Layout Tours 
Mid- Eastern Region NMRA 2018 Convention
A special version of the web site will be available during the convention that will include the Layout hosts' locations. It will include a link to Google Maps which will provide directions from your present location to the location of the layout. The address of the special web site will be published in the Convention Guide and posted at the hotel. This is how layout addresses and directions will be provided to registered attendees at the Convention. Click here for more informations and sample screens.

Layout Tour Information

Layout tours are organized into time slots:
         Thursday: evening (6:30 - 10:30 pm)
         Friday morning (9:00 am - 1:00 pm)
         Friday afternoon (1:00 - 5:00 pm)
         Friday evening (6:30 - 10:30 pm)
         Saturday morning (9:00 am - 1:00 pm)
         Saturday afternoon (1:00 - 5:00 pm)
         Sunday: after 11:00 am.

This map shows the location of the central layout tours and the conference hotel . Not all layouts are shown. See the individual maps for each time slot. You can navigate to any time slot using the navigation menu, which is repeated often on this page for your convenience.
The aim is to group layout tours in geographical clusters as close as possible to mitigate the effects of Washington area traffic.

Layout Tours Thursday (6:30 - 10:30 pm)

Time and Distance Between Locations
Location 1 21
22 23
1    40 - 81 min 22 - 43 min 32 - 74 min
 27 mi   22 - 23 min 37 - 49 min
22 14 mi 11 mi   22 - 26 min
23 25 mi 24 mi 15 mi  
Due to traffic fluctuations estimated time between points is given as a minimum and typical at that time of day.

D&D and Allisonville Short Line [#21]
Bill Day’s HO and HOn3 D&D and Allisonville Short Line layout is different from most others you’ve seen. He has developed an approach he calls “fine scale animation for operation.” He teaches that subject at clinics at the National NMRA conventions (and will give attendees a handout from that clinic). His compact layout features working coal elevators, tipples, bascule bridges, water plugs, ore lifts, cranes, a turntable, crossing gates, signals, warehouse doors and engine house doors. No carousels or Ferris wheels, just structures that are related to operation. Tony Koester, a fan of this approach, says that animation builds in a realistic tempo for operation. In addition to the layout, Bill will display six of his animated prize-winners at national NMRA Conventions: three coal tipples, a blast furnace, a bascule bridge and a Hulett Ore Unloader.  Although none of these free-standing models will be operating, the Hulett can be seen in motion on YouTube by googling “Hulett NMRA.”  

Oahu Sugar Company [#22]  Nick’s Oahu Sugar Company railroad is set in 1944 on the Hawaiian island of the same name. He models in Fn3 scale using #1 gauge (45mm) track. The layout fills a third of a large basement room and consists of six viewing boxes varying is size from four to nine feet long around an oval facing inward on three sides, with a combination duck under/swing open double track section at one end for access and continuous running. Each box represents a single complete scene; some are finished, but others have details remaining to be done. This unique arrangement has some interesting advantages; you can detail a scene without having to be concerned with the scene on either side of it and, like any well done model railroad, it’s the little things (animals, people, vehicles, etc.) that make the difference. 

PRR Nassau Division [#23]
John models in O Scale and bases his operations on the PRR Nassau Division through the New Jersey countryside in the mid 1950's.  He has placed models of vehicles he had personally owned around the layout with 1956 NJ license plates.  He uses equipment from MTH, Lionel, Atlas, etc.  all controlled by the MTH Digital Control System. There are buildings based on Edward Hopper paintings (The paintings themselves are close by for confirmation).  Lighting is by 4 foot lighting strips and dimmable to enhance the illumination of signals, street lighting and in his structures.  Not handicapped accessible.

