The layout is not handicapped accessible. It’s upstairs on the 2nd
Alex Belida’s Eureka and South Pass Railroad is a fictional HO scale
railroad located in Nevada in the late 1890s. It is built around two
mines, one located at Parker’s Peak and called the Parker’s Peak Mine,
and the other, called the Flack Mine.
The town of Eureka is home to Adam’s Shipping and Storage, the bank, an
assay office, the Coombs family bakery, Milner’s General Store, Lily’s
Pleasure Palace, the blacksmith shop, Kee’s Chinese Laundry, Adam’s
Miners’ Supply and the Eureka Gazette newspaper office as well as a
firehouse with horse-drawn fire engine.
The town features a small train yard with turntable, repair-in-place
building and various out buildings.
South Pass is a village above Eureka. It is home to the Lincoln Lumber
Company, named after the illustrious President Abraham Lincoln, whose
picture adorns a sign on the sawmill.
Among the layout’s other features are Calum Creek, a narrow body of
water running down from the hills adjacent to the Parker’s Peak Mine,
and a statue honoring Pioneers of the West, also near the creek.
The small DCC layout runs along three sides of a 2nd floor bedroom.
There are plans for expansion to allow around-the-room runs through a
Guests are invited to sign the E&SP visitors’ logbook, called the
“Keep Calm and Carry On” register, the motto of the railroad.
Alex notes that after starting his layout he discovered a real Eureka in
Nevada, founded by miners in the 1800s, and serviced by a narrow gauge
railroad called the Eureka and Palisades RR. The discovery was the
subject of a Potomac Division clinic
that he delivered.
Alex urges visitors to follow his blog: https://esprrblog.wordpress.com
The Eureka and South Pass Railroad is a project that was conceived in
the 1960s but had to wait until 2017 to become a reality. Alex
Belida is a retired foreign correspondent and news executive who worked
for the Voice of America. Besides postings in Europe and Africa, he
traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad while assigned to the White
House and the Pentagon.
This is our first visit to this
August 15, 2020, 1 – 4 PM, Gainesville, VA
John Swanson’s PRR Cresson Branch
Accessibility: The railroad is accessed up 2 steps and
through a narrow door, not considered accessible.
The PRR Cresson Branch served the people and businesses in the
mountains between Cresson, PA, just west of the famous Horseshoe
Curve, and Punxsutawney, PA. As a PRR fan and a native son of
Punxsutawney, John decided that his first attempt at building a
layout should focus on the area of his youth. So, his Cresson Branch
of the Pennsylvania Railroad not only connects Punxsutawney to the
PRR main line at Cresson, PA, but also provides interchange with the
B&O in Cloe and the NYC System in Mahaffey. The primary focus is
on operations, and in just over 4 years from the start of
construction, "The Branch" has enjoyed more than a dozen TT&TO
(timetable and train order) operating sessions, keeping as many as
17 people busy for several hours. Operations represent the fictional
necessities of the railroad on February 2, 1955 - Groundhog Day,
with steam and some diesel operations. John's version of conditions
includes more mixed freight and less coal, as that's what the
fictional customers demand.
Sept. 5, 2020, 1 – 4 PM, Poolesville, MD
Brian Sheron's LIRR Port Jefferson Branch
Brian's layout is down a set of basement stairs, the main floor of
the house is reached from a set of front steps.
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 1900 figures, and over 800 vehicles on the layout). All of his
engines are prototypical 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.
November 14, 2020, 1 – 4 PM, Manassas, VA
George Meyrick's The Tri-State Line
The layout is not handicapped access.
is a fictional railroad running is a fictional part of the
country. The railroad is currently set in the transition period
permitting both steam and early diesel. Because the layout in
under construction it has no official name. But people keep
asking why I doing certain things with the design. So I created
the following backstory to justify elements of the layout. Some
of this is based on the room and the planned stages of
construction. Other things permits me to running any roadname
motive power on the layout. So on to the backstory.
History of the Tri-State Line
Central City and Southern Railroad was formed shortly after the Civil
War to connect Central City (the northeast terminus) to the mill town
of Emporia and the river port of Fort Down. As the country grew,
management decided to build a trestle across the river to new markets
on the south side. About a week after completion, an old river
boat caught fire, broke away from its mooring, and drifted into the
trestle destroying everything but the northern approached out of
Emporia. Being short of funds, the railroad could not rebuild
the trestle leaving the south side markets in the hands of the
before the turn of the century the Central City and Southern decided
to merge with The Summit and Western Railroad (a shortline on the
south side of the river.) Together, their funds permitted the
construction of a steel bridge across the river. Soon the
traffic increase, justifying double tracking the new mainline from
Central City across the river into Summit and on to Middlebury (the
new southern terminus).
At the start of the Great War (World War I), the railroad again merged
permitting a connection from Middlebury to the ocean port of Saint
Denise, creating the railroad of today. Through connections and
changes in management, today’s railroad serves as a connector line
between Class I railroads to the north and east of Central City and
other Class I railroads to the south of Middlebury. The railroad
leases most of its power from these railroads in exchange for trackage
of the several mergers and management changes, the railroad lost its
original identity and is only known as the Tri-State Line to the local
by the way, the three states that make up the Tri-Start Line
are: The State of Confusion, The State of Disarray, and the
great State of A fair. (Remember this is hobby for having fun.)
This is our first visit to this
December 12, 2020, 1 – 4 PM, Falls Church, VA
Todd Hermann's Lehigh & New England Catasauqua Branch
Access: Access is via basement stairs only.
HO scale layout depicts the Lehigh & New England Railroad’s
Catasauqua Branch in the summer of 1956. The L&NE’s
6-mile branch to the borough of Catasauqua (or “Catty” as it is known
to local residents) allowed it to serve local industries in town
and interchange with the Lehigh Valley, Reading Company, and, to
lesser extent, the Jersey Central railroad. Thanks to all
these connections and its proximity to the cement producing region
north of Allentown that the L&NE served, Catasauqua was a
significant rail hub in its day and, for a time, the second busiest
interchange gateway on the system. I model primarily the last
couple miles of the branch and its connections, but in that short
distance the railroad featured multiple bridges, a tunnel, several
ridiculously tight curves and two crossings at grade with other Class
1 lines protected by interlocking towers and semaphores, plus an array
of consignees to switch.
My goal is recreate key spots and scenes on the line as faithfully as
I can, with minimal compression. Fortunately, the compact size
of the prototype makes it a bit more achievable – at least in
theory. The layout occupies a roughly 16’x24’ space plus staging
that extends into the adjacent basement workshop areas. I
use NCE DCC.
The prototype is long-gone, but over the past few years, I am finally
building my tribute to the line and the town that hosted it. The
layout is still very much under construction, but several key scenes
have at least a first pass at scenery.
This is our first visit to this