9am–5pm
 Learn, 1–8pm
 Peters, 1–5pm
 Schoenstein, 2–7pm

 Learn, 1–8pm
 Weiss, 5–9pm
 Campagna, 6–9pm
 Kaufman, 6–9pm
 Merrin, 6–9pm
 Providenza, 6–9pm
 Alexander, 6–10pm
Saturday  Kaiser, 9am-12pm  North Coast HMRS,12–4pm
 Hoard, 1–4pm
 Learn, 1–4pm
 Schoenstein, 1–4pm
 Swearingen, 1–4pm
Sunday  Barnes, 10am–1pm
 Kaiser, 11am-3pm
 Barnes, 10am–1pm
 Kaiser, 11am-3pm
 Campagna, 1–4pm
 Learn, 1–8pm
 Redwood Empire Live Steamers, 1–5pm
 Wells, 1–4pm
 Learn, 1–8pm

Attention Layout Owners!

If you have a layout and would be interested in showing it off during the convention, please contact Dave Grundman, Enduring Rails 2018 Layout Tour Chairman at er2018layouts@pcrnmra.org. (Note: Dave Grenier, Webmaster, also gets a copy of the email.)

Please complete and return the Layout Tour Information Form, available in two formats, online and mail-in.

This page last updated: 27 March 2018
(Please disregard date at bottom of page.)

Operating Sessions

We will contact all registrants about scheduling op sessions, as the convention draws closer and the schedule firms up.

Layout Tour Descriptions

All layout tours are self-guided, with carpooling encouraged. Handouts with maps and addresses will be available upon check-in at the Enduring Rails 2018 Registration Desk. These self-guided tours provide a great opportunity to meet other modelers, and conversations in the car on the way to visit layouts frequently result in lasting friendships.

ATTENTION LAYOUT VISITORS: All layout owners may put a throttle in your hand and turn you loose on the layout!

The distance to each layout from the Convention Hotel follows the city name.

Note about video links: I had to use MS Edge to play the videos; they would not play on Firefox or Chrome with Windows 10. dg

Back to QwikLinks
Verne Alexander Petaluma 10.8 miles
Colville, Republic And Palouse (CRAP) HO scale
Friday CANCELLED Operating Session
NEW!  Friday 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM Layout Tour
Sunday 1:00 PM –   5:00 PM Layout Tour

CRAP is the acronym for my HO scale Colville, Republic and Palouse RR. The CRAP is a proto-freelance railroad based in Spokane, WA. To the north, it runs up through the Colville Valley and then up over Sherman Pass and down into Republic. This resembles the GN/BNSF Kettle Valley branch. The CRAP runs south out of Spokane, down through Pullman, and then out of the room to Lewiston to interchange with the Camas Prairie. This closely resembles the NP Palouse and Lewiston branch. The time is harvest season of 1944, and the war is still being heatedly fought. Business is good!

CRAP power is all steam, all sound, except for two gas-electric motor cars with sound. Leased NP 4-6-0s, 2-6-2s, 2-8-0s and 0-6-0s predominate, along with a Shay, a Heisler and a 2-4-4-2. Train length is limited to six cars and a caboose. All have at least some switching to do; most have a lot.

Physically the layout is contained in a 13’ X 13’ air conditioned room inside my garage. Elevations range from 32” at Pullman, WA up to 68” over the summit of Sherman Pass, dropping down to 66” at Republic, WA. The city of Spokane takes up two decks on one wall, joined by a double track helix. North (up hill) of Spokane are four towns with depots; to the south (downhill) there are five towns with depots. The layout is built on two full decks and one of lesser length. Trains pass through the scenery twice on the full decks. It is crowded-- a linear spaghetti bowl!

Operationally, the CRAP interchanges with the six real life railroads in Spokane by means of six car blocks that go out of the room to the staging areas, returning to the room with six cars from the railroad they are interchanging with. Wheat, concentrated ores, dressed meat, magnesite and finished lumber dominate the outgoing traffic. Petroleum products, coal, hardware, prepared foods, farm implements and dry goods are brought in. There is considerable on-line traffic as well. A log train between the woods and the lumber mill, cattle that move from outlying stock pens to Kornfeld Meats, and a gut car from Kornfeld to Laird Rendering. Nearly 100 cars are moved per session. The Spokane yardmaster and the Garry Wrangler industrial switcher get switch lists. All other movement is via car cards and 4-sided waybills. The layout was featured in Layout Design Journal #58.