Layout Tours Friday morning (9:00 am - 1:00 pm)

#1 Rockville Hilton—Convention Headquarters
#27 Ken Nesper—Shepherd Branch, Potomac & Patuxent Railroad, and Ohio River & Western Railroad
#29 Dale Latham—Piedmont Southern Railroad
#37 Paul Hutchins
—P & D Railroad
#38 Monroe Stewart, MMR—Hooch Junction
Time and Distance Between Locations
Location 1 27  29 37 38
1     32 - 57 min   53 -80  min 57 - 84 min 43 - 66 min
27   16 mi     43 - 63 min 47 - 70 min 28 - 43 min
 29   45 mi   34 mi   14 - 18 min 26 - 31 min
37 48 mi 31 mi 6 mi    28 - 33 min
38 36 mi 12 mi 18 mi 20 mi  
Due to traffic fluctuations estimated time between points is given as a minimum and typical at that time of day.

Friday morning Layout Descriptions

Shepherd Branch, Potomac & Patuxent Railroad, and Ohio River & Western Railroad [#27]
  Ken 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
      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 runs.
      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.

Piedmont Southern Railroad [#29]

Dale Latham’s Piedmont 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 1956. 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 layoutis not 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 few steps.

P & D Railroad [#37]

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.

Hooch Junction [#38]

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 scales.
     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 handicapped accessible.

Layout 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
Time and Distance Between Locations
Location 1 9 12 28 32 33 39
1   21 - 27 min 9 - 13 min 31 - 40 min 23 - 35 min 19 - 24 min 10 - 13 min
9 8 mi   19 - 29 min 37 - 59 min 31 - 43 min 19 - 24 min 17 - 23 min
12 5 mi 8 mi   32 - 39 min 16 - 19 min 9 - 10 min 13 - 16 min
28 19 mi 27 mi 16 mi   24 - 28 min 34 -37 min 26 - 29 min
32 11 mi 13 mi 7 mi 12 mi   18 - 21 min 25 - 31 min
33 8 mi 8 mi 4 mi 24 mi 8 mi   22 - 27 min
39 4 mi 11 mi 5 mi 17 mi 15 mi 8 mi
Due to traffic fluctuations estimated time between points is given as a minimum and typical at that time of day.

Friday afternoon Layout Descriptions

Abrams Railroad Empire [#9]
The ARE is a 20 foot by 22 foot walk-around freelance HO layout using Digitrax DCC that models the "anachronistic era."  The ARE operates 21 industries, 5 yards, 7 towns, and 2 interchange tracks.  Three towns are fully sceniced and scenery construction is spreading.
   The 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 tracks visible from Marshal by a mirror hung from the ceiling.

    Handicapped access: walk around house, cross driveway, enter directly to layout
URL: ARE web page; layout tour

Westmoreland Railroad  [#12]
The 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 new industries to 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.

East Broad Top [#28]
Pete & Jane Clarke, East Broad Top, HOn3, fully sceniced, Wireless throttles, most locos have sound, TT&O, card cards. Crew of 7 including one dispatcher. Published in 2016 Great Model Railroads.The EBT starts in Mount Union, PA which is where the line connects to the PRR. This is also home to the coal cleaning plant and the North American Refractories (NARCO) brick plant. From there the line runs south to Orbisonia, home to the Rockhill Coal & Iron company iron furnaces. This is the operating headquarters for the EBT and also where the Shade Gap and Booher branches diverge from the mainline. After passing the small towns of Saltillo, Kimmel, and Coles, the line arrives in Robertsdale. This is the start of the coal mining district. Trains heading up the Shade Gap branch pass through the town of Shade Gap (home of an iron mine and a limestone quarry) and then on to Neelyton (home of a ganister quarry and a lumber mill). Daily operations call for 6 train crews to handle the following trains; Passenger/mail, Freight (coal only), General freight (non-coal), Miners (coal and passenger), Shade Gap freight, and Furnace Shifter (switcher) for the iron furnace. Each crew will handle multiple trains per day. Not handicapped accessible.

