Fernwood Lumber Company Railroad, by Pete Birdsong
Rio Grande Matterhorn Extension, by John Bridges
1959 on3 from Ridgway to Matterhorn mining district. Consolidating remaining DtRGW, R.G.S, and CtS equipment. Complete steam loco facilities. Many scratch built structures and Yorke kits. Big rock & fall color. Separate level for O scale coal line. Late steam & early diesel. Featured in March 2017 N.G. Gazette.
Timber Creek Railroad, by Gordon Briggs
Layout is a branch line on S.P. line in the 1950s. Truckee, CA is the transfer point to the branch line and Timber Creek RR.
<div style="clear:both;"><br /></div>
Yosemite Valley RR, by Jack Burgess, MMR
Layout models the Yosemite Valley Railroad in August 1939. All track is handlaid and all structures are scratchbuilt.
YouTube video: https://youtu.be/EHGkZHLqALY
Sierra Carson & Truckee, by Dave Connery, MMR
Two level layout in 1/2 a two car garage. Upper level is V&T in Nevada, HO/HOn3 Lower level Sierra Rwy in California - levels connected by two helixes. Numerous scratch-built prototype structures. Time set in 1929. Rolling stock resin and craftsman kits and scratchbuilt. All locomotives steam era - sound equipped. Room for only a limited number of visitors at one time. Also Fn3 Garden Railroad in yard based on West Side Lumber Co with scale plantings, trestles, water feature and rolling stock.
Western Pacific Spring 1938, by Jim Dias
Shingleton & Hat Creek Railroad, by Bert Donlon
The Shingleton and Hat Creek Railroad is a fictitious railroad in Colorado in the 1950s. Its slogan, "Connecting Colorado", reflects that it operates equipment from all narrow gauge railroads in Colorado as well as S&HC equipment patterned after other narrow gauge equipment or freelanced. The layout is 9' x 9' enclosed in part of a 2 1/2 car garage with three tunnels extending into the main garage with an 18" x 8' sceniced staging area. The layout is point to point using a card routing system. Emphasis is on switching with short trains to accommodate the switchback and the shorter sidings and spurs. Some trackage is dual-gauge with a standard gauge and a narrow gauge box car next to each other to explain to visitors the difference between HO and HOn3. I have two books available to view written about the S&HC to help explain the process of building the railroad.
Placerville Branch circa 1925, by Tom Ebert
The layout is just 8 years old, and approximately 80% complete. The Placerville Branch is a proto inspired layout depicting the SP steam era branch line between Folsom Ca., and Placerville, Ca. The layout is double decked with no helix. A 2% grade is employed except at switching locations to connect the 2 decks. Essentially a "nolix" approach. All track work is ME Code 70 over cork. Subroad bed is cookie cutter 3/4" furniture grade plywood as is most of the benchwork. The layout is a point to point design with two turntables to turn locomotives at the east and west ends. A 5 track staging yard sits under the center peninsula with a turn around loop. Staging tracks are selected via matrix NCE programming. This was dark territory, so train order boards were the only signals used on the branch. Operating TO boards sit at Dugan and Diamond Springs. All structures are a combination scratch built, craftsmen kits, laser kits and kit bashed. The backdrop is hand painted by the owner. The layout is operated by a crew of 4. Traffic includes both scheduled and unscheduled east and west bounds, and runs under modified TT &TO control. A dispatching office is planned, but yet built.
Union Pacific and Summit County RR, by Phil Gulley
The Union Pacific and Summit County is multi deck HO scale layout in a 1300 square foot purpose-built building. Currently only the Summit County Railroad portion is operational which occupies roughly 30% of the space. The Summit County is a proto-freelance railroad based on the UP's Park City branch, hauling coal, ore and livestock. It connects to Union Pacific's double track transcontinental mainline at Echo. Currently in construction is the Weber and Echo canyon portions of UP's transcontinental mainline.
The operating system is TT&TO with telephones for communication. The sound equipped, primarily steam engine roster is controlled with an NCE Radio DCC system. Freight is forwarded with a CC&WB system and all turnouts are Tortoise controlled. Scenery is roughly 90% complete on the Summit County.