# of Operators Six
Control System NCE Radio DCC
How dispatched? Mother, may I?
Allow smart phones? Not familiar with this
Handicapped access? None!
Verne Alexander layout photo
Verne Alexander layout photo
Verne Alexander layout photo
Verne Alexander layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Peter Barnes Santa Rosa 14.1 miles
Bummel Bahn HO scale  
Sunday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Layout Tour

European layout with a 12' x 20' track plan centered on 1960s Munich (open helix) with spokes to Regensburg, and Augsburg in Germany as well as to Salzburg and Innsbruck in Austria. Benchwork is framed plywood and MDF with cork roadbed. Track is 3-rail Märklin, yet to be ballasted.

There are plans to have integrated passenger and postal car traffic in addition to local and "international" freight traffic. Train schedule and control is pending. Car movements are managed with car cards and waybills.

Control System Uhlenbroch/Märklin system Digitrax throttles
Handicapped access? Average house (1-2 steps)
Back to QwikLinks
Gus Campagna Penngrove 5.3 miles
California Western Railroad HO scale http://pbase.com/campgus/
Friday CANCELED Operating Session
Friday   6:00 PM –   9:00 PM Layout Tour
Sunday   1:00 PM –   4:00 PM Layout Tour

The California Western Railroad is an HO scale triple deck layout in a 31’ x 25’ garage, with a connecting 10’ x 25’ crew lounge. The layout is Lenz DCC controlled, with hand thrown turnouts, and steam and diesel operations. Most locomotives have sound installed.

The prototype CWR is a 40-mile railroad connecting Fort Bragg on the coast with Willits on the NWP mainline. The HO scale CWR has 270’ of mainline track. The Willits portion is 50’ long and connects to staging at both ends. The railroad will run on Timetable & Train orders, point to point.

At this writing (January 2018) the track is installed on the first two levels and progressing on the third (Willits). Scenery is moving right along going from the first level up. The first level has a continuous route via a removable bridge that spans the doorway. The third level has a nod-under (5’ above the floor) at the end of the Willits yard. There is no defining era on the CWR; however, if the railroad ever did it at any time, it may appear on MY railroad.

The layout is handicap accessible with no barriers, but visibility of the third level requires standing.

# of Operators 7
Control System Lenz DCC
How dispatched? TT & TO
Allow smart phones? No
Handicapped access? Handicapped yes, work or view lower lever only

For photos of Gus' layout, please see his website.

Back to QwikLinks
Phil Hoard Windsor 16.6 miles
There, Here & Elsewhere Railroad HO scale
Saturday 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Layout Tour

Phil's HO layout is loosely based on several locations along the NWP in Sonoma County and set during the summer months of the late 1940s and early 1950s. It is located inside a 20' x 30' room with about 100' of mainline trackage around the perimeter of the room and includes a helix to a lower level staging area.

The layout is operational and has some scenery. Trackage is Atlas code 83 flex track, with a mix of Atlas and handlaid Fast Tracks and Central Valley turnouts. Power control is DCC, computer assisted, using JMRI software.

Control System Digitrax DCC
Handicapped access? Average house (1-2 steps)
Hoard layout photo Hoard layout photo Hoard layout photo Hoard layout photo Hoard layout photo Hoard layout photo Hoard layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
NEW!  Bill Horstmeyer Greenbrae 34.6 miles
Oregon I-5 Corridor HO scale
Wednesday 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM Layout Tour

The Oregon I-5 is a modern Cascades crossing in contemporary Union Pacific operations. The UP and BNSF share trackage rights on the mainline. Portland & Western, and Corp operate on the branch lines, running south from Portland to Klamath Falls, Oregon, over the Cascades. Branch lines from Eugene to Corvalis (P&W), and Eugene to Roseberg on the Corp.

The multi-level 20' x 30' layout has 300' of mainline trackage, with staging at both ends, as well as yard and branch line switching. Steep grades, tight curves, and long trains are the hallmark of operations. The layout is 75% complete with benchwork and track, while the scenery is about 25% finished.