Do the Best You Can With What You've Got — Three Rail Road …  the DTBYCWWYG 3RR [#32]
Back in the early 1950's Bill Pisciotta was about six years old. His favorite Christmas present was my Lionel Erie Alco Diesel freight train set. It was accompanied by a Barrel Loader, a Dumping Log car, a Burro Crane, and a Type V transformer (Santa was cool). Subsequent Christmases brought lots of additions - and they are the genesis of his in-progress layout that is included as part of this tour. The DTBYCWWYG 3RR layout's main and persistent theme is: "get as much up and running as humanly possible". The grandkids love it and the pushbutton operations all around meant for them. They are always looking for whatever is new (and old) to see running and have fun operating. Me too.
Things to discover:
- What's the Lychen's main purpose and why does it keep causing trouble?
- Can you find all 24 Palermos Homies figures?
- Parking: Driveway and Streets (corner lot)

National Capital Trolley Museum [#33]

The National Capital Trolley Museum is near these layouts and is open on Friday 10 am to 2 pm. Click here for further information.

Eureka and South Pass Railroad [#39]
Alex Belida's Eureka and South Pass Railroad is a freelance short-line located in Nevada in the early 1900s. The small but highly-detailed HO layout extends along three sides of a small, 10x12 bedroom in two-foot wide sections. It features two mines, a sawmill, a shipping operation, a blacksmith, a stream, rock faces and rocky spires. Some of the structures have lighting and interior detailing. At present it is a simple DC system. There is no operating scheme. As the layout is located on the second floor of the house, it is not considered handicap accessible. Because of the small size of the room, there is a limit to the number of visitors of four or five at any one time. More information and many photos at his blog:

Layout Tours Friday evening (6:30 - 10:30 pm)

Time and Distance Between Locations
Location 1 10 13 16 25 36
1   39 - 45 min 20 - 26 min 10 - 13 min 24 - 32 min 15 - 24 min
10 19 mi   22 - 25 min 34 - 37 min 25 - 28 min 42- 53 min
13 12 mi 11 mi   16 - 21 min 18 - 20 min 24 - 33 min
16 5 mi 19 mi 9 mi   20 - 28 min 16 - 23 min
25 17 mi 12 mi 10 mi 15 mi   29-38 min
36 9 mi 27 mi 19 mi 11 mi 25 mi
Due to traffic fluctuations estimated time between points is given as a minimum and typical at that time of day.

Friday Evening Layout Descriptions

Baltimore & Ohio's Monongah Division [#13]
Dean Ripple's Baltimore& Ohio's Monongah Division is an HO model railroad, set in West Virginia, circa the mid-1950s.  The B&O's lines south of Grafton, West Virginia, ran on light rail and tight curves.  On the Monongah Division we run regular operating sessions using Digitrax DCC. All operations are by waybill and sequential timetable.   In addition to the requisite coal traffic, there are local freights, traffic between Charleston and Grafton, an interchange with the Western Maryland, and rudimentary passenger service.   I model the area near Buckhannon, with Grafton and Charleston as staging tracks at the end of the layout. Traffic control is by train orders. Not handicap accessible.

 Long Island Rail Road, Port Jefferson Branch [#10]
Brian Sheron models the Long Island Rail Road, Port Jefferson Branch, Atlantic Branch, and the City Terminal Zone, circa 1964 (or, if he wants to run his G5’s, K4’s, and  H10’s, he changes out his fleet of cabooses, and dials the era back 10 years to 1954). The layout occupies three rooms in his basement, a 13’ x 19’ room,  a 12’ x 12’ room, and 10’ x20' room. It is primarily a double track, folded dogbone arrangement. One branch (City Terminal Zone) runs into the 12’ x 12’ room where he models New York City, complete with an operating overhead El, Penn Station, including a cutaway of the LIRR underground platforms in Penn Station where the P-54 MU’s would arrive to deliver and pick up the famous “Dashing Dan” LIRR commuter. The newest branch, the Atlantic Branch, goes into the 10’ x 20’ room, where Brian models Holban Yard, Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, and the LIRR car floats in Long Island City. The layout is 100% sceniced, and chock full of detail (Brian estimates he has well over 1800 figures, and over 800 vehicles on the layout). All of his engines are prototypic of the eras he models (although he also has two Atlas C-420s in the 1970’s Metro livery — because he thought they were neat!).  Most of the streets have working streetlights, the buildings on the layout have interior lights, and he has also a large number of of electro-luminescent signs, including many that he custom-made, for many of his industries, all of which contribute to impressive nighttime scenes.

