2011 NMRA National Convention
July 3 to 9, 2011 - Sacramento, California
The Unconventional Convention

Layout Tour Details

Sold Out & Cancelled Layout Tours

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Saturday All Day July 9 $35.00 Dep 7:30 AM Ret 6:30 PM
This tour has been expanded to visit seven really interesting garden railways in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each of these railways features well built outdoor railroads in garden settings that are sure to be of great interest to those into gardening as well as garden railway aficionados. Lunch will be on your own from a selection of fast food restaurants available at a local shopping area.
G Frank Schwarb Vallejo Valley RR
Track power Average house (1-2 steps)
The Vallejo Valley RR features Western California 1880-1930 with mining & lumber industries along with cattle and sheep, orchards and vineyards - a small agricultural town servicing local California industry. Many scratch built, kit and kit bashed structures including all of those made by Railroad Avenue are on Frank's railroad.
G Richard Murray Greenhills Railroad
30' x 50' Scenery: Complete Live Steam No hazards
This live steam layout is situated in a lushly landscaped 35 year old semi-Japanese garden. There are about 200 varieties of plants. The 425' of track go over 14 detailed bridges and through 5' tall mountains. The two waterfalls and Koi pond were designed and built by Jack Verducci. Photos of the layout have appeared frequently in Garden Railways.
G Robert Smith
Track Power No hazards
This 12 year old railroad has had several changes over the years. Three separate layouts travel throughout the backyard. The features include 60 buildings, 350 feet of track, 2 tunnels, 80 trees, 4 bridges and a life size potting shed built to look like a small railroad station. This railroad is well integrated into the backyard landscape.
G Jack Verducci MMR Crystal Springs Railroad
Live Steam No hazards
Jack's Crystal Springs Railroad represents a narrow gauge railroad that might have been. It is located on the SF peninsula. The line starts at the ocean shore town of Fog Harbor and climbs the coastal range to San Mateo and other points west. This garden has been featured in hundreds of articles in Garden Railways Magazine and several Garden Railway books. The owner is the premier garden railway builder in the country.
G Bill Allen Bill, Virginia & Truckee Railroad
Live Steam & Track Power No hazards
Bill Allen runs both live steam and electric. The garden has miniature trees and plants and lots of scratch built items. The layout depicts the Truckee and Virginia City's gold and silver era. Seven hundred feet of layout with four looping and two back & forth tracks, and a 33' Koi pond with waterfall and river separate Virginia City from Truckee. The layout also has eight bridges, seven tunnels, 4% grades and a 40' mountain range. Bill has lots of scratch built structures and rolling stock. There is a second section elevated oval 21' X 31' designed for Live Steam with dual tracks and turnouts.
G Don Watters Lake Tahoe & Truckee Railroad
Battery & Track Power No hazards
This railway is integrated into the existing tall Redwood landscaping. It runs along the back and side fence in a specially constructed raised rock area. One end is a sparsely populated mountain setting. An over and under figure 8 loop crosses a waterfall over a long high trestle. The line travels by small settlements en route to a hillside town and railyard in the middle of another over and under elevation loop. There are approximately 30 buildings and many special details. This railroad was featured in Garden Railways magazine.
G Chip Gierhart Rhatische Bahn West
2500 sq ft. DCC Average house (1-2 steps)
The RhB West models the Rhaetian Bahn (RhB) Bernina Express from the Chur area in Switzerland over the Alps to Italy. Four tunnels and four waterfalls are surrounded by both Alpine and Mediterranean flora. Plants include varieties of dwarf cypress, spruce and pine at the "Swiss" end of the layout, complemented by colorful perennials at the "Italian" end. Fifteen types of thyme are available for "sniffer"s to smell, along with several oregano and other herbs. DCC powered engines and switches allow several concurrent trains to run. About 1500 sq ft. The track is stainless steel with LGB ties, powered by a Massoth central station and wireless handhelds. All engines and most rolling stock are LGB. The engines have mostly Massoth decoders, some with remote-controlled couplers. The automation is done with decoders from Zimo and Digitrax. Several features remote control features include a gravel loading building loads gravel into hoppers, a hopper that delivers and dumps gravel around the track; a barrel car that dump the barrels; a "Hot Metal" car that dumps water. The walkway is uneven at one point getting into the garden.

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