Control System CVP EasyDCC
How dispatched? Track warrant and radio
Handicapped access? Average house (1-2 steps)
Horstmeyer layout photo Horstmeyer layout photo Horstmeyer layout photo horstmeyer layout photo Horstmeyer layout photo Horstmeyer layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Ron Kaiser Santa Rosa 11.6 miles
Western Pacific HO scale
NEW! Saturday   9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Layout Tour
Saturday   1:00 PM –   4:00 PM Operating Session
NEW! Sunday 11:00 AM –   3:00 PM Layout Tour

Notable backdrop painting sets the stage for this Feather River Canyon layout set in the era of 1952, traveling from Oroville to Portola. Operations utilizes 10 -14 operators, with considerable steam and diesel power, many with sound. As a single-level layout, the entire model railroad can be viewed in one continuous sweep, as long as you walk around the scenic standout mountain in the center of the large room, with 4-5’ wide aisles. Staging tracks are set in the towns of Sacramento, Winnemucca, and Bieber. The layout includes a branch line that runs to Quincy, where several Campbell kits set the scene. This layout was moved four years ago and expanded from its former location at Westside Farms in Healdsburg. With thanks to the great teamwork, talents and time spent by the Sonoma County Highballers, this layout has made much progress. Still more to do!

# of Operators 8 - 12
Control System NCE DCC
How dispatched? Car cards, departure timetable, and casual dispatcher
Allow smart phones? No
Handicapped access? Good, no steps, handrails in bathroom
Kaiser layout photo Kaiser layout photo Kaiser layout photo Kaiser layout photo Kaiser layout photo Kaiser layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Bill Kaufman San Rafael 28.6 miles
State Belt HO scale http://www.statebelt.org/
Wednesday 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM Operating Session
Friday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Layout Tour

The State Belt ran for a hundred years along the piers and into the warehouses of the San Francisco waterfront. Bill has taken important elements like the car float, the interchange at King St. (where the sometime World Champion San Francisco Giants play today), the street running, and the switching areas under Telegraph Hill and built them into a 12' by 12' layout using some interesting modular techniques.

The operations themselves follow the pattern of the actual State Belt with two crews each working its own division. The railroad was and is controlled by switchlists. The prototype never handled waybills or any other official documents. Each of the connecting railroads sent a switchlist with its cars and the railroad charged them for each movement, irrespective of contents or distance. We use a "Chief Clerk" who, using a standard car card and waybill system, simulates the ATSF, SP, WP and Northwestern Pacific railroads car forwarding system and writes the switchlists. The "staging" on the layout consists of three carfloats and three cassettes that attach temporarily to the end of various streets.

The railroad itself is built and totally functional. Basic buildings and scenery are in place. About 125 cars are switched each session with a motive power department of two sound equipped 0-6-0s and four Alco S-2s with LokSound chips. The locomotive control system is Lenz with CVP wireless throttles. All switches are hand thrown because that was the way it was on the State Belt.

The April 2007 Model Railroad Craftsman magazine had an article on the layout and Bill has written a book, The State Belt, published by Signature Press, now in its second printing. Also, a video. (See note.)

# of Operators 5
Control System Lenz DCC w/CVP wireless throttles
How dispatched? Chief Clerk, Car cards and waybills
Allow smart phones? No
Handicapped access? No hazards
Bill Kaufman boat harbor photo Bill Kaufman Pier 45 photo Bill Kaufman SP Auto Ramp photo Bill Kaufman waterfront photo Bill Kaufman San Francisco Embarcadero photo Bill Kaufman Yard photo
Back to QwikLinks
Ron Learn Santa Rosa 7.7 miles
Northwestern Pacific HO & O scale  
Wednesday   1:00 PM –   8:00 PM Layout Tour
Thursday   1:00 PM –   8:00 PM Layout Tour
Friday   1:00 PM –   8:00 PM Layout Tour
Saturday   1:00 PM –   4:00 PM Layout Tour
Sunday   1:00 PM –   8:00 PM Layout Tour

The layouts occupy a purpose-built 14' x 22' dedicated building. The HO layout, set in October 1954, is based on many photos taken of the prototype from Willits to Ukiah. The trackwork is completed and the scenery is about 75% complete. The Royal Crown Lumber Yard is Easy Command DCC, interconnected with the rest of the layout. There are lots of 1950s automobiles. Buildings are mostly modified kits with some scratchbuilt structures.

