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Daylight Division
Pacific Coast Region - NMRA

Layouts of Bakersfield and Tehachapi

John Drazin (HO) - Bakersfield

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

John likes realistic-looking track, so he 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 treated. The sections he has completed look great. John also experimented with anchor bolt cement, using this to cast some bridges. The result is concrete bridges in exact concrete color. The scenery reaches down to the floor in the completed areas. John is using huge Bragdon rock molds for this. These require a two-man team to position and hold the molds in place.

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

John also has a wonderful collection of railroad signal and signs outside the layout room to add atmosphere to the surroundings.


Golden Empire Historical & Modeling Society (HO & N) - Bakersfield

This club boasts two large layouts, one each in HO and N scale and a LEGO layout. The HO layout, located on the 3rd floor, is approximately 30' X 100'. Two large yards are situated at each end of the layout, with several industries located in between. The layout, while mostly complete, is a work-in-progress and the club operates on it. Digitrax’s Digital Command Control powers the layout, as on the N scale layout.

The N scale layout is 18' X 80' and includes a scaled-down version of the Tehachapi Loop. The club has extensive scenery work in progress. Anyone who models in N scale is welcome to bring their decoder-equipped locomotives and run them along the 15 scale miles of mainline from Bakersfield to Mojave. WebsitePhotosFacebook

The Bakersfield LEGO Club, affiliated with GEHAMS, has their 7½' x 12½' layout depicting a city, complete with superheroes and custom-built LEGO brick trains on permanent display on the N scale floor.


Larry Saslaw (HO & G) - Bakersfield

This HO scale layout is based on Southern Pacific's Dunsmuir engine facilities and Shasta Division, circa 1954, and the last day of Southern Pacific operations on September 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, built within the third stall of his garage, measures 12' X 21'.

The concept is based on a railroad climbing out of the Sacramento River 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 central peninsula, around the room twice, back onto the peninsula to the top of the helix. Larry intends to portray the scenery and feeling of railroading in the Shasta Route.

He uses Digitrax Radio DCC and has a sample of SP steam and diesel locomotives, 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.


Doug Wagner (N) - Bakersfield

The N scale Porterville-Orosi Branch of the Santa Fe 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 time there is no scenery on the layout. The layout eventually will have rolling hills for the citrus groves that were prevalent in the area’s agriculture industry.

The layout is 10 feet x 20 feet 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, which represents both Bakersfield and Fresno Yards. There is a separate staging yard which will represent off-line trains coming into the Bakersfield/Fresno yard.

The benchwork is cantilevered shelving material with 3/4" plywood and 1/2" builder's board for the sub-roadbed. 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. A Digitrax’s DCS 100 command station system provides layout control.


Wilson James (HO) - Tehachapi

This HO layout occupies a dedicated 25-foot x 40-foot room and fills about seventy-five percent of the area. The remaining space houses the workshop/future dispatching room and crew lounge. The main line has 560 feet of trackage. There are two yards. The main yard, (Tim's Yard) has five tracks with 92 feet of storage, and the secondary yard has four tracks and 48 feet of trackage. There are three helixes. One is a double-track helix with five levels that take trains from the main yard to the second level, which is 18 inches higher. The second helix has three levels, and the third helix eventually will lead to the lower level staging.

Rolling stock mainly represents the transition era. The control system is Digitrax, with JMRI used to operate turnouts, along with stationary decoders which can be controlled by throttles or by the main yard control panel. The scenery is a work in progress.


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