Operations Callboard 
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Operating Railroads


Home Base
#1 Rockville Hilton—Convention Headquarters

Thursday Evening
#2 MatThompson, MMR—Oregon Coast Railroad
#17 Robert Reid, MMR—Allegheny and Shenandoah RR

Friday Morning
#9 Marshall Abrams—Abrams Railroad Empire
#19 Northern Virginia Model Railroad Club

Friday Afternoon
#11 Doug Kirkpatrick—Virginia & Western RR
#20 Frank Benenati—Maryland Junction
 
Saturday Morning
#10 Brian Sheron, MMR—Long Island Rail Road


Layout Descriptions

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Mat Thompson's Oregon Coast Railroad

Mat Thompson's Oregon Coast Railroad, set in 1956, 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.   

Location: Gainsville, VA (#2 on map, 41 miles, 1 hour from hotel #1)
Layout scale: HO
Handicapped access. No
Previous visit: http://potomac-nmra.org/LayoutTours/I-66_Double_Header/index.html
Car Forwarding method: Car cards & waybill 
Traffic control system: Timetable & Train Order (TT&TO) 
Railroad control system: Digitrax DCC
Operations scheduled for Thursday evening.   Registration code 801, $5.

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Marshall Abrams' Abrams Railroad Empire (ARE)

The ARE is a 20 foot by 22 foot walk-around freelance HO layout 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.

Location: Silver Spring, MD (#9 on map, 8 miles, 25 minutes from hotel #1)
Layout scale: HO
Handicapped access: Yes
URL: ARE web page http://abrams-railroad.potomac-nmra.org/; layout tour http://potomac-nmra.org/LayoutTours/MarshallAbrams2014/index.html
Car Forwarding method: Switchlists, based on manifests generated by the RailOP computer program
Traffic control system: Sequential
Railroad control system: Digitrax DCC
Operations scheduled for Friday Morning, 9 am - noon.   Registration code 802, $5.

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Doug Kirkpatrick's Virginia & Western RR

The V&W railroad is a freelanced, late steam/early diesel era railroad hauling people and cargo from the tidewater west over the Blue Ridge Mountains post WW II.  The HO-scale railroad follows the Norfolk & Western prototype.  The layout room is 37' x 26' with the railroad occupying 575 square feet.  The track is handlaid with all scenery completed. The mountain railroad features many bridges and trestles which are scratch built.  All of the buildings are either scratch built or craftsman kits and highly detailed.  There are many mirrors incorporated through out the layout with an article describing their use in Model Railroad Planning (MRP) 2017.  The V&W railroad is featured on the cover of the May 2008 issue of Model Rairoader.

Location: Falls Church, VA  (#11 on map, 21 miles, 29 minutes from hotel #1)
Handicapped access. No
Scale:  HO  • Size: 26 x 37- feet, 575 square feet  • Length of Mainline: 600 feet
Prototype: Freelance (N&W influence)  • Theme: Class I mountain railroading
Locale:  Virginia -  West Virginia   • Period:  Summer Early 50's
Track Height:  33" to 52"   • Benchwork:  Open frame L-girder  • Track:  Handlaid Code 83 mainline, Code 70 branch & yards
Turnout Minimums: No. 6 Mainline, No. 5 Yard  • Minimum Radii:  Main line 34", branch line 24"   • Maximum Grades: 1.7% mainline, 2.0% branch
Scenery:  Hydrocal over screen, rock castings & ground foam  • Backdrop:  Hand-painted
Railroad control system:  Digitrax DCC
Car Forwarding method:  Car Cards and Waybills
Traffic control system: Fully operational position signal system  • Clearance cards and train orders for extras
Crew of 10 with 4 road crew and 6 local positions
Operations scheduled for Friday Afternoon.   Registration code 803, $5.
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Brian Sheron's Long Island Rail Road
Port Jefferson Branch

Brian 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 300 figures, and over 200 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.

Location: Poolsville, MD (#10 on map, 19 miles, 45 minutes from hotel #1)
Layout scale: HO
Handicapped access: No
URL: layout tour http://potomac-nmra.org/LayoutTours/Pollesville_Double_Header/index.html
Car Forwarding method: Switchlists
Traffic control system: Sequential
Railroad control system: Digitrax DCC
Operations scheduled for Saturday Morning, 9 am - noon.   Registration code 804, $5.

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Bob Reid's Allegheny & Shenandoah Railroad

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% sceniced 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.