A Lionel layout occupies part of the lower level.

Control System Aristocraft wireless, Easy Command DCC
Handicapped access? Several steps and/or duck-unders
Ron Learn layout photo Ron Learn layout photo Ron Learn layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Ed Merrin Santa Rosa 8.3 miles
North Western Pacific HO scale
Thursday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Operating Session
Friday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Layout Tour

Some years ago, I set about to create a layout that would capture the look and feel of the late 1950s Northwestern Pacific Railroad, a former subsidiary of the SP. The resulting 13x17 foot layout features two visible levels, with a third level below for staging, all connected with two helixes. The lower level depicts scenes in Sonoma County, including the towns of Petaluma and Santa Rosa, and on the upper level are parts of Mendocino County, including the division point at Willits.

Like its 1958 prototype, motive power is dominated by EMD SD7s, with a few SD9s, mostly in the Black Widow paint scheme. Most engines have sound. Operationally, the most significant business of the railroad is bringing lumber down from the northern counties, with (as in SP fashion) westward (e.g., towards San Francisco) second-class freights and eastward extras. There are two locals and passenger service in the waning days of service on the line are also modeled.

The Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad is also depicted, with separate trackage and live interchanges. Faithful to the prototype, the railroad is dark and runs with timetable and train orders on a fast clock. A prototype 1958 NWP timetable was the model for the train movements. Train orders and clearance forms are pre-written for each session, although dispatchers have the option of writing their own orders for which blank forms and carbons are provided. Car routing uses the traditional car card/waybill system.

The railroad operates with Lenz DDC equipment supplemented by CVP radio throttles. Decoder Pro/PanelPro controls the staging yard via stationary decoders and a set of programmed routes.

Nearly the entire layout has at least basic scenery. There are both scratchbuilt and kitbashed trestles and bridges and a growing number of structures based on prototype facilities and scenes.

Hope you enjoy it.

# of Operators 10
Control System Lenz DCC
How dispatched? Timetable and train order (TT & TO)
Allow smart phones? Yes
Handicapped access? Average house, (1-2 steps)
Merrin California Western locos photo Merrin constable's traffic stop photo Merrin NWP #37 photo Merrin SP Diesels line-up locos photo Merrin SP Geep loco photo Merrin SP train photo
Back to QwikLinks
North Coast Historical Model Railroad Society Healdsburg 20.1 miles
NCHMRS HO scale www.nchmrs.net
NEW! Saturday 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Layout Tour

The North Coast Historical Model Railroad Society(NCHMRS) operates an HO scale layout based on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad as it ran in the 1950s through Sonoma County to Ukiah. The 40' x 21' layout has 220 feet of mainline, visually running from Novato to Hopland with planned staging tracks to represent both Schellville and Ukiah via a hidden helix.

Built to accurately represent Sonoma County during the depicted time frame, 100% of the layout's buildings/structures, and to the maximum extant possible the scenery, are carefully researched and will need to be scratch built by the club members. Care is taken so that the visiting public, as well as the model railroading community will better appreciate the effort to relay the railroad's history through both visual and operational means.

The club is building the layout as both an operating club railroad and as a display for the proposed Depot Museum and is located in the historic Healdsburg Freight Depot.

NOTE: B.Y.O.O. (bring your own outhouse) as we have no running water while we work with the respective agencies for a long term agreement for the building's future. There are services across the street at the hardware store

Control System Digitrax DCC
Handicapped access? Several steps and/or duck-unders
Back to QwikLinks
Dud Peters Rohnert Park 2.1 miles
Cumberland & Parksburg Railroad HO scale
Friday   1:00 PM –   5:00 PM Layout Tour

This 12½' x 12½' HO layout, set in the late summer of 1951, represents the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, which linked Cumberland, Maryland with Parksburg, Virginia. The modeled area is the Parksburg Branch, which includes the town of Grafton, a major hub, and the Mt. Clair Shop and yard. The layout occupies half of a two-car garage, since upper management still wants her car put away at night! To expand it a bit, there are a couple of dropdown sections. Scenery continues, but is never complete.