“The” WP, by Steve Hayes
Santa Fe Clovis NM to Amarillo TX Hereford Subdivision, by Robert Hoffman
Based on 104 miles Santa Fe transcontinental mainline (Transcon) between Clovis, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas. Layout is set in the Summer of 1989 and represents, with relative accuracy, the towns, businesses and operations that took place on the subdivision during that period. Aside from Santa Fe heavy freight action there is also Burlington Northern transfer and run through coal traffic. The layout was built with the aid of photos, books, CLIC books, personal interviews and Google Maps. Roughly half the structures are kit bashed or scratch built to represent actual structure from those locations. The Layout was designed and build for night time as well as day time operations.
SP, by Dave Houston
The Rocklin Sub is a freelance prototype railroad depicting the SP from the Valley to the mountains. Visiting SF, UP and WP passenger trains complete this 1957 transition era railroad. Lots of passenger trains, Black Widows and steam.
Sacramento Model Railroad Historical Society, by Sacramento MRHS
Red Rock and Green River, by Bill Iwan
Red Rock & Green River layout is a freelance model railroad loosely based on the maintenance yard of Chama, New Mexico and San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Animation, sound effects & lighting all come together to make this a one of a kind layout.
Sandy River and Rangely Lakes, by Ron King
Based on the largest of the 2 foot gauge railroads in Maine, this On2 bi level layout is housed in 2,400 square foot room. Layout covers entire railroad from Farmington to Rangeley on the lower level and Strong to Bigelow on the upper level. The walk along design is based on the 1916 ICC track survey with a 900 foot mainline run and uses a NCE wireless DCC system. A 12 car train elevator is utilized to connect the two bench work levels.
The 24 hour cycle bicolor LED lighting system is controlled by the fast clock. Sunrise/sunset times vary with month assigned for each operating session, and lighting conditions vary with weather conditions chosen for the session.
Still early days with 100% of bench work and track work done, but only just starting on an 80 foot section of scenery
Northern California Narrow Gauge, by Ed Kornegay
The theme of the RR is a Northern California narrow gauge tourist line (NCNG) that takes guests by historical points of interest in Northern CA. The rolling stock has been purchased from other RRs and for historical accuracy, they retain the road name of the original RR for which they served. The RR has a K37, K36, K27 and a Connie (other engines and cars have come and gone). The engines are assigned to 4 different consists as needed. There is a passenger train, a right-of-way maintenance train, a coal train to restock the coaling tower as well as a logging train required to pull dead trees that have been removed from the forest to reduce fire danger as well as supplies for the RR. Of course, guests visit with their trains from time to time as well. The RR also provides an engineer for a day program for those interested in a more “hands on experience” than just a train ride. The RR was part of the 2016 National Garden RR show and is on the cover and featured in the Augest edition of Garden Railways Magainze. Only 6 issues are published each year. Few are narrow guage like mine.
The passengers board in the rail yard. The train backs out of the yard and onto the mainline. The first stop on the Journey is the Roseville Station. The Roseville Station and Rail Yard were established in 1914 and is currently the largest rail yard on the west coast. My station was commissioned with Joe Metzger who did a great job of reproducing the real station. While the engine takes on water and coal, tourists are invited to visit the historic structures in the area. They can visit the old engine house where a steam engine is in storage hoping to someday be brought back to life. They can even hike to the top of the hill and visit the Kennedy Gold Mine operation. The real mine is in Amador County and opened in 1860 and closed in 1942. The mine tour also includes their work shop and a small logging operation to support the mine.
Once the passengers are back on board, the train pulls out and crosses a bridge over the South Fork of the American River. Upstream they can spot Sutter’s Mill. It was at this logging operation that gold was first discovered in CA in 1848. This lead to the CA gold rush of 1849. As you pass through the town of Rocklin, you can spot an abandoned and burned quarry building to the left as well as a farm house and barn in the foothills to the right. Once the gold played out, quarrying granite was the biggest business for Rocklin. That is until the start of construction of the transcontinental RR. As Rocklin had the last flat land before entering the Sierra foothills, the Central Pacific established a rail yard here in 1864 so that helper engines could be added to the consist to help get over the mountains. The yard moved to Roseville in 1914.
The train is now heading for the Sierra mountains where the grade is 3% all the way to the top. Once the train clears the tunnel, it’s traveling over the lower portion of the double trouble trestle. The train winds its way higher and higher until it’s at its highest point, which is atop hidden trestle. Once beyond the trestle it rounds the bend and provides the passengers with a stunning view of Donner Lake (Koi not to scale). This is the lake made famous by the Donner Party who having been delayed by a series of mishaps and mistakes spent the winter of 1846 and 1847 snowbound in the Sierra Nevadas. Some having resorted to cannibalism. About 20 years later, the transcontinental RR removed much of the danger of the migration to CA. It least there were no reports of cannibalism after the RR was completed.