Layout scale: HO 
Handicapped access: No
URL: layout tour
Car Forwarding method: Switchlists
Traffic control system: Sequential
Railroad control system: Digitrax DCC

Clinch Valley Lines [#16] 
Set in 1959 in the very western part of Virginia, Roger Sekera's Clinch Valley Lines or CVL is an HO gauge railroad that serves the coal and general merchandise railroad needs of customers. The prototypical backdrop is the Norfolk and Western and the L&N, with the Clinchfield and Southern making appearances.
The CVL has been fully operational for some time, now having held over 40 operating sessions. Hard driven by carcards and waybills, the CVL uses a wireless EasyDCC control system, and a fast clock. All card cards and waybills are typed out on a portable typewriter and each piece of rolling stock has a separate number; there are no duplications. Roughly 2/3 of all engines---all first generation diesel--- have sound. Scenery is (or soon will be) largely complete. In all, the CVL has 200 pieces of rolling stock, half each of hoppers and general merchandise. The majority of structures are scratch built. The CVL has very proudly been the model railroad behind seven articles in The Dispatchers Office, the OPSIG magazine. The CVL is not handicap accessible.

Baltimore and Ohio, Shenandoah Subdivision [#25]
Access: Entrance to the basement/layout is ground level.  A narrow point in the aisle may limit handicap access to some parts of the layout.  Layout height is 50 inches.
      John King's Shenandoah Subdivision is a point to point railroad  representing the B&O line from Harpers Ferry to Strasburg Virginia.    The layout is set in October, 1949.  Open staging is named "Brunswick" (since that is where the real trains on the branch originated) but the staging yard makes no attempt to model the real Brunswick Yard which was 7 miles long.   Trackage at Millville, Charlestown, Winchester and Strasburg Junction closely mimics the prototype as it was in 1949.  HO Scale, the prototype is the  B& O line from Harpers Ferry to Strasburg Virginia.

Norfolk and Western Fuel Satisfaction [#36]
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. The layout currently is located in Silver Spring, MD, but will be dismantled and moved to Florida at the end of 2018. The layout is NOT handicap accessible.

Layout Tours Saturday Morning (9:00 am - 1:00 pm)

Time and Distance Between Locations
Location 1 24 26 34
1   27 - 33 min 39 - 84 min 41 - 59 min
24 17 mi 28 - 35 min 32 - 40 min
26 25 mi 15 mi   13 - 18 min
34 34 mi 23 mi 5 mi  
Due to traffic fluctuations estimated time between points is given as a minimum and typical at that time of day.

Saturday Morning Layout Descriptions

PRR Northern Central Branch [#24]
Gary Eames' PRR Northern Central Branch is a medium sized high rail layout designed by John Armstrong. The layout models the Northern Central from Baltimore/Fells Point Canton to Monkton and the Susquehanna River. Timeframe is the 1930's. Layout features over 60 custom scratch built buildings and building fronts. Some have interior detailing. The most notable is a 3 story cannery. Note: visiting hours end at 12:30 pm.

