Updated August 11, 2013 Layout Tours Pasadena Model Railroad Club - Sierra Pacific Lines (HO) The Pasadena Model Railroad Club operates the Sierra Pacific Lines. This is one of the largest HO scale operating model railroads in the world, covering almost 5,000 square feet. The railroad has over 30,000 feet of hand-laid steel rail. The 1,700 foot single to quad track mainline has ten cabs for oper- ating up to ten trains with up to 60 cars long each. At normal speeds and traffic conditions takes a train about an hour to traverse the mainline. The three principal yards handle a total of approximately 2,000 cars. Yard panels throughout the railroad allow for operation of another fifteen to twenty trains. Addition- ally, there are 300 feet of traction for trolley and Pacific Electric Railway enthusiasts. In addition to the ten cab operators, two dispatchers and trainmaster, the railroad requires about thirty more operators to  fully staff the yard, branch line, and industry controls. The Sierra Pacific Lines operates trains from all eras. Breathtaking scenery, operating semaphore signals, and theatrical lighting all combine to make this a great model railroading experience. Website: http://www.pmrrc.org/ Riverside Live Steamers In the 1950s, Joe Hunter, a well known Riverside industrialist, realized that steam locomotives were disappearing from the railroads. Knowing that future generations would not know the excitement of seeing, hearing and smelling the sounds of steam locomotives, he had a vision. Why not duplicate a steam train in miniature? Setting aside 40 acres that surrounded his industrial complex, he had a 4,300 foot railroad built. While the railroad was being constructed, a locomotive and three cars were built and steam-up facilities were installed. Ultimately, the property was donated to the City of Riverside as Hunter Park. When Mr. Hunter died, a group of railroad enthusiasts undertook negotiations with the city to assure that the railroad would not be neglected. In 1965, the City Council turned over to the fledgling Riverside Live Steamers, the responsibility for maintaining and operating the trains. RLS has greatly expanded the railroad to more than 10,000 feet of track, built three buildings and a station. Approximately 18,000-20,000 passengers ride the trains each year. Website: http://www.steamonly.org/ San Diego 3-Railers (O) - Toy Train Gallery The San Diego 3-Railers Club operates the Toy Train Gallery at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.  This gallery features Lionel-type operating toy trains. The club started as a modular club, however, only a few years ago they completed a new 42 foot by 44 foot permanent layout that has four separate main lines, realistic scenery, and many operating accessories. Club members control the trains with modern remote control systems such as TMCC by Lionel and DCS by MTH. The trains come equipped with realistic engine sounds, horn, whistle, and smoke. An operating camera car broadcasts a color image to a television screen to give visitors an "engineer's view" of the layout. Also, there is a coal mine section of the layout at "kid's eye level" where children can push buttons to operate the coal trains. The gallery also features a collection of rare Lionel and American Flyer cars from the 1920s though the 1950s as well as modern toy trains from Lionel, MTH, K-line, and Atlas-O. These displays are complimented by a collection of toy train art.  Website: http://www.sd3r.org/ San Diego Model Railroad Association - San Diego & Arizona Eastern (HO) Cabrillo & Southwestern (O) The San Diego Model Railroad Club is comprised of an O-Scale Cabrillo & Southwestern Exhibit and the 4,500 square foot San Diego & Arizona Eastern HO Scale Exhibit.  The HO layout is based on the prototype San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway line from San Diego Union Station eastward through spectacular Carriso Gorge to the desert floor at El Centro. Connections to the Santa Fe at Union Station provide traffic outlets to the North toward Los Angeles, and at El Centro connection with the Southern Pacific Railroad continues Eastward. Total distance on the prototype is approximately 150 route miles. The layout models selected points along this route. Scratch built historic structures are included as needed to provide recognizable locations around the layout, as well as fulfilling the obligations of a member