Scheduled Layout Tours
Prior Layout Tours

February 10th, 2018
March 24th 2018
April 14th 2018
May 26th 2018
July 14th, 2018
August 11th 2018
October 20th 2018
November 24th 2018

February 10th, 2018, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Silver Spring, MD
Chris SmithNorfolk and Western Fuel SatisfactionNorfolk and Western Fuel Satisfaction by Christopher Smith

The layout is NOT handicap accessible.

This O-scale layout is inspired by two track east/west mainline traffic through the coal fields of West Virginia in 1953. Steam era coal and freight trains are the emphasis with run-bys of the Powhatan Arrow, Pocahontas, and other passenger trains. Double headed engines are common. A mine branch is the focus for some light switching.

The railroad is operated using DCC. The footprint of the railroad is in a 24’x26’ space with a 200’ mainline run. Scenery is about 50  percent complete.

Since the previous open house in 2013, some scenery has been added About 90 percent of the track is now ballasted, coal loads have been added to 60 hoppers, and some additional painting and weathering has been done.

Act now!  The layout will be dismantled and moved to Florida at the end of 2018.

For details of our last visit to this layout, click here.
March 24th 2018 Business Meeting Layout Tours:
John Paganoni - Mat Thompson - Bryan Kidd - Ernie Little

HANDICAP ACCESS: This layout is on the second floor of our house; however, we do have a stair chair from the basement (ground level) to the 1st floor and another stair chair up to the layout room on the second floor. We have a handicap accessible restroom on the first floor with a rail for support. On the layout room floor (2nd floor) we have a handicap height toilet, but no hand rails. We can also provide a walker for the train room.

PROTOTYPE: The Central Vermont Railway in the steam era.

LAYOUT LOCATION: Manassas Virginia


Central Vermont (CV) Railway circa late 1940's - early 1950's when steam was the prime source of motive power. This is a small layout (approximately 12'6" x 14') in a small spare bedroom that is "in progress" and about 20% complete. Scenes are very compressed, but the objective is to capture the essence of the CV New London terminal, the Montville station and depot, the Robert Gair paper mill on the Thames River,and the Palmertown Branch. The Palmertown Branch will eventually have the Doyle Sand & Gravel Company, Shelton Loom Company, Warehouse Point, and the Robertson Paper Box Company. Homes and businesses will also be of the same era and the terrain will be replicated within reason considering the small size of the layout. The rest of the layout beyond the Palmertown Branch and across the Montville Trestle, will be free lanced. This is a "point to point" layout with a loop at one end and the New London turntable at the other; therefore, no continuous running is possible. The Central Vermont portion is DCC using NCE and the "freelance" portion is planned to be DC.
Swift Packing Plant by Randy LaframboiseLog MillMat Thompson's Oregon Coast Railroad - Gainesville, VA

Note: Layout is located in the basement and entered through a set of stairs from the backyard.

The HO scale Oregon Coast Railroad, set in 1957, follows the Columbia River from Portland to Astoria and then south along the Pacific Ocean to Tillamook. Modeled activities include an ocean port with a tramp steamer and car float, a large yard and engine facility, a large meatpacking plant, and a large lumber mill. The layout fills a 36’ by 32’ room in a folded dog bone configuration plus a 50’ x 2’ figure “C” extension in a second room. Scenery is 99% complete with several water features and hundreds of trees. The control system is Radio Digitrax. Operations are conducted using Time Table/Train Order procedures. Engines are diesels and all are sound equipped. The layout was featured in Great Model Railroads 2014.
Bryan Kidd’s Chesapeake and Ohio Railway - Alleghany Sub-DivisionBryan Kidd’s Chesapeake and Ohio Railway - Alleghany Sub-DivisionBryan Kidd’s Chesapeake and Ohio Railway - Alleghany Sub-Division

Bryan Kidd models the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway's Alleghany Sub-Division (Clifton Forge, VA to Hinton, WV). Set in 1952, the scenes he's included are those that are operationally interesting to him: the changing of engines at Hinton; the helper service that ran from Hinton to Alleghany, VA (utilizing C&O's massive H-8 mallets); the unique “middle of nowhere”passenger yard that served C&O's regular and special passenger trains (and regular freight service) destined for the Greenbrier Hotel at White Sulphur Springs, WV; and the Greenbrier Sub-Division (that served Cass and Durbin, WV) junction at Ronceverte, WV.