Control System NEC DCC
Handicapped access? No hazards
Dud Peters layout photo Dud Peters layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Robert Pethoud DoubleTree Hotel Chardonnay-Upper Level
Fall Creek Branch HO Sign-up for operating sessions at the layout
Thursday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Layout Tour
Thursday 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, 4:30 PM Operating Sessions (15-25 minutes each)
Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Layout Tour
Friday 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00 PM Operating Sessions (15-25 minutes each)
MR 2016 Cover photo

There will also be multiple operating sessions Thursday and Friday on the Fall Creek Branch. There will be a sign up sheet at the layout--first come, first served.
Thursday operating sessions will be: 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, and 4:30 PM.
Friday operating sessions will be: 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, and 3:00 PM.

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
Back to QwikLinks
Jim Providenza San Rafael 29.9 miles
Santa Cruz Northern HO scale Video (See note.)
Friday   6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Layout Tour
NEW!   Sunday 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Operating Session

Jim's Santa Cruz Northern is a point to point, double deck, walk around style layout that shares a two car garage with a compact car. The SCN is single track with about 265 feet of mainline, of which 45 feet is in a three-level helix. The maximum grade is 2¼%; minimum mainline radius is 26½". Five major sidings average 15 feet in length. All of the visible mainline and most of the switches are hand laid.

The SCN is a jointly owned Western Pacific/Santa Fe subsidiary, running from a connection with the WP in San Jose California south to Santa Cruz on the Pacific Coast. As such it shares many of the characteristics of similar lines in the area, such as the Central California Traction Company or the Northwestern Pacific. Set in the early 1970s, motive power is either second hand or leased, quite often from the parent roads. Traffic includes industrial products from San Jose, agricultural products from the Santa Clara Valley and wood products and cement from the Santa Cruz Mountains. The layout has appeared in numerous model railroad magazines, most recently in the March 2010 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.

# of Operators 12
Control System NCE DCC
How dispatched? Time Table and Train Orders
Allow smart phones? No
Handicapped access? No hazards
Providenza Mac Street Yard photo Providenza sand and gravel plant photo Providenza WP 916D photo
Providenza overall layout photo Providenza Damisite photo Providenza F-unit layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Redwood Empire Live Steamers Interactive Museum Santa Rosa 10.6 miles   Map
Redwood Empire Live Steamers 7½" Gauge, others Facebook
Sunday   1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Layout Tour

Come and ride through the history of the Redwood Empire over a ½-mile elongated oval track on a live steam train ride around and through trees of open parkland. It's about a 5-6 minute ride on straddle cars, behind an 1890s 2-8-0 Consolidation live steam engine or a GP-50 in NWP black and orange color scheme.

The Redwood Empire Live Steamers has been under development and construction since 2003. This spring marks the successful completion of the track work and riders will be able to enjoy the back loop, winding through the trees, around a vernal pool.

The next goals are to find local youth to help build historic structures, as well as recording histories of local seniors who grew up in the area and around the railroad. The goal is to pair the two — our history, as built by our youth, and told by our seniors.

Control System Live steam engine and gas hydraulic drive
Handicapped access? Special adaptations available
Redwood Empire Live Steamers photo Redwood Empire Live Steamers photo Redwood Empire Live Steamers photo Redwood Empire Live Steamers photo
Back to QwikLinks
Jon Schmidt San Rafael 34.2 miles
Nicasio Northern HO scale Video (See note.)
Thursday 9:00 AM – Noon Operating Session
Sunday CANCELLED Operating Session

In the early 20th century, the farmers and ranchers of the North San Francisco Bay decided that they needed a way to get their product to market. They pooled their resources and built the Nicasio Southern Railroad from Nicasio, Marin County, to the port of Bayside on San Francisco Bay. Between underestimating the cost of construction and overestimating the traffic, the railroad failed. San Francisco financiers saw an opportunity, took over the railroad as the Nicasio Northern Railway, and extended it to Highland.