in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Other scratch built structures, while not exact r eplicas of existing (or historical) buildings, capture the flavor of a region and fill in the scene. Website: http://www.sdmrra.org/main.htm San Diego Society of N Scale - Pacific Desert Lines (N) Pacific Desert Lines is one of the largest permanent N scale layouts in the world. The PDL operates from San Diego, CA to El Centro, CA, with connections to the Santa Fe in San Diego and the Southern Pacific in El Centro. The track plan is based on a route surveyed by the San Diego & Arizona Eastern in 1855. This route was based on the SD & AE staying entirely in the US, even though there were better grades in adjoining valleys in Mexico. The PDL operates from a large yard at National City, and extends west to the San Diego Depot. The PDL has local switching of the San Diego Harbor and interchanges with the Santa Fe at the San Diego Depot. The layout continues along the Santa Fe Coast Route past Torrey Pines and through Oceanside to a staging yard at Los Angeles. To the East, the PDL extends into Dulzura and Cottonwood, over the crest of the mountains at Hi Pass, down through Carriso Gorge to Coyote Wells (branch line interchange) and Plaster City (USG Gypsum Plant and narrow gage interchange). The eastern route ends at El Centro, CA, with another large yard. Website: www.sdsons.org Santa Susana RR Historical Society - Santa Susana Pacific Railroad (HO) The Santa Susana Railroad Historical Society's DCC controlled HO scale layout loosely models the Southern Pacific's coast line between Los Angeles and Portland in the early 1950s. The layout has over 400 feet of mainline on two levels of wall-mounted shelves and two peninsulas.  Special emphasis is placed on the fictional Santa Susana Pacific Railroad serving the needs of Ventura County farms and i ndustries.  Features include Cuesta loop that climbs from the lower to upper level of the layout, four freight classification yards and three passenger stations along with numerous bridges, sidings and industrial spurs.  Although the scenery is 100 percent complete, the club is constantly planning and implementing improvements to enhance both the visual and operational aspects of the layout. Recently, a scenery upgrade project in the San Pedro/Los Angeles area created a fishing port with a large bay, docks, tuna processing plant and a lively downtown that includes a branch of the Pacific Electric Railway running down Alameda Street.  The club is now working on installing a layout-wide centralized traffic control signaling system. The club's layout is located in the freight room of the former Southern Pacific Santa Susana Depot.  The railroad built this depot in the early 20th Century in order to serve eastern V entura County.  The depot opened for business in 1903 and remained in service until the late 1960s.   Guests of the Society are encouraged to visit the museum located in the passenger section of the depot to view many artifacts and photos that detail the history of railroading in Southern California. There is also a large collection of vintage Lionel O gauge locomotives and cars on display in the depot's community meeting room. Website:  http://santasusannadepot.org/Clubhome.html Slim gauge Guild - Colorado & Sierra Railroad (Sn3) D&RG, RGS (HOn3) This club operates two beautifully detailed layouts located in a 2,000 square foot basement. The HOn3 layout is based on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and the Rio Grande Southern in roughly the 1920 to 1949 time period. On this layout members tend to model specific prototype scenes. The 1900- era Sn3 layout is more freelanced. Members tend to model scenes as they see fit. They loosely model the Colorado and Southern for the mainline and northern California lumber companies for the highline. Website: http://www.slimgaugeguild.com/ South Coast Railroad Museum (HO) The main building is the historic Goleta Depot, a 1901 Southern Pacific No. 22 Combination Depot. There is also an SP bay window caboose on the property.   You may have to ask to see the model rail- road exhibit which is inside the depot in the freight room.  This operating exhibit depicts the railroad areas of Santa Barbara and Goleta during the late-steam/early-diesel era, making this a Southern Pacific dominated layout. The Santa Barbara Railroad Yard is the exhibit's most complex feature. The layout also features the Arroyo Hondo Bridge, west of Goleta. They also have a 7 1/2 inch gauge ride- upon for $1/ride.   