The doubletrack mainline is mostly Shinohara track and turnouts. The run is about 145' with a minimum radius of around 32". Turnouts are powered with Tortoise motors and controlled, for now, by Digitrax throttles (via Loco Net) on the mainline, and rotary switches in the local yards. The plan is to have the railroad centrally dispatched using CTC (i.e., computer and JMRI). Future-world plans also include a staging yard to represent Clifton Forge and points east; a representation of the Westvaco Paper Mill at Covington, VA, and the mixed-train service to the Homestead Hotel at Hot Springs, VA.
Ernie Little’s Norfolk Southern ConnectorErnie Little’s Norfolk Southern ConnectorErnie Little’s Norfolk Southern Connector

Ernie Little's Norfolk Southern Connector (NSC) is a freelanced HO Scale model railroad set to model parts of the Roanoke and Shenandoah valleys of Virginia. The NSC links the towns of Joyceville, Barrtow, and Littleton, Virginia, and Nickel City, Pennsylvania, where the NSC has an interchange with the Nickel City Line. Each town has one or more industries or serves as an interchange point between the other railroads that the NSC has operating agreements with.

The layout is a 20-foot by 16-foot single deck design that will expand to a second deck in the future. It provides staging and single track mainline operation with DCC control. It is located in the lower level of the home and has immediate access to a full bathroom, model railroad work area, and to the exterior of the home. There is one staging yard that enters the layout near the NSC shops in Littleton that allows locomotives to change direction of travel.
Saturday, April 14th 2018, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (NMRA Only 11 to 1), Vienna, VA
Western North Carolina Railroad, Vienna, VAWashington and Old Dominion Station, Vienna, VAWestern North Carolina Railroad

Handicapped access: Station is ground level, stairs are required to best see the layout

The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders (NVMR) is a club of model railroading enthusiasts headquartered in the historic train depot in downtown Vienna, Virginia. The club is over 65 years old and has been at this location for more than 30 years. With a membership of over ninety men and women, the club built and maintains a large and permanent model railroad layout (HO scale) and opens its doors twelve times each year to the public. The Blue Ridge Traction Power & Light Company (BRTP&L), a traction (or trolley) line, is also featured on the layout.  While fictitious, the BRTP&L realistically depicts trolley, interurban, streetcar and freight operations in and between some of the towns served by the Western North Carolina Railroad including several freight interchange points. Recently, the overhead power wire has been electrified so that trolley poles are connected just as they were in actual operation.

Click here to read about our last visit.
Saturday, May 26 2018, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Rockville, MD
Wes Morgenstern's Western Maryland East SubdivisionWes Morgenstern's Western Maryland East SubdivisionWes Morgenstern's Western Maryland East Subdivision

Handicapped accessible: No

    This O Scale 31X36 ft. DCC operated layout represents a section of the Western Maryland’s East Subdivision, between Highfield, MD and Westminster, MD.  Approximately 95 percent of the layout has basic scenery.  The era modeled is 1952-1954.  The focal point of the layout is Union Bridge, MD, where the WM had a large car shop (originally built to maintain their passenger cars.)  Of more significance, as it relates to the operation of the layout, Union Bridge was also the site of a large Lehigh Portland Cement plant, as well as several farming related businesses. 
    Operating sessions on the layout are governed by switch lists combined with Form 19 orders.  During operating sessions, one traveling switcher crew runs, in the morning, from Hagerstown staging through Thurmont to Union Bridge.  After the crew completes switching in Union Bridge, they return to Hagerstown.  A second traveling switcher crew runs from Baltimore staging through Westminster to Union Bridge.  After they complete their work they return to Baltimore.
    To “enrich” the operating experience, we use a 1:4 fast clock and run through freights between Hagerstown and Baltimore according to the times indicated on the Form 19 orders.  The traveling switcher crews are required to provide clearance for those trains.
Click here to read about our last visit.
Saturday, July 14, 2018, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Burke, VA
V&T Division of the Norfolk & Western RailroadCarson City with excursion train in front of depotV&T Division of the Norfolk & Western Railroad, by Stan Burroughs
(A small free lance model railroad with a Nevada scenic mural painted on drywall)

Access: Layout is in the basement and is accessible by going down a flight of stairs inside or from the outside by walking down a hill to the back yard entrance.