USMRR Aquia-Falmouth line [#26]
Bernard Kempinski's 1/48th - (O) Scale model railroad depicts the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in early April 1863 during the American Civil War. The layout occupies about 500 square feet in about a 30 by 32 feet space. The point to point design includes about 130 feet of mainline track. The track is hand-laid code 100 rail with 4 spikes per tie, about 20,000 spikes in total. The turnouts are stub style with scale sized operating switch stands. There are 5 DCC sound-equipped 4-4-0 locomotives that use battery or keep alive circuits for reliable running. The locos haul about 30 freight cars and one passenger car, all of which are scratch built. Some freight cars have working hand brakes. All use link and pin couplers. It takes a crew of 4 to 6 to operate the layout under time table and train orders using authentic replica paperwork. An automated telegraph system is currently being installed. The layout has full scenery, including a model of the first railroad car ferry ever. However, the Aquia Landing area is still being detailed with additional model ships and structures. For more info see

Bangor and Aroostook Railroad [#34]
Jim Hellwege's N Scale Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. The intent of the original layout design was predominately for watching trains - continuous running - although operations can now be incorporated into it with the numerous industries on the three independent mainline loops, with passing sidings and interchange points. The walk-around feature allows for different views of the many scenes and vignettes along the way, including the numerous bridges and tunnels in the mountainous regions of the Pine Tree State. His rolling stock also reflects the BAR as it was back then; who could forget those State of Maine Products cars for the bulk shipping of potatoes with their distinctive red, white, and blue tricolor-like wide striped paint schemes? Jim has preserved its memory by maintaining both first generation diesels and their more modern incarnations in various past versions of BAR paint schemes including the early F-3s, the slightly later BL-2s (you don't see many of those running around), the GP-7s and 9s, and eventually the GP 38s. The layout features carefully laid and maintained track work using PECO flex track and turnouts.
Note: Railroad is located in a basement room with accessibility to the basement through a door from the garage.

 Layout Tours Saturday Afternoon

#1 Rockville Hilton—Convention Headquarters
#2 Mat Thompson, MMR—Oregon Coast Railroad
#3 Pete LaGuardia—New York Central's Western Illinois Division (WID)
#4  Bob Rodriguez—Nickel City Line Railroad
#6 John Swanson—PRR Cresson Branch
#7 Phil Raymond
#8 Todd Herman—Lehigh & New England Railroad's Catasauqua Branch
#19 Northern Virginia Model Railroaders--canceled
   Note: 2 and 6 are in the Heritage Hunt gated community. Use the main gate at Heathcote Blvd. and Heritage Hunt Dr. Have driver's license and host's address handy for the gate attendant.  
Time and Distance Between Locations
Location 1 2 3 4 6 8
1   50 - 66 min 50 - 66 min 53 - 90 min 44 - 59 min 30 - 42 min
2 42mi   16 - 22 min 41 - 55 min 5 - 6 min 40 - 51 min
3 43 mi 6 mi   40 - 54 min 14 - 18 min 39 - 49 min
4 44 mi 26 mi 27 mi   36 - 48 min 40 - 58 hr
6 40 mi 1 mi 6 mi 24 mi   36 - 44 min
8 18 mi 29 mi 31 mi 27 mi 27 mi
Due to traffic fluctuations estimated time between points is given as a minimum and typical at that time of day.

Saturday Afternoon Layout Descriptions

Oregon Coast Railroad [#2]
Mat Thompson's 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, and a large meatpacking plant. This portion of the layout fills a 36' by 32' room in a folded dog bone configuration. The layout has grown with a 50' x 2' U-shaped extension in a second room. Newly modeled industries include a cheese factory, a large lumber mill and a paper mill.
    Scenery is 95% complete with several water features and hundreds of trees. The layout was featured in Great Model Railroads 2014.

New York Central's Western Illinois Division (WID) [#3]
Pete LaGuardia's HO scale New York Central Western Illinois Division (WID), is set in 1953, Operates from Kansas City, Omaha, and Des Moines on the west, through Moberly (MO) and Hannibal (MO), to Danville (IL) and Indianapolis (IN) on the east. Modeled activities include a large yard and engine facility with an 18 stall roundhouse with programmable indexing servicing both Steam and Diesel. Industries include a meatpacking plant, paper mill, city scenery and a harbor with car float.
   Layout style: Walk-around filling a 36 by 34 room. Track configuration is point-to-point for operations to include a Staging yard and Equipment transfer yard. Scenery: Bench and track work are 99% complete. Scenery was started in January 2014 and is 25% complete. Prototype: New York Central, summer 1953, passenger trains, thru and local freights, extras and industry switching.

