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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SAL11 Southwest Bay (self-guided)
Saturday Morning July 2 $0.00 Dep 8:00 AM Ret 12:00 PM
This self-guided tour includes all of the layouts of the AL11 bus tour, plus many more that the bus cannot reach, with a tour area focused on the Southwest corner of the Bay Area. You will not likely be able to his all of these layouts, but with the broad selection, you should find a set you can tailor to your interests.
1/4" = 1 ft (On3) Dave Adams D&RGW Durlin Branch
17ft X 27ft Scenery: 90%+ DCC (Easy DCC, radio throttles, Soundraxx DSD and Tsunami sound) Average house (1-2 steps)
The Durlin Branch is a free-lance mountain branch line of the narrow gauge D&RGW fourth division hauling general freight, coal, ore concentrates, livestock and passengers. The branch ties into the San Juan Extension at Chama NM, with Durango CO to the west and Alamosa CO to the east represented by staging. The Durlin branch climbs a steady 3.8% grade through Cresco and Toltec Tunnel up to Carrumba where the line splits. One line continues on to Fritz Park, then descends a 4% grade through Resin Creek to Durlin. The other branch serves a large coal mine (stolen from the D&RGW third division) at Flint. Steam locomotives rule with operations augmented by water tank, coal tower, ashpit, stock chute sounds and/or animation. Featured in Model Railroader May 2000, The Finescale Railroader 2003 Narrow Gauge Annual, and Model Railroad Hobbyist April 2011.
HO standard guage Charlie Bedard Agassiz Basin Railway
16' x 24' Scenery: 0% Digitrax DCC No hazards
The Agassiz Basin is a proto freelanced bridge railroad in HO scale based upon Canadian National practices of the late 1950's at the very end of the steam era. It is set in summer 1959 when the last steam engines ran in Western Canada. I grew up watching the last of the steam locomotives as I walked to and from school and wanted to capture that memory in model form.

The layout room is 16x24 in my (rare for California) basement. It is a twice around the room design where the track passes through each scene twice. Once as a focal scene and a second time as background or mostly hidden trackage. The "twice around" design allows lots of running time between towns and a mainline of about 225' point to point. There are 2 staging yards. One represents North/South (Winnipeg/Thompson) off layout traffic and the other East/West (Swan River/Saskatoon). Operations is my main interest and the layout is intended to run according to the practices of the late 50's in Canada which is Time Table and Train Orders.

The layout is still very early in its construction. I used CAD to design both the layout and the benchwork. The benchwork is complete and is all made out of 3/4" birch plywood ripped to dimensional sizes. Both staging yards are on "sliders" that allow me to lower the yards 18" down for maintenance or repairs. Track laying has begun and trains are beginning to roll ;-). The layout is controlled using Digitrax DCC.

If you are looking for a beautifully scenicked, fully operating railroad, this is not your place to stop! But if you are interested in the design approach I used, the unusual staging yard design, or other aspects of construction or design, I'd enjoy sharing my experiences with you!

HO Robert Bowdidge SP Vasona Branch
140 sq ft Scenery: 65% EasyDCC Accessibility unknown/not entered http://vasonabranch.blogspot.com/
SP's Vasona Branch models the Santa Clara Valley in the early 1930's. The layout tries to reproduce actual scenes along the San Jose - Los Gatos - Santa Cruz branch based on photos and Sanborn fire insurance maps.

The layout is a two deck 10' by 14' HO layout in half of a two car garage. Track is complete. Most rough scenery and some finished scenery is in.

Operation focuses on switching the canneries, packing houses, and other industries in the valley; commute trains and freights heading to Santa Cruz also run to add additional traffic. A pair of two-man crews do heavy switching during the session.

Layout control is via EasyDCC wired throttles. Most locomotives are sound-equipped; all locomotives are the small steam engines seen on the actual branch. Much of the layout runs in "yard limits", but signals and informal dispatching control the track over the hill (as on the prototype); a 2:1 fast clock sets the pace of the session. Switching is done from switch lists.

