Mat Thompson’s Oregon Coast Railroad
October 11, 2009

It’s been almost two years since Mat sponsored a Potomac Division open house. Revisiting the Tillamook Line of the Oregon Coast Railroad again, has allowed this visitor an opportunity witnessing further completion and expansion of OCRR Empire.  This full basement layout includes a late sound equipped steam locomotive fleet transitioning into early diesel power on the west coast during the fall of 1953.  Besides the many locomotives sitting in yards waiting for operating clearance, several ply their trackage rights delivering freight to scheduled destinations.  Locomotive sounds emanate from numerous locomotives, further bringing life to the OCRR.

Aside from extensive trackwork, scenery construction is the first visible experience.  At a minimum, seventy five percent is completed, capturing the several small towns and industries along the way.  Particularly of interest are several industries depicted with majestic large old buildings scattered here and there along the right of way as the railroad meanders towards the port.  At one mountain top, is a marshalling yard with Shay locomotive for log train loading.  This train will carry uncut forest logs to the sawmill for machining into lumber and other forest products.  As this train might meander its way, several small towns are passed.

Mat’s expertise building structures is evident.  Modeling buildings from trips to Oregon and his memory from his youth, has captured the weathered look of many a small town.  Including the port scene of Columbia River Salmon company to the Hannibal Furniture Company by the mill stream to the kitbashed Swift meat packing factory, the kitbasher’s eye has been exercised.  The Swift meat plant includes many DPM and Walther’s brick building panels arranged to replicate a turn of the century old brick factory complex.  Access to rail, permits loads in and loads out when operating.  Across from this plant, an old opera window style combine car has become a storage facility of machinery parts and such for the railroad.

Several innovations are used allowing trackwork and operations to exist harmoniously.  One port scene in particular, allows the track to exit or enter a large building and continue on its running in the layout.  The view block as it is, permitted our host the options of continuous running and fitting curved trackage better fitting the needs of his design.

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Jalbum 8.2