Nickel City Line Railroad [#4]
Bob Rodriguez's Nickel City Line is a modern, turn of the century HO Scale model railroad set in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. The railroad is a free-lanced short line railroad which operates 102 miles of single track mainline between Harrisburg and Ridgway Pennsylvania. Leased trackage rights extend the line west to Pittsburg and Erie, Pennsylvania. The layout is medium size, filling an 18’ x 22’ space in the basement. It is operations focused, hosting 6 to 9 operating sessions per year. Operations include freight, coal, local freight, passenger, and commuter service running against a 2:1 fast clock. The layout is controlled by Digitrax DCC connected to several computers running JMRI software. JMRI software runs the Computer Aided Dispatch and Yardmaster computers, signals, route selection, train detection, and fast clocks. The layout is accessible from the interior stairway. It is not handicapped accessible 

PRR Cresson Branch [#6]
John Swanson's PRR Cresson Branch Note: The railroad is accessed up 2 steps and through a narrow door. Although parking is limited on his street, it is plentiful on either side of Arthur Hills Drive and in the club house parking lot across the street, depending on club house events. Please enter through the basement door as marked by the outdoor signs.
   As a PRR fan and a native son of Punxsutawney, PA, John has decided that his first attempt at building a layout should focus on the area of his youth. The PRR Cresson Branch served the people and businesses in the mountains between Cresson, PA, just west of "The Curve," and Punxsutawney and a bit farther west. John's focus is on operations, using the usual construction techniques and components for bench work, track and maybe some structures. John is using hardware and software that will allow for control of turnouts via Android tablets Digitrax DT throttles, or fascial buttons, and has also installed many Rapido RailCrew under the track uncouplers. As the time frame modeled is the transition era, there is plenty of action from SW's to Decapods to Sharks to Mountains! The rugged terrain over the divide to Punxsy was no match for Pennsy power. Regular operating sessions have been running on the Cresson Branch for over a year, even though the railroad is merely 36 months in the making!

Phil Raymond
canceled [#7]

Lehigh & New England Railroad's Catasauqua Branch [#8]
Todd Hermann's layout depicts the Lehigh & New England Railroad's Catasauqua Branch and interchange connections circa 1956. The six-mile branch allowed the L&NE to connect with the Reading, Lehigh Valley and CNJ railroads in the town of Catasauqua, PA, just a few miles north of Allentown, PA. Thanks to its proximity to the traffic-rich cement producing region north of Allentown & Bethlehem, the branch was one of the busiest interchange gateways on the L&NE. Those interchange operations, along with local industry switching in "downtown" Catasauqua, are the focus of the layout.
   The scale is HO with the primary emphasis placed on on depicting prototype scenes on the last two miles of the branch's west end as faithfully as possible. The railroad covers approx 23'x16' in the my basement of my home in Falls Church, VA. Saturday or Sunday are preferred for hosting times, but I could make Friday evening work, if needed. Access is via the basement stairs only.
   Here's a link to an album of pics covering the construction of the layout to date. As you'll see, the layout is still very much under construction (and will be for years), but what has been built so far is operational.

Layout Tours Sunday (after 11:00 am)

#1 Rockville Hilton—Convention Headquarters
#5 Bryan Kidd—Chesapeake and Ohio Railway's Alleghany Sub-Division
#17 Bob Reid, MMR— Allegheny & Shenandoah Railroad
#30 Max Munger— Western Pacific RR

