Scheduled Layout Tours
Prior Layout Tours

September 16th, 2017    
January 13th, 2018

Saturday, September 16th, 2017, 1:00 to 4:00 PM - Burke, VA Double Header
Because of poor turnout due to inclement weather in December, 2016, Rick and John have graciously agreed to repeat their joint open house in September, 2017.  Chance of freezing rain should be reduced.
For that reason, we can offer you the layout write-up and slide shows ahead of time, in hopes of encouraging your visit.  Click here.
NS Heritage (PRR) ES44AC serving as Distributed Power Unit (DPU).NS Heritage (VGN) SD70ACe, wb, McClelland with Bakken oil MTs2Rick Wright’s CONUS Lines, Burke, VA

Note: Railroad is located in a basement which can only be accessed by stairs.

 CONUS Lines is an O Scale, 3-Rail layout filling Rick Wright’s 24 x 35 ft. basement. Based on a track plan “Big Trains You Can Live With” by John Armstrong, the layout includes a double-track main line, mountain grades, a branch line, and continuous run, out-and-back, and point-to-point operation options. With the exception of the yard and engine servicing facilities, the layout is all open-grid construction. Trains run using MTH’s Digital Control System, with all the sights, sound and smoke that entails. Scenery is 100% finished from the standpoint of appearance, but new projects on the drawing board will change its appearance in several areas in 2016.

For the forthcoming visit, the featured timeframe will be November 1953. Union Pacific will be featured, with freights powered by steam, first generation diesel, and gas turbine power. The pre-dome “City of St. Louis” will be running as it was in the early 50s as a thru St. Louis to Los Angeles “Streamliner.” All motive power running will be MTH with rolling stock (all scale, Kadee coupler-equipped) from Athearn, All Nation, Atlas, Crown, K-Line, Lionel, MTH, Pecos River, Sunset, and Weaver.
Click here for details of Rick's last open house with us.
John Sethian’s PRR Nassau Division, Burke, VA

Note: Railroad is accessed through a duck under with handlebar assists.

John Sethian’s Pennsylvania Railroad Nassau Division is a 2 rail O Scale layout inspired by the PRR electrified main line through New Jersey ca 1956.  The main line is double tracked throughout, but expands to four tracks reminiscent of the high speed raceway flying over New Brunswick and through Princeton Junction.   Catenary poles are up in most of the visible parts of the layout, but the catenary itself must await completion of the scenery behind it.  Motivation for other scenes on the layout are: the tracks leaving Trenton Station, the Whitford Bridge in Exton PA, the “Trenton Takes the World Takes” bridge, an imprecise blend of Trenton and Philadelphia, and the typical Garden State landscape.

As expected, the locomotive roster is dominated by heavy GG1 and P5a electrics. But there are also diesels and steam that are acceptable for the era and, for the most part, the locale. Rolling stock and locomotives come from several manufacturers, and include limited run brass pieces as well as converted 3 rail offerings from MTH or Lionel.  The layout uses the MTH DCS control system. Scenery ranges from magazine cover quality to painted pink foam.  But all cars and trucks are “age-appropriate” weathered and have 1956 New Jersey License plates. 

The walls and the ceiling are painted to look like the sky and the fascia top has a constant height.  This allows a panoramic, photo-friendly look. Lighting is provided exclusively by LED light bars which are dimmable to 5%.  As all the buildings are lit (several with interiors), and there are many illuminated street lights and signs, one can always bask in tranquil twilight in the layout room.
Click here for details of John's last open house with us.
Saturday, January 13th, 2018, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Waldorf, MD, Double Header
Piedmont Southern, Ann MariePiedmont Southern, PiedmontDale Latham’s Piedmont Southern, Waldorf, MD

Note: Railroad is located in a garage which can only be accessed by two half-flights of stairs.

The Piedmont Southern is an HO scale railroad depicting a fictional Class 1 running from Connellsville, PA to Richmond Virginia.  The railroad is set in 1956 and runs both steam and diesel.  Dale has hosted quite a few Potomac layout tours over the years, but the layout is always changing so there are scenes that many have never seen. The layout is approaching being 100% sceniced, unless he rips something out to start over between now and the tour.  The railroad is part of the Chesapeake Trainmasters Club (CTC) where a group of operators meets every Tuesday in round robin operating sessions.
Click here for details of Dale's last open house with us.
Glenn Paulson’s Conrail Allegheny Division, Waldorf, MDGlenn Paulson’s Conrail Allegheny Division, Waldorf, MDGlenn Paulson’s Conrail Allegheny Division, Waldorf, MD

Note: Railroad is located in a basement WITH a walk-out door for accessibility, but there is a bit of a hill from the sidewalk to the basement doors.

The Conrail Allegheny Division is a point to point, double deck HO Scale layout built for operation. East bound trains depart from Conway yard staging and the Pitcairn Intermodal facility. West bound trains depart from Enola Yard staging or from Harris yard. The decks are 18" apart and helpers are sometimes needed to get trains through the mountains.
Almost fifty industries are serviced by Conrail. The Karra Steel branch line breaks off from the double track main and is home to numerous steel mill related industries and rolling mills. Conrail interchanges with the Karra Steel railroad a spinoff of Davies Steel, and the E, J & E at the South end of the branch line.
Glenn is a member of the operating group, the Chesapeake TrainMasters, and thanks the members for their inspiration, operating ideas, and work sessions.
This is our first visit to Glenn's railroad.
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Layout Tour Coordinator Open

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.
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