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Model Railroads Near and About the Nation's Capital

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Model Railroads Near Washington, DC
Model Railroad That Serves Washington, DC



The Abrams Railroad Empire (ARE) models the "Anachronistic Era." It's a 20 foot by 22 foot walk-around HO layout that focuses on operations using Car Cards and DCC in 5 operating yards and 7 towns. Track Warrants protect key single line blocks. All switching is power routed, controlled by strategically placed CTC panels for yards and mainline. Scenery features urban backdrop and a cut-away tunnel. The ARE provides the crews a fun night of comraderie and challenges during the sessions, often making you wish you had more time to run trains ! Proprietor: Marshall Abrams

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The 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.  The layout attempts to capture the backwoods feel of these lines, without getting picky about the actual trackwork or geography of any locale.  Between yard duties, the local freights, and the through trains, I can keep about  three crews running.  Proprietor: Dean Ripple

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Lance Mindheim models Miami's East Rail District. The site is divided into two sections.  The first section is a collection of "photo paintings" edited from shots taken on his trip to Miami in February of 2006.  The second section features images from the HO scale model railroad.

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TreesThe Horseshoe Curve in N Scale layout includes the PRR mainline from "Works" in downtown Altoona, past ALTO and SLOPE Towers, to the "Brickyard", and up the hill to the curve itself. The line continues past MG tower and the four-track interlocking, around McGinley's curve to the three tunnels at the top of the hill. The eastbound and westbound main lines seperate to create room for the helper turnback loop in Gallitzin. The lines re-join in Cresson and continue downhill towards Johnstown and the west.   Proprietor: John Drye

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The Hudson Point and Hawthorne Railroad is designed for "Point to Point" Operation with optional "continuous running." Hudson Point Yard represents the Eastern terminus of the railroad. The only access by rail to the City of Hawthorne is via floats and barges at the waterfronts. All of the track within the City of Hawthorne is a separately operated railroad. The city railroad is largely a switching operation. Real estate on the city side is at a premium so the yard is small. It takes very sharp railroaders to keep traffic flowing in the city! Proprietor: Ken Spranza.

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Visit the KayDee LugBahn. The KDLB is a European Lego train layout.

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Alan Anderson's HO-scale Kristenville & Michelleville Railroad started in early 1977.  Designed as a freelanced 1920's era, steam powered railroad, it serves the limestone quarries and Al's Brewery, each located on the outskirts of Kristenville.  The Board of Directors recognized the potential for some logging business and  extended the line into the mountains.  The Kristenville Yard was expanded to its present capabilities. Alantown boomed with the expanded yard, the thriving K-M Sawmill Co., and the K-M Lumbering Co.  The small Michelleville Railroad near Passwater Interchange was in financial trouble and was bought for incorporation into the KMRR.

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The Long Island Rail Road Lower Montauk Branch provides maps of the Long Island City Area 1953 and 1860, articles by Nick Kalis, modeling hints, layout description, prototype and layout photos, and a series of glimpses into industries or warehouses that made for interesting freight operations on the Long Island. Information presented includes a brief history of the firm, how it was served by the LIRR, and what commodities were received or shipped from this facility.  Proprietor: Nick Kalis.
Nick recounts, The layout existed from 2002 -2007.  Completed by 2007 it appeared on the front cover of RMC September 2007 where a story by Ben Hom appeared. The layout with all its structures is currently owned by Ben Hom and another Potomac Division member.

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A lot of planning has gone into the Nickel City Line,  an HO Scale model railroad set in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. The railroad is a free-lanced short line railroad which operates 102 miles of single track mainline between Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Ridgway Pennsylvania. The railroad is operations oriented.  Operators run trains on a fast clock and adhere to specific rules and instructions given by a Dispatcher. NMRA Members who operate on the Nickel City Line can earn hours towards their Chief DispatcherAP Certificate.  Proprietor: Bob Rodriguez.