Layout is not handicap accessible. The website is:  www.goletadepot.org Southern California Live Steamers The Southern California Live Steamers was established in 1948, in Mrs. Lewis' (Founder of Little Engines) back yard, in Lomita, CA.  They began laying track and operating at Wilson Park in 1986. Their mission is to educate the public about our rich railroad history and promote interest in the hobby. The club operates a 7-1/2" (ride-on) railroad with approximately one and a half miles of track. They operate both steam, gas/hydraulic, and some electric locomotives. Most of their larger equipment is "narrow gage" five inch to the foot models of two-foot narrow gage plantation engines. Website: http://www.southerncalifornialivesteamers.com/ Olds, Robert - Tidewater & Western Railway (HO) A dedicated 14 x 21 room houses this very complete layout with options for point-to-point or continuous-loop running on a 119 foot mainline with an additional 55 feet in passing tracks and return loops. Trackage is Code 100 in the main yard, 83 on the mainline, 70 on branch lines and sidings and 55 on spurs. The three branches total 117 feet, serving a citrus growing area, a city/industrial area and a mountain resort. The layout is essentially a "folded dog bone" design with inclusion of two reversing loops. The layout height is 48 to 59 inches on L-girder benchwork. The control system consists of two MRC Control Master 20 power units and walk-around throttles with provisions for selected local control. Scenery is hard-shell plaster with water soluble detailing and texturing.There are many highly detailed city, industrial, rural and desert scenes with appropriate hand-painted and commercial backdrops. The hand-painted backdrop is on 1/8" inch mahogany veneer. Various scenery elements are well integrated. Bob models the Southwestern United States in the steam-diesel transition era, circa 1948-1950. Operational practices follow those of the three railroads (ATSF, SP & UP) Bob grew up with in Southern California. There are many one-of-a-kind modified steam locomotives, including several award winners. Parcell, Bob/Dynamic Hobbies - Hobby Shop Display Layout (O) This is a large O scale store display layout.  It measures 45 feet x 9 to 11 feet.  It is fully sceniced and includes an ice house with icing platform, other industries, a large town, multi-level tracks and both modern and transition locomotives.  The shop features HO, N and O scale trains and supplies. Video Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMXfeAzxchY&list=PLA2B1685878C6311F&index=5 Roberts, Dick - The Nevada County Railroad (HO) The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad was built about 1875, and connected the cities of Nevada City and Grass Valley with the Central Pacific (Southern Pacific) at Colfax, California. In 1913, at a meeting of the Board of Directors, a plan was put forth to standard gauge the entire line, but the Board never initiated the conversion. In 1987 Dick Roberts provided the funds and the Nevada County Railroad was born (in HO scale). The 21' x 24' layout is set in the spring of 1920 which allows Dick to model the line as it was realigned in 1908, including the steel bridge over the Bear River. The layout has been featured in Model Railroad Planning 2001, and the Sept/Oct 2006 NARROW GAUGE AND SHORTLINE GAZETTE. The track plan follows the NCNGRR route from Colfax to Nevada City via Grass Valley with several intermediate stops. A key feature of the layout is the steel bridge over the Bear River (completed in 2006). The October 2008 issue of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN features an article by Dick on modeling this bridge, and includes drawings and many detail photographs. Structures and scenery follow the prototype as closely as possible with minor modifications for the slightly larger standard gauge equipment.  This layout incorporates the "mushroom" design concept with a track elevator. There are two levels of track stacked above each other, but only one level is visible in any scene (compared to a double deck layout where the tracks are stacked but are also all visible in one scene). Control is Digitrax DCC and all engines are equipped with Soundtraxx decoders. The turnouts are controlled by slow motion switch motors, which are operated by recessed trackside controls.  