At this time (1924, approximately) the road is barely surviving. The Nicasio Northern is a short line, best characterized as a freelanced “rails-in-the-mud” San Francisco North Bay railroad. It operates both freight and passenger trains, including a ferry schedule to San Francisco. Its route goes from Bayside to Highland in the north (railroad east). There is a branch from Skalville to Yawn which is the connection to the national rail network. Lots of switching activity in Bayside with the wharf, local industries, and the passenger yard. The railroad operates several freight and passenger trains each day.

The Nicasio Northern Railway weaves through the hills on muddy and slippery roadbed. Need I mention that this is earthquake country? Even if the right of way was once perfectly laid out with straight tangents and smooth grades and curves, it didn’t stay that way. The little steam engines rock and roll as they lead their trains across the pike.

The Nicasio Northern is an HO-scale model railroad designed for TT&TO operation with switchlists. It runs only steam, with Soundtraxx sound in the locomotives and Digitrax DCC for control. We run a 4:1 fast clock. Trackwork is complete and operational. The scenery is about 30% complete. The layout has a peninsula in the center of the 12' x 21' space, while the rest of the track runs around the perimeter of the room. Bayside yards and the engine terminal are on the peninsula. It has 28” aisles. It is NOT handicapped accessible (stairs).

You can find more information and operating documents on Jon's website: at: www.trxndesign.com/NNRwy/.

# of Operators 5 (+ optional dispatcher)
Control System Digitrax DCC
How dispatched? Timetable & Fast Clock, JMRI Manifests/switchlists, (casual or formal) dispatcher
Allow smart phones? No
Handicapped access? No, many stairs
Schmidt train on trestle photo Schmidt layout yard photo Schmidt overall layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Richard Schoenstein Fulton 11.9 miles
RS O scale  
Friday 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM Layout tour
Saturday 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Layout tour

The RS is a very large (70' x 30') single level 3-rail O scale free-lance layout located in a former RV garage. Most structures are in place and there is some scenery. Featured attractions include an animated baseball game and an animated amusement park in one area, plus a complete town in another area.

Control is provided by a MTH control system with a Lionel sound system. The layout allows for especially long trains and motive power includes a Great Northern 2-8-8-2 locomotive.

Control System Lionel sound with MTH
Handicapped access? No hazards
Richard Schhoenstein layout photo Richard Schhoenstein layout photo Richard Schhoenstein layout photo Richard Schhoenstein layout photo Richard Schhoenstein layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Ernie Simard Petaluma 12.2 miles
Western Pacific HO scale
Friday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Operating Session

Operations on the Western Pacific in the desert and the mountains in the early 1950s are the focus of Ernie Simard's layout. Railroad operations center on the division point yard at Portola, with trains running west and then north on the WP's High Line, and east on the mainline across Nevada and Utah to the Rio Grande's Roper Yard in Salt Lake City.

Ernie built a CTC machine to replicate the WP style of train control; authority is conveyed to train crews by signal indication. Operations are purposeful; as with almost any model railroad, Ernie has made some compromises with the prototype to make it all fit. Fascia-mounted track diagrams, station names and a timetable (for the passenger trains) create a solid information base for boomer train crews to facilitate their work.

The layout combines single and double deck construction in a three-car garage. The control system is Digitrax DCC. Ernie uses a fast clock; car forwarding is handled by switchlists. The layout is about 95% scenicked, with painted backdrop, rock and tree-covered mountains, towns and industries, etc.

# of Operators 9
Control System Digitrax DCC
How dispatched? CTC
Allow smart phones Yes
Handicapped access? Some, if mobile. Average house (1-2 steps)
Simard layout photo Simard layout photo Simard layout photo Simard layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Tom Swearingen Santa Rosa 8.3 miles
The Cal Pacific HO scale
Thursday 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM Operating Session
NEW!   Saturday 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Layout Tour

The Cal Pacific is a point-to-point deck layout, running around the perimeter of a two-car detached garage. Operations are conducted by Time Table and a “Mother, may I?” dispatcher, with the addition of train orders coming in the future. Passenger and freight trains move between San Francisco (a bit of modeling license here) and Sacramento, as well as six local turns.