Location: Lusby, MD (#17 on map, 79 miles, 2.3 hours from hotel #1)
Layout scale: HO
Handicapped access: No
URL: http://potomac-nmra.org/LayoutTours/Bob%20Reid%202011/album/index.html
Car Forwarding method: Car Cards
Traffic control system: Time Table and Train Order
Railroad control system: Digitrax Radio DCC
Operations scheduled for Thursday evening, hours TBD.   Registration code 805, $5.

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Frank Benenati's Maryland Junction

Frank Benenati’s HO scale Maryland Junction railroad is set in an area of Maryland not too far from where he actually lives, and represents the early 1960’s just prior to the B&O – Western Maryland merger. The motive power is first generation diesels from both railroads with some older WM steam mixed in. The layout itself, based on a Jeff Madden track plan article that appeared in a past MR, is a 20'x12' rectangle that requires a duck-under to access the inside area, to which he has added another yard at the eastern end of the railroad and plans to add a staging area with trackage to Elkins, WV before the convention.Trackage is code 83 on the mainlines and sidings are code 70. Frank started it when he was overseas, so it’s built in sections that it can be crated and shipped if necessary, although it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

One aspect of the track plan that makes it not look like a modular layout is the curves transition to straight sections that are by design not parallel to the module edge. In addition,he purchased the lumber by the meter so the open grid benchwork sits just about a meter high. Consequently all the track work had to be supported on risers to get my desired track elevations. Grade was kept at 1 percent or less and #6 to #8 turnouts were used to ensure smooth transitions and good train performance. Using curved turnouts also created additional opportunities for sidings and needed run-arounds. Additionally, the layout is designed so that trains can be run continuously in both directions on two separate, independent circles when they’re not having an operating session. He uses Bull Frog manual switch throws from Fast Track retained from the old DC days; they’re a reliable and inexpensive way of controlling turnouts that he described in a March, 2013 MR article. Switching operations are accomplished with a card system. All of the structures, whatever their origin, are well suited for the time and locations he has tried to create and there weren’t so many of them as to look crowded. The bridges in particular were placed in such a way as to blend in naturally with their surroundings.

Location:  Damascus MD (#20 on map, 21 miles, 37 min from hotel #1)
Layout scale: HO
Handicapped access: Possible, but limited. The basement patio door opens onto two steps into the basement. However, the planned expansion will limit the aisle width once through the door.
URL: http://potomac-nmra.org/LayoutTours/Frank_Benenati/index.html
Crew 3 (max 4) road crews , 3 yard positions and a dispatcher.
Car Forwarding method: Car Cards and Waybills.
Traffic control system: Train Orders and Timetable with a 3:1 fast clock.
Railroad control system: Currently Digitrax DCC; the extension will necessitate upgrading the DCC system. Frank hasen’t decided whether he will add Digitrax duplex radio or replace with NCE.
Operations scheduled for Friday afternoon.   Registration code 806, $5.

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Northern Virginia Model Railroad Club  

The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders (NVMR) is a club of model railroading enthusiasts headquartered in the historic train depot, circa 1859, in downtown Vienna, Virginia. NVMR models an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950's, the Western North Carolina (WNC)that was a regional railroad that ran 138 miles from Salisbury to Asheville, passing through Statesville and a handful of other North Carolina towns.  Each of these towns are represented on the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders'  permanent 20x50’ layout layout.  Salisbury's classic, Spanish Mission-style train station and nearby Spencer Yard are starting points for most of the rail operations on the layout. NVMR models realistic train movements as small switcher engines move cars around Spencer Yard to assemble trains.   Each train is then connected to a larger locomotive that then rolls down the mainline track to other rail centers in distant towns, finally arriving in Asheville at the end of the day. At each town, WNC trains will drop off and pick up cars using procedures and following train orders just like the real WNC did back in the 1950's.

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.The overhead power wire has been electrified so that trolley poles are connected just as they were in actual operation.

Location:  Vienna, VA (#19 on map, 17 miles, 33 min from hotel #1)
Layout scale: HO
Handicapped access: limited to the operator dispatcher positions due to the configuration of the layout.
URL: http://nvmr.org
Crew: 16, including Dispatcher, Operator, mainline freight and passenger, locals and trolley.
Car Forwarding method:  car card with waybills
Traffic control system: Time Table and Train Order with 4:1 fast clock
Railroad control system: Digitrax duplex. We encourage folks to bring their throttles.
Operations scheduled for Friday morning.   Registration code 807, $5.


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