Regular operating sessions are conducted each month using RailOps software to provide organized car movements and switch lists. Ramos, Doug - Poverty Gulch & Opulence Mining Company (On3) This On3 railroad was partly inspired by the model railroad efforts of his father and the Southern California Boomers round-robin group.  It features a point-to-point mining railroad set in dramatic rock scenery with nicely done scratchbuilt structures and pine trees.  Some of the soil comes from genuine Jerome, Arizona, mine tailings.  Scenery is about eighty percent complete. Operations feature PFM sound and DCC wireless remote control.  The railroad also has a unique lighting valance which employs simulated corrugated iron sheets which are realistically weathered as one would have seen years ago at a real mining operation. Doug's layout was featured in the 2010 Fine Scale Narrow Gauge Annual.  This layout has been featured on a previous layout tour as part of the 2008 NMRA Nation Convention. Russell, Bob - Orange Belt Railway (N), Rio Grande Narrow Gauge (G) Bob's N scale layout is home to both the Southern Pacific & Santa Fe Railroads. The time period is the late 1940s so steam rules with SP's Owl and Lark trains pulled by GS-4 and AC-12 steam power. Also making daily stops at the Santa Mesa Depot behind war bonnet F units and Alco PAs are the Santa Fe's Grand Canyon and Chief. Southern Pacific AC-12 4294 & MK-6 3269 handle the bulk of the mainline freight duty and can be seen pulling long strings of PFE cars or mixed freight. The layout is operated by a Digitrax Big Boy DCC system. Bob also has added a Rio Grande theme G scale narrow gauge layout to his backyard. Sipkovich, Ron - Santa Fe & Pacific (N) The N-scale Santa Fe and Pacific represents the Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific in the Cajon Pass area, San Bernardino to the Lower Narrows.  The era is late 1980s to 1995.  The layout's overall size is 27 X 16 feet, with 25" to 28" isles for a linear walk- around operation with two long back- drop divided peninsulas and backbone connected to a 20 foot, 11-track,  visible return loop staging yard.  The three-track mainline is 110 feet long with 18" minimum radius curves, minimum #6 turnouts and a maximum 2.2 percent uphill grade.  The Cajon Pass down hill grade (south track) is 3 percent.  Mainline curves have easements and are super elevated. Benchwork is open grid with half lapped 1 x 4's and risers. Railhead height is 50" to 58" above the floor.  Scenery is plaster cloth on cardboard strips and crumpled paper with sifted Cajon dirt and tile grout for ground layer. Large rock formations are made of carved foam board covered with plaster and colored appropriately.  Control is Digitrax DCC with two power districts for over sixty decoder equipped locomotives. In the last few years the Southwest Portland Cement Victorville complex is in place, a small industry with spur east of San Bernardino is installed along with the Inter-modal yard in San Bernardino. The scenery around Sullivan's Curve is complete and the area from Cajon Station to Devore should be finished by the Convention. Support has been implemented for conducting operating sessions. Last year sound equipped locomotives were added to t he motive power roster. The layout has appeared in MODEL RAILROADER's "Trackside Photos", "Great Model Railroads 2010", and in the "The Art of Model Railroading 2011" calendar. Spencer, Jim - Tennessee & Marshall Pass (HO & HOn3) Jim's HO scale Tennessee & Marshall Pass is based on the early 1940s steam era D&RGW.  It is housed in a 12'-6" x 58' space under his hillside home specifically prepared for the railroad. The lower level is Marshall Pass (narrow gauge) and is yet to be started. The upper level is Tennessee Pass (standard and dual gauge) which has a full loop and most of the planned yards but is awaiting scenery and backdrops. It represents the standard gauge Tennessee Pass extending from Salida over the pass to Minturn with staging for Pueblo and Grand Junction.  Salida has dual gauge trackage.  