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Jim Brewer is in the process of building an HO scale model railroad in his 3300 square foot basement depicting the Norfolk and Western Railroad (now part of Norfolk Southern Railroad) along the Shenandoah River between Hagerstown, Maryland, and Roanoke, Virginia. The period is 1956; the transition period of steam and diesel. Modeled is 80 miles of the N&W Shenandoah Valley between Front Royal and Waynesboro, Virginia, with Hagerstown and Roanoke represented by eleven common staging tracks, each almost 40 feet long. Interchange is with the Southern Railroad in Front Royal, the Chesapeake Western Railroad in Elkton and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad in Waynesboro.
See a recent layout tour.

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The HO scale Oregon Coast Railroad follows the Columbia River from Portland to Astoria and then south along the Pacific Coast to Tillamook. Modeled activities include an ocean port with a tramp steamer and car float, a large yard and engine facility, a large meat-packing plant, a riverside fishing town and a large lumber mill. The layout fills 36' by 32' room in a folded dog bone configuration plus a 40' x 2' extension in a second room. The single track mainline is approximately 140 feet. Total track is over 700 feet with over 100 Tortoise powered turnouts. Scenery is 95% complete with several water features and hundreds of trees. The layout was featured in Great Model Railroads 2014.  Proprietor: Mat Thompson

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Howard Zane’s HO Piermont Division of the Western Maryland Railroad showcases Fifties era Appalachian railroading using equipment from the Clinchfield, Western Maryland, Chesapeake & Ohio and Norfolk & Western. Since 1992 Howard has increased the layout area to 2850 square feet. Howard considers the Piermont to be a painting created with plaster, paper, foam, rocks and dirt where he can bring to life the fabled coal hauling roads of the east. The railroad features spectacular bridges, deep scenes and breathtaking vistas.

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The Potomac and Patuxent Railroad (P&P) is a modestly successful urban railroad serving a diverse industrial base in southeast Washington, DC. Steam operations are set in May 1947, and diesel operations are set in May 1957. The code 125 and 100 hand laid rail in O-scale depicts the realism of lighter weight rail. Placement of hand laid switches does create some interesting switching moves. Proprietor: Ken Nesper.

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The late Mike White was building the Solomons and Patuxent Railroad (the S&P), an HO scale fictional short line operating between the villages of Solomons and Owings in Calvert County, Maryland.  The right-of-way follows the real-world graded path of the never-completed Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad for most of its 30 or so miles through the county. It is a country railroad serving rural people, businesses, and industries in the Great Depression month of October 1936.

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Marty McGuirk's Southern New England Railway (SNE), is roughly 16 x 40 with a 9-foot long, 10-foot wide, "choke" point in the middle. Current plans are for the railroad to start at Tidewater - a port based on New London, Connecticut, before running through several small New England mill towns and ending at a small farming community. Several other New England railroads will cross the SNE on its way through the countryside, primarily the New Haven and Boston & Maine.

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Dave Renard, MMR, built the Sylvania Central Railroad to depict the Central Division of an eastern bridge road hauling mixed freight and passenger traffic during the mid-1960s.  With mostly an urban setting featuring scratch-built and kit bashed structures,trains run from a coal mining area to a tidewater terminal with a rotary coal dumper.  Three hidden staging areas route trains over this central division of a presumed larger line.  Local way freights out of Sylvania Yard share the mainline and branches with through freight and passenger trains.  The 40-yr. old layout operates now  with DCC and some sound equipped locos.  Several hundred figures and small details along the right-of-way depict irony, satire, and humor to the most observant.  Subtle scenic features incorporate materials collected from travels around the world.

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USMRRBernard Kempinski's 1/48th - (O) Scale standard gauge model railroad depicts the US Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Fredericksburg line in 1863. Set during the Civil War the railroad includes a harbor with car ferry, military bridges, camps, fortifications, as well as the usual railroad facilities.  The layout is approximately 375 square feet with about 110 feet mainline. All the track is  hand laid track with stub turnouts and code 100 rail. Easy DCC powers the time table and train order operated layout. The modest stable of brass locomotives hauls a fleet of scratch built cars. The freight cars have wooden beam trucks with working brakes, and link and pin couplers

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Western Illinois DivisionNew York Central Western Illinois Division (WID), is an HO Scale Model Railroad set in 1954.  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, pulp mill, coal tipple, city scenery and a port with car float. Proprietor: Pete LaGuardia.

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This page was last modified on 18 September 2019 10:23am