Friday morning Layout
Branch, Potomac & Patuxent Railroad,
and Ohio River & Western Railroad [#27]
Nesper has now
shoehorned three separate
railroads into a 20' x 16'
basement space by going vertical. The Shepherd Branch, a conventional
O-scale railroad is built at 60 inches; the O-gauge Potomac &
Patuxent Railroad (P&P) is viewed at 44 inches; and the On30
Ohio River & Western Railroad (OR&W) is placed at
desktop level. The railroad is in the basement and can only be accessed
by exterior stairs lacking handrails.
The Shepherd Branch models an urban
railroad serving a diverse industrial base in southeast Washington, DC,
using principally Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) operating
practices. The all diesel operations are set in May, 1957. The railroad
was intended to be operated "at night" with blue lights overhead, a
multitude of layout light sources, and darkened aisles, but the regular
operating crew continues to resist turning off most of the lights. For
more information, see http://oscaledc.webs.com/index.html.
The P&P is a folded dogbone of Atlas O-gauge track used by Ken
and his friends to run their heritage Lionel, American Flyer, and Marx
trains. There are three long passing sidings to hold trains between
The OR&W seeks to replicate operations in southeast Ohio circa
1912. The focus is on the representational county seat Westfield,
loosely based on Woodsfield OH. At this point, scenery is a bit scarce.
Soundtrax decoders have been installed in most of the Bachmann
locomotives. Rolling stock is all Bachmann. Not handicap accessible.
Southern Railroad [#29]
Southern, Waldorf, MD
Dale’s layout is nationally known. Dale’s layout room is about 528
square feet, and the layout goes around the room with a U-shaped island
in the middle. Dale models the Piedmont Southern Railroad, a fictional
railroad running between Richmond, VA., and Connellsville, PA, set in
Dale’s railroad was featured in Kalmbach’s “Great Model Railroads” in
2009, and in their “Art of Model railroading calendar. However, the
current layout doesn’t resemble the layout featured in the 2009
publication. Dale uses Digitrax DCC and several his engines have sound
decoders in them. What I think makes Dale’s layout so nice is the
overall balance of the scenery. As you follow the track plan around the
room, Dale has numerous sidings to service different industries.
However, the buildings associated with these various industries are not
overwhelming or too congested, and convey the feeling of a rural
industry. All of his buildings are excellently built and weathered.
Turnouts that are close to the front of the layout and within easy
reach for the aisle are hand throws from Caboose Industries, whereas
turnouts not within easy reach are motorized. The
wheelchair accessible and the
heighth would also preclude anyone from seeing much from a seated
position. However a person with a cane or walker shouldn't
have any problem accessing the layout as long as they can tolerate a
Paul Hutchins HO P & D Railroad models current era, CSX
,Conrail,and Norfolk Southern. It's a folded dog-bone. Paul generally
runs long trains interspersed with short way freights with one
particularly large industry that requires large quantities of raw
materials inbound and ships large completed loads of widgets outbound.
There is a significant container yard that provides a lot of activity
as well. Fright rules the roost here; there are virtually no passenger
runs. A main feature of my layout is a town that's fully sceniked and
completely illuminated - quite a scene at night!
The layout is powered by Digitrax DCC and is located in my garage, so
it is handicapped accessible.
NOTE: There's is a shared driveway to my house, so please park to the
right when you arrive.
You approach Monroe Stewart's house and see prototype crossbucks and
signals surrounding his driveway and know that, somehow, this is a
serious model railroader. Inside, there is a veritable museum of
railroadiana: lake ore boats, scratchbuilt, diesel engines of various
The layout features scale miles of
waterfront, mountains, yards,
countryside, cities and villages, all bound together by two parallel
tracks that flow into more than one room. One sees sheer cliffs,
plains, farmland, illuminated signals arching over tracks, then lone
signals on branches. There are backdrops of varied terrain, each cued
to the scenery around it. One outstanding scenic feature is Pennsy's
famous Horseshoe Curve. Monroe features running long, long consists.
The railroad has appeared on the cover of Model Railroader. It is not
Tours Friday afternoon (1:00 - 5:00 pm)
#1 Rockville Hilton—Convention Headquarters
#9 Marshall Abrams—Abrams Railroad Empire
#12 Bill Demas—Westmoreland Railroad
#28 Pete and Jane
Clarke—East Broad Top
#32 Bill Pisciotta—Do the Best You Can
With What You've Got —
Three Rail Road
#33 National Capital Trolley Museum
#39 Alex Belida—Eureka
and South Pass Railroad
and Distance Between Locations
||21 - 27 min
||9 - 13 min
||31 - 40 min
||23 - 35 min
||19 - 24 min
||10 - 13 min
||19 - 29
||37 - 59
||31 - 43
||19 - 24 min
||17 - 23 min
||32 - 39
||16 - 19
||9 - 10
||13 - 16 min
||24 - 28
||26 - 29 min
||18 - 21
||25 - 31 min
||22 - 27 min
to traffic fluctuations estimated time between points is given as a
minimum and typical at that time of day.
afternoon Layout Descriptions
Railroad Empire [#9]
The ARE is a 20 foot by
22 foot walk-around
freelance HO layout using Digitrax DCC that models the "anachronistic
The ARE operates 21 industries,
5 yards, 7 towns, and 2 interchange tracks. Three towns are
fully sceniced and scenery
construction is spreading.
ARE operations are
directed using instructions based
on manifests generated by the RailOP computer program. Local trains run
from Babel Yard to industries and towns and back to Babel. Local
switchers serve Vienna and Carnegie, interchanging cars with the locals
from Babel. Through freights run between Babel and Marshal Yards.
Marshal, in turn, interchanges freight cars with the world beyond the
walls via the Westmoreland Railroad and the Providence &
Worcester Railroad. The Westmoreland interchange track is connecting to
Marshal Yard and serviced by a local locomotive provided by the
Westmoreland. The Providence & Worcester is a staging
track. Both Westmoreland and Providence & Worcester are hidden
visible from Marshal by a mirror hung from the ceiling.
Handicapped access: walk around house,
cross driveway, enter directly
URL: ARE web page http://abrams-railroad.potomac-nmra.org/;
layout tour http://potomac-nmra.org/LayoutTours/MarshallAbrams2014/index.html
Westmoreland is a freelanced, fairly prosperous Class 1 bridge rail
operation during the Transition Era.
The setting is largely eastern and predominately urban with stretches
of country in
between. Place names are frequently Pennsylvania anthracite coal
country names like Tamaqua and Mahanoy City. The
layout is point to point or out and back. A recent expansion nearly
doubled the size of the road and created more operational options, with
serve and a new Pinellas Power and Light plant east of Mahanoy City now
receiving coal at a prodigious rate generating much new traffic.
Digitrax is the control
source. Train orders are currently the primary traffic control method.
Not handicap accessible.
Broad Top [#28]