O On3 On30 Bob Brown MMR Tuolumne Forks
25 x34 Scenery: 100% CVP Easy DCC Average house (1-2 steps)
Scenery is complete and detailed. The railroad is a logging and tourist line with sawmills and a large hotel set in the Roaring Twenties. I also have an On30 limestone layout with kilns, a stave mill, and cooperage, above my workbench. There is also a collection of pioneer On3 models.
HO Chuck Catania Chittenden, Pajaro and Coyote Railroad
21' x 13' Scenery: 5% Digitrax DCC, C/MRI layout control, custom software Average house (1-2 steps) http://www.cpcrr.org
Models the Southern Pacific Coast Division, Watsonville to San Jose. Bench work is open frame construction with 1/2" plywood sub-roadbed, Atlas Code 83 track on cork roadbed. Tortoise switch machines operate DCC friendly turnouts. Fascia mounted panels, with signaling, provide walk around train and route management using C/MRI hardware and custom software. Digitrax radio throttles are used for locomotive control only. An electrically interlocked swing gate provides access to the center of the layout. Dave Biondi painted the backdrop, which depicts the west foothills along the SP mainline from Coyote to Morgan Hill. Mainline is operational.
HO Rick Fortin ATSF Coast Lines, Fourth District, Valley Division
1240 sq ft, 30ft x 49ft Scenery: 30% Wireless NCE DCC Average house (1-2 steps)
HO Scale proto-freelanced extension of the Santa Fe in the early 1970's from the San Francisco Bay Area to Portland; modeled portion runs from the Central Valley town of Chico to McCloud just south of Mt. Shasta in a purpose-built 30' x 49'room. Double deck point to point, mainline 85% complete with approx. 550 feet of track in place, permanent track is all hand laid. 30% sceniced. Dispatcher; interlocking tower; large yard with two switch crews and yardmaster/hostler; small yard with a full time switcher; heavy duty freight with some passenger; local switching; branchline. Wireless NCE DCC; FRS radios; Track Warrants; car cards and waybills. 46"duck under to enter layout during session.
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.
HO Michael Laine Virginia City Branch of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad
14 feet x 10 feet Scenery: 100% DC, converting to DCC. No hazards
In the 1860s and 1870s, the venerable Virginia and Truckee Railroad of western Nevada was built to serve the mines and mills of the Comstock Lode, the largest silver deposit discovered in the United States. By the 1930's, the glory days of mining around the once cosmopolitan Viginia City were fading fast and the former V&T mainline to Virgina City was now a lightly used branchline.

This small "California" garage layout is contained in a special room and is 100% sceniced. The layout features dozens of scratchbuilt and kit-bashed buildings and mines depicting Virginia City and Gold Hill, Nevada. Most of the scenic ground material was also collected from the Virginia City area. The layout was built by myself and Mark Cook specifically for the NMRA National Convention in 2000.