#31 Jay Beckham—PRR - Baltimore & freelanced prototype
#35 Prince William Model Railroad Club
#40 Baltimore Society of Model Engineers
Albert PuglieseWest Virginia – B&O, C&O, PRR
Time and Distance Between Locations
Location 1 5 17 30 31 35 40 41
1   57 - 90 min 95 - 122 min 95 - 122 min 86 - 107 min 56 - 122 min 43 - 59 min 44 - 61 min
5 43 mi 🛇 🛇 🛇 26 - 32 min 🛇 🛇
17 79 mi 🛇   1 min 🛇 🛇 🛇 🛇
30 79 mi 🛇 1 mi   🛇 🛇 🛇 🛇
31 93 mi 🛇 🛇 🛇  
🛇 🛇
48 mi 18 mi 🛇 🛇 🛇   🛇 🛇
40 40 mi 🛇 🛇 🛇 🛇 🛇 20 - 31 min
41 32 mi 🛇 🛇 🛇 🛇 🛇 14 mi
Due to traffic fluctuations estimated time between points is given as a minimum and typical at that time of day. It is not logical to drive between locations marked 🛇.

Sunday Layout Descriptions

Chesapeake and Ohio Railway's Alleghany Sub-Division [#5]
Bryan Kidd models the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway's Alleghany Sub-Division (Clifton Forge, VA to Hinton, WV) in HO. 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.

Allegheny & Shenandoah Railroad  [#17] Bob Reid's  Allegheny & Shenandoah RR is a very large double decked HO railroad with a logging branch the extends upward from the upper level. Radio DCC is used to control the trains over the main line that extends for over 720 feet. It is October 1, 1925. The layout is over 75% scenicked and has over 500 cars and 50 sound equipped steam locomotives. Operations occur on a regular basis usually with a crew of 7-10. The layout depicts a mountain climbing journey from Strasburg Va. to Elkins WV. The A&S is partially owned by the Western Maryland RR so lots of WM equipment is seen on the line. The traffic is mainly agricultural products such as grain and cattle hauled in 20-30 car trains. Petersburg is the division headquarters and locals are assembled in and depart from the small yard there.
     The mythical railroad has branches from Alexandria Va. and Waynesboro Va  through Strasburg Va. to Elkins WV. Only the western branch from Strasburg is modeled. The scenery is plaster over extruded foam and the benchwork is 37 sheets of 3/4" plywood and 25 sheets of 1/8" masonite. The layout completely fills a 975 square foot basement. The railroad area is full carpeted and skirted and over 35 fluorescent fixtures provide ample lighting. Seven towns are modeled, each with a 25'+ passing siding and multiple industrial locations. Over 200 structures occupy the layout, many are craftsman kits and kitbashed industrial structures. The impressive mine complex in Dry Fork is over 3' long and features a breaker building and a company town. A 40' ten track staging yard supports the operation. Not handicap accessible.

Western Pacific Railroad  [#30]
Max Munger's large HO layout depicts the Western Pacific RR third subdivision from Oroville CA to Keddie CA (78m) and the fourth subdivision over the Keddie Wye to Westwood CA (39m) in autumn 1950. This may be more familiar as "Feather River Country" and the 1931 "High Line" Northeast Extension (to Bieber and the Great Northern RR). The walkaround layout is 22 by 24 feet with a total mainline of 450 feet. It is single track with passing sidings controlled by distributed Digitrax DCC with 12 power districts.

The Oroville, Keddie and Westwood (Bieber) yards and all connecting mainline were fully operational in 2017. The Chesapeake Trainmasters Club has operated here for the past year. Micro Engineering (ME) code 83 track and #6 turnouts ae used throughout on cork subroadbed over plywood. Turnouts are mostly Caboose Hobbies N scale trackside throws with Barrett Hills micro servers and "touch toggles" for remote areas and yard throats.

The Feather River area is partially sceniked with the remainder still in plywood status. A work in progress. Buildings, industries and switching are being added slowly. Several micro-engineering bridges are installed with many more to be built. Rolling stock is mostly 1970-80-90 accumulation of western reporting marks with a lot of newer Accurail kits to be built. I love old boxcars and vivid schemes!
 Note the RR is located in basement, with narrow stairs and is not handicap accessible. The photos show a mostly finished section of the FR with a CZ in view. The second is Keddie Yard under construction. The Wye is in the upper right of photo.