The train now cross the upper bridge over the North Fork of the American River and a stop for water before completing the journey back down to the valley. Pulling out of the water stop, the train starts across upper double trouble trestle. Once you clear the trestle, the Empire gold mine is on your left. The Empire mine was operated between 1850 and 1956 in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The train now crosses the lower bridge over the river and heads onto the long trestle. The trestle is over 50’ in length and takes you back down to the valley and back to the train yard to end your journey.
All the sites on my RR are with-in a one hour drive by car from my home in Rocklin. Of course, I had to compress the distance to make a viable tourist RR. It was fun learning about all the history in the area and trying to incorporate that into my layout. It took several people to make my RR a success and I’m very grateful for their help, advice and friendship. Without them, I may be still racing sports cars….
Virginia and Truckee “Virginia City Branch”, by Mike Laine
A small HO layout inspired by Nevada's legendary Virginia & Truckee Railroad. The layout depicts the historic Virginia City Branch as it looked during the final years of operation in the 1930s.
Scenic hightlights of the layout include modeled elements of the Virginia City Historical Mining District with over 60 scratch-built and kit-bashed Victorian era buildings, stations, trestles, mines and mills. Iconic period locomotives and rolling stock in use are also presented.
The layout is in a purpose built train room inside a typical California garage and constructed with L-Girder benchwork and styrofoam topography. The high altitude desert scenery of northern Nevada is crafted from sifted gravel and silt collected on location in the Virginia City area.
An elevated live steam garden railroad running in a background of native California flowers and plants will also be open for viewing.
West Side Lumber Company, by Ed Loizeaux
Lots of pine trees, mountains, waterfalls, a logging camp, one sawmill, 300+ feet of mainline track, one town, engine facilities, etc. Running two Shays, one Heisler, one Caspar, one diesel with siderods, and other stuff. Truss rods galore and olde tyme clothes on the figures. Beautiful backdrop painted by professional artist Mike Kotowski. Also included at no extra charge, standard gauge running of a Class I railroad which interchanges with the WSLCo. Layout featured in Great Model Railroads 2005 magazine by Kalmbach.
Earl and Jody Martin
Mill Valley Lumber Co., South Pacific Coast, by Don McKenney
My Mill Valley Lumber Co. Railroad is an On3 freelance lumber logging somewhere in northern California in the late 19th century. It tells the story of logging the big trees, from the woods to the mill, using a variety of geared locomotives and light steam rod engines. Pretty much everything (except the locomotives) is scratch built. Control is battery/rc/tsunami. I also am presently working on a new layout in a somewhat larger space that represents the South Pacific Coast Railroad, also in the late 19th century. Track is in and running (battery/rc tsunami). Equipment and structures are all scratch built and most is built following Carter Brother's practices and plans.
Rogue River Railroad, by Gene Myers
Northern CA Lumber and Mining, by Larry Moll
DRGW, by Jim Petro
D&RGW, CA Div, HOn3, by Tom Peterman
Hetch Hetchy Railroad, by Steve Redeker
The layout is the City of San Francisco’s 68 mile Hetch Hetchy Railroad (HHRR) in 1919. It also
includes the Sierra Railroad from Oakdale to Jamestown. The HHRR transported all materials
and equipment to build the City’s Water and Power Project which included a huge concrete
dam (not modeled!) inside the Yosemite National Park, two hydroelectric power houses (one
modeled), a sawmill, and 35 miles of aqueduct tunnels bored through granite. The HHRR
branched off the Sierra RR at milepost XX at Hetch Hetchy Junction.
Why visit this layout? IT IS BLACK AND WHITE! (Still a work in progress). Background photos,
Structures, Trees, Bushes, & Ground…and, of course, Engines: all B&W. Probably the only one
you will ever see! The background photos (up to 24”x36”) are of the prototype during
operation! No color photos in 1919! Each major HHRR scene mirrors the prototype photo on
the wall behind it! IT IS DEAD RAIL. See how all the electronics, speaker and battery got
crammed in to an ON30 Bachman 0-4-0 Porter and a two truck Shay! IT’S GOT DISAPPEARING &
QUICK CHANGE BACKGROUNDS. See how to make them on the cheap. IT IS CLOSE TO THE
CONVENTION: 17 Freeway miles south.