There is a junction for the Leadville branch which is incorporated with the Tennessee Pass yard and wye. There is a large helix already in place that will link this level with the lower narrow gauge level. The construction is very interesting and unusual, using mostly foam and cantilevered out from the wall. The layout features Woodland Scenics risers and Central Valley Model Works' switch and tie system. Control is Digitrax DCC with sound by SoundTrax. Scott, Randy - D&RGW (On3) This O-scale, three-foot gauge layout depicts the high desert country of New Mexico. The around-the- walls-of-the-garage track plan includes a small yard area with engine facilities, a town and station scene, cattle and sheep loading, desert arroyo and staging yard. There are many scratch-built structures, including a large stamp mill. All the locos are DCC controlled and feature sound decoders by Soundtrax. Scenery is about eighty percent complete. Photo weblink: http://www.ocngm.com/Randy/Layout.aspx Shank, Joel - Rio Grande Southern (Sn3) Joel's Sn3 Rio Grande Southern layout is located on an Imperial County farm in Brawley.  The layout was featured on the cover plus seven pages in the October 2001 issue of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN. The layout is in a dedicated 34 foot x 44 foot building with the layout covering an area of 33 feet x 34 feet.  It was built by Joel and good friend Charles (Bud) Smith of Alpine, CA.  The layout building was built to residential code and heavily insulated so even when the outside temperature reaches 120, inside it seldom gets above the low 90s.  He has not experienced any heat-related track issues. Notable features of this superb layout include a professionally painted back drop, more than 3,000 hand-made trees and dozens of scratch build structures, many of which are contest winners. The beautifully crafted hand-laid track totals more than 500 feet with a 350 foot main line.The Rio Grande Southern is complete and operates using NCE DCC.  Joel operates using computer generated switch lists.  He uses the Ship-It program to schedule trains as well as to trace cars through controlling loads and empties, including specific loading/unloading times. Bill Beverly took a number of excellent photos of this layout and they can be seen as a slide show at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23101722@N06/sets/72157623311034324/show/ Another photo website: http://www.p-b-l.com/Support/JS-Minimeet/JS-Minimeet-11-07.html Sheegog, David - Castle Peak & Thunder Railroad (G) Inspiration for garden railroads come from many sources.  For this one, it's Disneyland. The railroad is situated in a backyard of roughly 62'x 45'. The raised layout features a 200 foot mainline loop, a 100 foot loop and 3 point-to-point lines. There is extensive cast-in-place concrete rockwork, waterfalls, a grand mural with a fiber optic star field and a miniature "Fantasmic" fountain display. 45 of Disney's 50 animated classic films as well as 11 of Pixar's 12 films are depicted on the layout. There are eight primary structures on this layout, each utilizing a different construction technique. There is: 1) the Dwarf's Cottage (wood, plaster and thatch roof); 2) Sleeping Beauty Castle (Plywood, PVC, wood turnings and cast resin veneer); 3) Big Thunder Depot (glued redwood slats); 4) Jabba's Palace (turned laminated wood); 5) Main Street Station (laser cut acrylic); 6) the Temple of Doom (solid cast resin); 7) Belle's Village (plywood, lead and Magic-Sculpt resin) and 8) Rapunzel's Tower (Magic-Sculpt resin and laser- cut wood). Coming soon will be 6 structures in the Big Thunder Boom Town which with be routed polyurethane precision board. The Disneyland locomotives and rolling stock are amongst the most recognizable in the world and yet accurate models are not commercially available. The five engines that  run on the mainline of the CP&TRR are scratch built replicas of the five engines of the Disneyland Railroad. The layout also features replicas of the Casey Junior Circus Train and the Big Thunder Railroad engine #4. For a sneak preview, visit: http://www.cptrr.webs.com/apps/photos/ Walt Disney said that Disneyland would never be complete as long as there was imagination left in the world and the same could be said of this project. Photo courtesy of Pasadena Model Railroad Club Photo courtesy of Pasadena Model Railroad Club Photo courtesy of Pasadena Model Railroad Club Photo courtesy of Pasadena Model Railroad Club Photo courtesy of Pasadena Model Railroad Club Photo courtesy of Roger LaFrance Photo courtesy of Roger LaFrance Photo courtesy of Roger LaFrance Photo courtesy of Roger LaFrance Photo courtesy of San Diego Model RR Association Photo courtesy of San Diego Model