PRR at Baltimore & freelance prototype  [#31]
Jay Beckham's O Scale layout consists of two railroads.  The PRR in the Baltimore, MD area and a freelanced prototype layout the Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Joppa Railway.  The PRR includes Penn Station, Union and B&P tunnels, and two staging yards to allow duplication of the substantial traffic in and out of Penn Station.  Also, Fulton Junction where the Western Maryland tracks connected to the PRR.  Eventually GG1s under catenary will be running.  The PB&J is a coal hauling line running early diesels and some traction.  The Baltimore Transit Co. is also modeled.  The layout is 30 by 60.  Scenery is about 40% complete.  The control system is NCE DCC.  The railroads are controlled by physical CTC using CMRI.

Prince William Model Railroad Club  [#35]
The Prince William County Model Railroad Club (PWMRC) is located in the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) train station that is in the town of Quantico, just inside the Quantico Marine Corp. base. To get to the train station, you must enter the base through the north gate reachable off Exit 150 on I-95. You will stop at a checkpoint and all people in the vehicle have to show identification (driver’s license works). If asked, visitors simply can state they are going to the Quantico Train Station. The open house ends at 3:00 pm.
     The layout room is about about 30’ x 30’ and consists of a folded dog bone track plan with various passing and industrial sidings. The layout uses Digitrax DCC. The club’s railroad is called the PD&Q, which is the Potomac, Dominion, and Quantico Railroad, a fictional railroad that serves the Quantico area. The scenery is varied around the layout and includes a waterfront dock area, some industrial sidings, and some trackage that went through hilly rural areas.
     The club has served the Northern VA area for over 25 years, and was created with the primary purpose of sharing the hobby of Model Railroading with the public. The club started as a modular club and still does 10-12 modular shows annually throughout the county and at train shows in the Washington DC and Baltimore area. In 2005, the PWMRC began construction on its permanent layout in the VRE Train Station in the Village of Quantico.

The Baltimore Society of Model Engineers  [#40]
The Baltimore Society of Model Engineers is a model railroad club located in Baltimore Maryland, formed in March 1932. We are the oldest exclusively model railroad club in the United States and the third oldest modeling society in the world! The BSME layouts and offices are located on the third floor of 225 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, Maryland. Our downtown location is half a block from the light-rail station, and one and a half blocks from the Lexington Market subway station.
     The society operates both HO (1:87) & O (1:48) Scale 2-rail layouts. The O scale layout is set in early 1950s, the late steam and early diesel era. This means the majority of the trains will be Steam and first generation Diesel Trains, but you will see an occasional modern passenger or freight. O scale is not the same a Lionel or O gauge, the most notable difference is no center (third) rail. If you compare O scale and O gauge car next to each other you will see more detail and more accurate dimensions of the scale cars. The O scale layout also has a trolley system running the 65' length of the layout running off the overhead wire! You will city trolley models of Baltimore Streetcars as well as interurban cars running on the line.
     The HO layout models the fictitious Chesapeake and Western a Class I railroad with a double track mainline operation, a route westward from Baltimore towards Ohio. The city is a representation of Baltimore but not an exact model, with some landmarks and architecture. The HO scale layout does not model any particular time period so you will see modern diesels with container cars next to a ten wheeler (4-6-0) steam train with 40 foot boxcars. This gives the visitor a look at how trains have changed through the years and the modeler to run what he likes. The City trolleys are undergoing restoration and expansion as the citizens look for green transportation alternatives.

West Virginia - B&O, C&O, PRR  [#41]
Al Pugliese has a good size a good size floor to ceiling HO railroad he's been working on for 30 years. It is a freelanced HO 23x32ft spread. Based in the late 50s with heavy Pennsy B+O and C+O steam double track main line, featuring both freight and passenger consists, It also features a point to point logging branch that models Cass West Virginia on a 7x20 foot hill. Many of the structures are craftsman models and many are freelanced. The layout is not handicapped accessible.

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Bill Demas, Layout Tour Coordinator