HO Howard Lloyd Claremont Docks Railroad
12' x 12' with 6' extension Scenery: 35% NCE DCC Several steps and/or duck-under(s)
My goal is a museum quality diorama of rail-marine activity. All infrastructure built. Ship basin with scratch built pier shed and brick warehouse is completed. Grain elevator and tank farm are yet to come. Very realistic scenery. Lots of highly detailed boats. Layout about 35% complete.
S Sn3 Edward Loizeaux New York Central -- Valley Division
20' x 30' Scenery: 95% DCC Not handicapped accessible
This large S scale layout represents the NYC in the Catskill Mountains in 1948. Steam is resisting diesel pressure to retire early, but is losing the battle. Hauling long freights and fast passenger trains over the mountainous terrain is a routine daily task on this layout. Scenery is 95% complete with a detailed backdrop, huge mountains, tall waterfall, long bridges and an unusual lightning/thunderstorm animation. Industrial areas include a coal mine, logging camp, sawmill, oil refinery and a city area. Not only has this layout been featured in Great Model Railroads in 2005, Model Railroader in November 2008, Model Railroad Hobbyist e-zine in October of 2009 and nmra magazine in September 2010, the layout was also featured on PBS TV's program TRACKS AHEAD.
On3 Howard McKinney Denver Rio Grande & Western RR
7'x19' plus 5'x6' Scenery: 95% Several steps and/or duck-under(s)
Howard McKinney's freelance On3 Denver Rio Grande &Western Railroad is a point-to-point railroad running between Victoria, Co. and Notell, Co. The time period being modeled is the late 1930's through the early 1940's. This part of Colorado has no mining, but has lush pine forests which provide timber for the mining industry in the state. Engine turning and servicing facilities exist at both Victoria and Notell. Dual standard and narrow gage trackage at Victoria connects this railroad division with common carrier railroads. Both C&S and RGS equipment can be seen operating on the railroad as both have been given trackage rights on this DRG&W division. Lumber is being harvested from the lush forests of this area. The Sierra Western Co. that also has trackage rights on the railroad is doing the principle logging operation. Logging trains powered by geared locomotives transport logs from the logging camp near Notell to the saw mill at Kerberville which is way to Victoria. Howard's On3 railroad is in a 7 by 19 foot room with 5 by 6 foot dog leg extension. All of the presently planned hand laid narrow and dual gage trackage is complete and operational. Scenery is approximately 95% complete. Many major structures including the coaling tower and sand house at Notell are in place. On his layout is all trains are DCC controlled using the NCE system and essentially all locomotives are Soundtraxx sound equipped. Tsunami Soundtraxx decoders are in most of the locomotives Access to the main room is via a duck under and an additional view of the Notell yard, engine facilities and town is available on a platform through an access window external to his railroad room. Approximately 5 visitors can be accommodated at a time.
O Alf Modine Chicago Northwestern & North Shore Line
16' x 13' Scenery: 70% complete DC No hazards
Chicago and Northwestern & North Shore Line: also includes other Chicago interurban and CSL street cars. 16'x13' in a 2 car garage. Loaded with prize winning models 1940 to 1960 era on display. Layout height: 48"
HO Seth Neumann Union Pacific in Niles Canyon
12' x 35' Scenery: 70% NCE DCC Radio Average house (1-2 steps) http://www.bayrails.com/layouts2.php?m=neumann
The layout is set in the East Bay Area in 1999. The railroad represents the former Western Pacific San Jose and 1st Subdivisions, now the UP Niles, Oakland and Milpitas Subdivisions. The railroad is a branchline which supports an Auto plant (NUMMI) and a number of smaller industries.

Dispatching is by TCS (using CATS) which replicates a Digicon console. All signals are repeated on color lite signals above the layout. A unique feature of the layout is that there is no yardmaster, only a clerk. This is because the prototype Milpitas Yard has no permanent switcher. The clerk is responsible for managing the yard and the neighboring NUMMI complex, writing switch lists to instruct the crews where to place cars. All crews do their own work when passing through the yard. We expect the layout to be 70% sceniced by AS X2011W.

HO David Parks Cumberland West
1200 Sq Ft Scenery: 30% Digitrax DCC, Tower controlled interlocking section, telephones Several steps and/or duck-under(s) http://www.bayrails.com/layouts2.php?m=parks
Western Maryland and B&O railroads run side by side in western Maryland and northern West Virginia. Both railroads have major junctions in Cumberland and interchange traffic at several points. The B&O has Color Position Light signals controlled by five towers with touch-screen CTC panels.
O Gary Schrader ATSF&SP
20' X 40' Scenery: 50% DCC Several steps and/or duck-under(s)
Diesel to steam transition, heavy on steam. Emphasis on extreme detailing and smooth running. About 50% sceniced with generic Ca theme. Double track mainline, 6 track passenger station, 13 track yard, and 14 stall roundhouse with 18 garden track. Tsunami sound.
N Gordon Searle Captosoquel & Watsonville RR
14'-6" x 3' to 4'-6" Scenery: 90% Accessibility unknown/not entered
I model Southern Pacific prototype, 1950's era, coast line and Santa Cruz branch line. My layout size if 14'-6" long X 3' at one end and 4'-6" on the other end. How complete is the layout scenery?? Is any layout ever truly complete? Not if the interest is there to transform it into something better! But in all seriousness, layout is in the 90% range for completion. I use 2 DC (MRC) power packs and an Irish temper for running my trains! My rolling stock consists of 1944 FRA freight cars, SP Daylights, Larks, Suntan Special and stainless steel and red letterboards. The power pool consists of Alco PA's (including a super-detailed PA2 conversion) and EMD E9's in Daylight paint scheme, F3 and F7 in black widow, GS4 4449, a pair of SD7s also in black widow scheme. A must-see for any SP fan!
HO N South Bay Historical Railway Society South Bay Historical Railroad Society
HO: 15 x 80 ft. N: 11 x 52 ft. Scenery: 90% HO: DCC. N: DCC and DC Special adaptations for handicapped http://www.sbhrs.org
SBHRS operates two model train displays, HO and N-scale layouts in the historic Santa Clara Depot (Opened in 1864). Both layouts include extensive signalling. Like many model railroads, they are works in progress and are undergoing constant change. Both layouts have many handcrafted scenes, such as a winery, dam, two helixes, row homes and a yacht harbor (N-scale) and meat packing, lumber mill, oil storage tanks, plus a replica of the San Jose Southern Pacific Depot, ca 1950 (HO-scale).