RR Association Photo courtesy of San Diego Model RR Association Photo courtesy of Chris Guenzler Photo courtesy of Chris Guenzler Photo courtesy of Chris Guenzler Photo courtesy of John Sing Photo courtesy of John Sing Photo courtesy of John Sing Photo courtesy of John Sing Photo courtesy of John Sing Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Slim Gauge Guild Photo courtesy of Charles and Todd Giordano Photo courtesy of  Harold Hueler Photo courtesy of  Harold Hueler Photo courtesy of  Harold Hueler Photo courtesy of Southern California Live Steamers Photo courtesy of  Harold Hueler Photo courtesy of  Harold Hueler Photo courtesy of Bob Diaz Photo courtesy of  Harold Hueler Los Angeles Live Steamers (7½", 4¾", 3½")  Founded in 1956, this group operates live steam trains for the general public.  The 7½" gauge railroad's main line is about 1½ miles long, and they also have extensive layouts for 4¾" and 3½" gauge model trains. The club has built and installed over 20,000 feet of track between all three gauges. In addition to the track, there is a 216' steel truss bridge, two turntables, 44 steaming bays for engine preparation and maintenance and two power hoists to raise and lower trains for storage or transit by car or truck. The LALS facility also features several preserved cabooses and passenger cars plus the Disney Barn.  This is the actual barn that was in Walt Disney's backyard in Holmby Hills, California. It was here that Walt, a member of LALS, had his workshop and ran the switches for his home railroad. The barn is open on the third Sunday of each month and features displays of Disney, LALS and railroad related memorabilia. Website: http://www.lals.org/ La Mesa Model RR Club (HO) - Tehachapi Loop Railroad For nearly thirty years, the club has engaged in a demanding and expensive undertaking. Members have planned and built well over half the joint Southern Pacific/Santa Fe Railroad running from Bakersfield to Mojave, California, in the 1950s. The 70 actual miles was compressed to 25 scale miles. Two of the most dramatic things about the route are the mountain scenery and the nearly continuous series of sharp reverse curves forced upon the railroad by the rugged terrain. The current layout consists of the area from the Southern Pacific's Bakersfield Yard through the famous Tehachapi Loop, where an engine of a one-hundred car train spirals up to cross directly over it's caboose seventy feet below After 2 1/2 years of major construction to build the mezzanine and public viewing area, the club is now in high gear to finish the dream started nearly thirty years ago - building the best ever historical model railroad! Current projects include building switches, installing benchwork, adding details, buildings and scenery, adding to rolling stock and wiring the new railroad for DCC. Website: http://www.lamesaclub.com/ Los Angeles Model RR Society (HO/Hon3) - Great Lakes & Western Railroad LAMRS operates the 2,000 square foot standard gauge Great Lakes & Western Railroad and a Colorado based narrow gauge railroad.The layout features primarily western railroads, one of the largest HO scale oil refineries found on a club, a modern intermodal transfer facility similar to those at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the Great Lakes ore ship Aurora and a large narrow gauge railroad.  There are three yards, logging and sawmill and point to point staging. CTC, DWC and ABS control are used in the club's standard gauge operations with full detection and signaling. The Colorado based narrow gauge runs over a third of the layout and is operated under time table and train order authority.  Operations are conducted monthly. The club operates with DCC using radio and wi-fi controlled throttles. Club Website: http://www.lamrs.org/   Note: The club will host a narrow gauge operating session on Saturday, 12:00 to 4:00 for those that sign up in advance. Visitors also will be welcome if space allows. To participate, e-mail info.lamrs@verizon.net and provide your name and contact info or call Lloyd Lehrer 310-951-9097. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Live Steamers Photo courtesy of Randy Dyer Photo courtesy of Randy Dyer Photo courtesy of Randy Dyer Unless noted all photos by Robert Chaparro To enlarge a photo click on it, then to reduce it click on it again Scroll to the desired layout then to return to the main page click on the layout name