My original layout in the early 1980s was a prototype of the Virginia & Truckee railroad in Nevada.  It featured selective compression of the Carson City Yard and scale distances between Carson City, Virginia City and Reno.  I wanted to use the original mural and the old time rolling stock with the current layout so I combined my childhood memories of the Norfolk & Western and started my free lance layout in 2011.  N&W ships cotton from the south to S&B Textiles in Carson City where it is manufactured  into fabric.  The bolts of fabric go by rail to the Reno Fabric & Quilt Factory Outlet.  My wife is an avid quilter thus the main concept of the railroad.  Layout size is 12' x 14' and features flexible pushrod turnout controls and panel lights to indicate turnout position.

Layout data: HO scale with code 70 flex track and Micro Engineering turnouts.  DCC system is NCE.

This is our first visit to Stan's railroad.
Saturday, August 11, 2018, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Vienna, VA N-Scale Narrow Gauge
Jim La Baugh's N-Scale Narrow GaugeJim La Baugh's N-Scale Narrow GaugeJim La Baugh's N-Scale Narrow Gauge

Note: Layout is is not handicap accessbile - Located in basement requiring access by stairs.

The layout is a modular/sectional representation of the Colorado high country in the early 1950s. It's a subset of the Nn3 Division of Northern Virginia NTRAK. Modules from the layout have been seen at National Narrow Gauge conventions in Providence, RI, Dearborn, MI, and Portland, ME, as well as 2 NVNTRAK National N-Scale conventions at the Dulles Expo Center. Modules vistitors will see in the layout were built by Marc Sisk, John Drye, and Jim LaBaugh. Marc and John's modules have appeared in print in the Nn3 Hanbook (2004) and N-Scale magazine (Jan/Feb 2015).

Configuration is a narrow oval 4' x 16' (with a scenery divide in the center) which includes just over one scale mile of mainline track, with turnouts built by Tom Knapp.  Most of the over 200 conifer and aspen trees on the layout are on the side of the divide containing most of the 30 buildings, 50 vechicles, and dozens of people on the layout, as well as a river crossed by 3 bridges.  The dry side of the divide represents the high-country sagebrush territory typically found in the valleys between mountain ranges of the intermountain west.  D&RGW and RGS motive power are run on the layout using Aristo DC.

This is our first visit to Jim's railroad.
Saturday, October 20, 2018, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Thomas Washburn's Miss Katy’s Forreston Yard (circa 1974)

Handicapped access: Technically no, although layout is located in a walkout basement with bathroom located on same level.  Doorways and aisles are not in compliance with ADA. 

Description:  Forreston, Texas, lies some 40 miles south of Dallas on US Highway 77. Back in 1974 the M-K-T had an active mainline running through Forreston. Forreston Yard, a fictional yard, was established for the purpose of receiving and shipping rail cars that provide transportation for the grain elevator in Forreston and the industries in nearby Waxahachie. It is also used as a transfer point for the Cotton Belt (St. Louis and Southwestern) and Texas & Pacific Railroads that have leased trackage rights on the M-K-T mainline. The M-K-T discontinued passenger service in 1965 but runs passenger excursions using diesels and cars from the Texas Special on special occasions.

Prototype: Missouri-Kansas-Texas as I remember from my younger days.

Layout Scale: HO

This is our first visit to this railroad.
Saturday, November 24 2018, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Charlie Young’s “Chesapeake Crossing” MainlineCharlie Young’s “Chesapeake Crossing” Hallway CityCharlie Young’s “Chesapeake Crossing” - Bowie, MD

Layout Viewing, ADA accessible?  No. Front door entrance then down 1 flight of stairs.
Aisle width/ 3ft+; however, with two short 30 inch areas

N-scale railroad is a freelance model loosely reminiscent of the Norfolk & Western diesel era. Utilizing N&W rolling stock, the primary operation consist of hauling coal east to the ports of Norfolk, with ample freight and passenger service as well.

This railroad is under construction with very little scenery to date. With all of the mainline and yard track laid (minus the harbor area,) I am presently installing the remainder of the over 125 tortoise motors, and track feeders.

Trains will be running!

Parking; driveway and street

Approximate size of layout; approx. 30' x 30'

Control system; Digitrax DCC

Click here for details of our last visit.

Layout Tour Coordinator Nick Kalis

Division open houses are members-only events. However, members are allowed to bring family and friends to open houses.  Host's street address is not published here.  Instead, the address of the layout tour is published in the version of the Potomac Flyer distributed to members and the reminder that is typically emailed about a week in advance.  So please inform the division of any changes in your E-mail address, thanks.  NMRA members who are not receiving the Flyer and reminder should please send their NMRA membership number and effective date to All NMRA members are welcome, members who live outside the Potomac Division may subscribe to receive the Potomac Flyer and all notices.
Home Return to top