Scenery is about 90% complete on both layouts. Handicapped access ramp on track side of depot.

HO Ted Stephens Ohio & Little Kanawha Railroad
10 x 30 Scenery: 30% DCC No hazards
The Ohio & Little Kanawha is a mythical 1950's West Virginia coal hauling railroad that runs around West Virginia with junctions intersecting the C & O and B & O. The railroad runs steam with a few diesel locomotives. The layout has a main yard with an engine terminal which includes a turntable and round house. There are several structures that feature sound. The layout is powered by NCE DCC and all locomotives have sound on-board. All structures are scratch built or craftsman kits with some kits built by Charlie Getz, Scotty Mason, Clark Kooning and Bama Harman. Mainline is 100% complete and scenery about 30% complete. The layout is located in a office complex, not a home in a residential area. The layout has a duckunder entry when trains are in operation.
HO SVL Club Silicon Valley Lines
72'x23' Scenery: 50% NCE DCC No hazards http://www.siliconvalleylines.com
Founded in 1979, Silicon Valley Lines (SVL) is a freelance HO Scale Model Railroad Club located in San Jose, California. Construction of the current layout began in late 2000 and is located in the basement of an industrial building near downtown San Jose. The railroad occupies a 23' x 72' space, and is a multi-level design built using commercial steel C-channel as a benchwork system with over 600 feet of mainline. The upper level is a single-track division, while much of the lower level is double tracked. The layout features two large operating yards, as a well as ample hidden, yet accessible staging.

We operate using NCE DCC, and utilize Direct Traffic Control (DTC) operating rules.

G Ray Turner Mystic Mountain Railroad
100' x 80' Scenery: complete Radio Average house (1-2 steps) http://www.mysticmountainarts.com/MMRR/
A back country shortline loosely set in the early 1900's consisting of 1200' of code 250 Nickel Silver track. The railroad can be run as a single large loop or two smaller loops, with several passing sidings, two small yards, six spurs, a wye and a reversing loop for turning trains, and many tunnels and bridges. The Mountain Division runs over rugged mountains and deep canyons, necessitating many steel bridges, tunnels, and a large, complex helix. A scratch built turntable/roundhouse is located at the North End yard in the Mountain Division. Trains can also be run point-to-point between the two yards. Trains are track and battery-powered, radio controlled using Train Engineer, and Revolution with SoundTraxx sound systems. Realistic train operations can be run for added interest. One unique feature is the use of concrete rock wall castings painted with artist acrylics. A panoramic view of Silicon Valley serves as a natural backdrop to the railroad. Several trains can be operated simultaneously point-to-point or continuously over rugged mountains and through deep canyons (concrete rock castings painted with acrylics). The most recent additions are the Acme manufacturing plant ("Everything for the wily coyote") and the wharf and Mercury Cannery at North End yard. A separate whimsical fairy garden runs a Fairy Train.

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