The layout models the cities of Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Richmond, Pinole, Crockett, Martinez, and Sacramento. However, the addition of scenery is in the early stages. Eastbound trains originate from open staging in San Francisco and immediately enter Oakland yard. Then they travel the length of the layout to Ozol Yard and then to open staging in Sacramento. Westbound trains originate in Sacramento and immediately enter Ozol Yard before moving on to Oakland and San Francisco staging. Travel also includes a helix, which is open with some added scenery.

Passenger trains operate under the October 1967 Time Table. The emphasis of my operational layout has been on providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere for friends to run trains while giving me an excuse for building large models. Mistakes actually make the session a bit more fun.

# of Operators 11
Control System Digitrax DCC
How dispatched? Time Table and Dispatch Authority
Allow smart phones? No
Handicapped access? Yes, for access to room.
Swearingen Overall Layout photo Swearingen Overall Layout photo Swearingen Overall Layout photo Swearingen Overall Layout photo
Back to QwikLinks
Paul Weiss Novato 21.3 miles
CVR Southern Division HO scale Facebook page
Friday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Layout Tour

Paul's HO layout models the Central Vermont Railroad's Southern Division in Connecticut and Massachusetts in 1956. The 32' x 40' layout is an around-the-wall helix with peninsulas and double decks. About 40% of the track is laid and trains are running.

The project began when a building for this purpose was acquired in 2016. The vintage building was originally a kerosene dealer served by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad and (while its spur is gone) it sits alongside the right-of-way, which now also hosts SMART commuter rail service. The building is entirely dedicated to building an operations-based model railroad using the Central Vermont Railroad Southern Division as a prototype, circa 1956.

To take advantage of the building's interior ceiling height of more than 12 feet, we designed a double-deck layout and raised the layout and operator aisles by approximately 3 feet. The result is that the peninsula sections of the benchwork are normal height for operators standing in the aisle, but 6 feet above the floor of the building, allowing us to put full-height access aisles and comfortable agent offices under the layout itself. The around-the-wall helix scheme allows what will be 600 feet of mainline. Our biggest yard in New London is approximately 80 feet in total length. We greatly emphasized design features to maximize operator comfort, such as no bottlenecks in the aisles and no duckunders anywhere. Visitors enter under the full-height mainline span and then step comfortably up to the operating aisles.

The CVRR Southern Division ran from New London CT, a busy port city, northward to rural Connecticut and then across the state line in to Massachusetts. The prototype continued in to Vermont and connected to parent company Canadian National at the international border. We will be including most of the important towns along the line in Connecticut in to Massachusetts. The railroad should be operationally interesting, as there is a great deal of local switching and some hot trains, including daily newsprint trains for newspapers in the Northeast. We chose to model 1956, as steam was still alive on the CV at that time. Also, the area has compelling scenic beauty as it gets more rural heading northward, but also will boast the dynamic port and urban scenes at the southern end.

Our layout is the result of the hard work of a core team of local contributors. We are building toward being able to enjoy large TT&TO operating sessions. We are emphasizing very high reliability and craftsmanship.

Control System DCC
Handicapped access? Several steps and/or duck-unders
Paul Weiss; view 1 Paul Weiss; view 2 Paul Weiss; view 3 Paul Weiss; view 4 Paul Weiss; view 5
Back to QwikLinks
Bill Wells Santa Rosa 10.0 miles
Midland Terminal O scale
Thursday 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Layout Tour
Sunday 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Layout Tour

Bill's O scale layout is 12' x 22' in the "water wings" style. He models a short line set in the 1940s gold mining region of Colorado from Cripple Creek and Victor to Colorado Springs. The scenery is nearly complete. There are four big gold mines on the layout, including Portland Gold Mine, Mary McKinney and Gold King Mine. Also modeled are Cripple Creek's Main Street and Bennet Avenue, which includes restaurants stores, hotel, movie theater, and other city buildings. Of particular interest is the large wood bridge and trestle. Some of the buildings appeared on his previous layout in Healdsburg.

Control System NCE Radio DCC
Handicapped access? Average house (1-2 steps)
Midlland Terminal-Wells; view 1 Midlland Terminal-Wells; view 2 Midlland Terminal-Wells; view 3
Back to QwikLinks

Operating Sessions

See the separate Operating Sessions page.

David Grundman
Layout Tours Chairman

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict       Valid CSS!


This page last updated: