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.
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