Never Done and Always Changing, by Scott Robertson
Two layouts in one room. The upper layout is under construction, but operational, consisting of a "G" 1:24 scale desert and mountain themed area located somewhere in the southwest. Mining is the dominant industry, with two towns and three station stops along the way. Scenery emphases desert and large rock walls / formations, canyons and forested areas. The time period is sometime after World War Two. Equipment is small, running on tight radius track. Structures are mainly scratch built, with a few kit bashed. The second layout is a point to point On30 logging line on a second level below the main layout. This layout represents an island railroad delivering timber from the forest to the sawmill / main camp and town next to the inlet. Scnery consists of a small dock side town, sawmill, engine service facilities, large logging camp, forested areas, and a small town and yarding / logging camp (under construction).
A Youtube video link to the On30 layout is as follows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TCBAJYvH-g
Donner Pass, by Roseville Roundhouse MRC
Denver & Welch River Southern, by Terry Schmidt
Santa Fe, by Hugo Solano
West Side Lumber Company, by Rod Souza
Brain Ellerby’s Nighthawk Branch in Sn3, by Aaron Splawn
The Knighthawk Branch is the last remaining piece of Brian Ellerby’s famous Copper River and Yukon Railroad. This magnificent piece of model railroad history is being lovingly restored with the idea of it one day being placed on permanent display. The Copper River and Yukon has been featured in numerous magazines, books, and advertisements, and has been an inspiration to countless model railroaders.
Morada Belt, by Dave Stanley
- Transition era trackage rights RR used by SP, WP, ATSF and UP to detour traffic across.
- Interchange runs by local shortlines.
- 180' mainline run w/30' branchline.
- Loop to Loop but operated as point to point.
- JMRI panel pro freight forwarding system.
- One classification yard, one interchange yard, and one staging yard.
- Five operators plus train dispatcher.
- Train orders similar to track warrants used for dispatching trains transmitted by frs radios.
- Freight traffic heavy on perishables and aggregate.
- Normal op session sees approx. 13 trains, 50% of them freight, 50% locals.
- All standard gauge - no narrow gauge.
- Featured in Jan. 2014 issue of Railroad.
Sierra RR and Westside Lumber Co., by John Zach
Dan Rom’s Garage Layout
Proto-freelance, loosely-set in the Pacific Northwest during the early 1950's. History has been modified to allow the Great Northern, Western Pacific, and the Southern Pacific to exchange traffic by utilizing a small branchline railroad (yet to be named). I have recently added a very small logging narrow gauge line to exchange lumber with the standard gauge lines. All track and turnouts (including dual gauge) are hand-laid except for a short leg for a fidel track.
The Bristol District by Doug Smith
Welcome to Bristol, on the Tennessee – Virginia state line. It’s either 1957 or 2014. In 1957 Norfolk and Western interchanged with the Southern Railway here. The around-the-walls layout models the line one town north and south from Bristol, Abingdon VA and Bluff City TN. Motive power interchanges for mainline freight and passenger traffic combine with local switching and turns to create interesting operating sessions. Modern days see Bristol as a Norfolk Southern Division point. Modern equipment and the occasional Amtrak work the busy route from Virginia to Nashville and beyond along with turns and switching similar to transition days. Control system is selectable, MRC DC with walkaround throttles or Digitrax DC. < Hinged bridge room acess, no duckunders. It's in an upstairs bedroom.
ATSF Sierra Northern Division by Jack Murphy
With a vivid imagination the ATSF Sierra Northern Division freelance railroad was born. Built in the early 1900's the SN was bought by the ATSF in the late 30's thus giving its name the ATSF Sierra Northern Division. The SN runs its tracks along the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains from Barstow, CA in the south to Alturas, CA in the north. It connects with the SP and NCS (Nevada City Southern) at Reno, NV. It also has a UP connection from Bakersfield, CA bringing produce from the Central Valley into Oak Creek an industrial area outside Mojave. The UP runs a daily transfer using SN track rights. Most of the freight of the SN includes agriculture, beef, grain, wine, lumber, and smaller businesses. A lot of the agriculture consists of fruit from many of the areas coming out of Southern California orchards. * secured gated golf course community. It will be necessary to call ahead to my home to acquire entrance giving your name and approximate time of arrival. Do not follow GPS directions in your car. Directions: Enter Main Gate off of Pleasant Valley Road. Once through the gate continue straight on Lake Wildwood Drive 1 mile. Turn left onto Jayhawk Drive 1/2 mile. Home is on the left 18159.