Model Railroad Historical Society

HO Standard Gauge

The Society started rebuilding the standard gauge layout in 2001 and in 2006 it was nearly 80 percent complete. It is a loop to loop configuration with single and double deck construction. Code 83 flex track is used with hand built, "DCC friendly" turnouts. The mainline is over 600 feet in length for an average travel time of 20 minutes.  The layout can easily accommodate several 25 car trains with a double track mainline on the lower deck and several passing sidings on the upper deck.  Two staging yards each with 7 tracks and a classification yard of 12 tracks complete the railroad.  Individual trains are radio controlled with "walk-around" DCC throttles. The DCC system is a Digitrax Super Chief with several boosters.

Mainline "traffic" is controlled by a computer-based block detection and signaling system.   A multi-screen central traffic control (CTC) interfaces with block occupancy detectors and three color signal devices.  A dispatcher can control trains by changing turnout position and signal aspect all with a click of the mouse. There are plans to interface the Society's actual CTC machine, salvaged from the Western Pacific Railroad, to control the layout.

The layout depicts the Southern Pacific from the Oakland Pier to Sacramento over the Cal-P line and the Western Pacific from Sacramento through the Feather River Canyon to Keddie. Locations along the SP include West Oakland industries, Martinez, the semaphores at Bahia, Davis, the Yolo Causeway, the Sacramento passenger yard and the classification yard at 12th Street. Also in Sacramento are portions of the SP locomotive shops and a section of the R Street industrial and warehouse district. Along the WP, you'll find Marysville, Oroville, Table Mountain, the Honeymoon Tunnels in the Feather River Canyon, and Keddie Wye Bridge over Spanish Creek. Quincy is modeled along with a portion of Reno.

HO Narrow Gauge

The Society's HOn3 "narrow gauge" layout contains more than 300 feet of hand laid track and can be operated in a point-to-point or loop-to-loop manner.   As of June 2013 the layout has been converted to Digitrax DCC.  The layout features rugged scenery and spectacular bridges and trestles.   The modeled scenes are a well-coordinated mix of western and Californian narrow gauge prototypes. These include Ridgeway, Western Flume and Lumber Company, and the Bear River Bridge of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge.

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