South Side and Rio Mesa
20' x 85'

The South Side and Rio Mesa is a freelance 1950s era HO scale model railroad with a Texas look and feel. The railroad captures a time when the nation still moved by rail and steam was king but was already being seriously threatened by dieselization. The railroad is still under construction with 80% of the scenery and all of the track work complete. The railroad occupies a room 20' x 85' (approximately 1600 sq. ft.) on the first floor of the old Sears Catalog warehouse on Lamar Street in downtown Dallas.

The layout is specifically designed for operations and, for the most part, follows typical prototype practices. We use digital command control (DCC) with the Digitrax system being our choice. We use a car card system and waybills for car movements and a trainmaster and dispatcher to schedule trains.. At least 80% of the club owned locomotives are equipped with sound and most of the member owned locomotives are also sound equipped. There is about 800 feet of mainline and more than 200 turnouts. Features include the South Side on Lamar building-the former Sears Warehouse, Dallas Union Station, Dealy Plaza with the triple underpass and book depository, a major city area, large steel mill complex, and a wharf scene representing Galveston complete with car ferry and underwater detail.

The railroad runs as a connector route from an interchange at the west end of the system, through Southside yard where all trains are sorted and dispatched, to another interchange at the east end of the system. There is through traffic as well as a lot of on line switching at numerous industries and stations.

Don't miss the full size replica of a control tower that houses the dispatcher.

While you are visiting the HO club, be sure to check the progress of the O scale division of the South Side Club, the Texas Midland Railway, located one level below the HO railroad. This railroad is in the early construction stage and is approximately 20' x 45'. Trains will be running on the permanent railroad as well as the new modular layout of the DFW O scalers.

Up to twelve operators are needed: a Yardmaster, asst. Yardmaster/Hostler, 8 road Engineers, a Stationmaster, and a steel mill Operator. A total of 22 trains can be run in a 24 hour operating day (4 hours)

Operations is managed by RailOp and Digitrax DCC. Car Card and waybill switching per schedule. Every manifest train has some switching with some through trains and local switchers.

Bill McPherson
16' x 11'

Early Dallas industrial development expanded westward along the Texas & Pacific and southward along the Santa Fe. The T&P Browder Yard was surrounded by heavy industries and the Santa Fe ran beside the yard. Both served the area. In Oak Cliff the Santa Fe’s Ewing Sub switched packing plant, paper mill, and other industries. Like these prototypes, the Dallas Belt & Terminal Railroad serves numerous industries with the 32 car Browder Yard and 30 switching opportunities. Sixteen trains can be dispatched from the staging level. The engine facility services 6 steam and 7 diesel sound-equipped locomotives. Many detailed scenes are situated throughout this city-scaped layout.

2 Road Engineers

RailOp and NCE DCC.

Elbert Smith
11' x 11'

The Graham Branch of the Rock Island models the line between Bridgeport and Graham Texas. Focus of operations is the mid-point, Jacksboro, Texas. Trains are assembled in Bridgeport and Graham yards and serve industries in Jacksboro. Diesel era freights are short as on the prototype, speeds are slow (25 mph maximum), and turnouts are hand thrown. Jacksboro Layout is in an 11' x 11' room with narrow shelves serving as the yards in an adjacent room. Trains pass through adjacent closets to reach the Jacksboro portion of the layout. Track work, and ballasting, structures (some mock-ups) and scenery are in place. Only the quarry walls need completion. This layout is an example of innovative use of a limited space. Focus on an actual prototype, location, and time enhances realism, giving visitors an opportunity to view Rock Island operations in Texas prior to that line’s demise.

2 Road Engineers

Using EasyDCC radio throttles, two operators share engineer/conductor duties on the first train, a turn. Next, they each bring trains into Jacksboro from opposite ends of the branch, meet, share switching duties in Jacksboro and then complete their runs. Trains are assembled and cars are switched using pre-printed switch lists specific to the three cities.

Kansas City Southern
Jim Norwood
N Richland Hills

The Kansas City Southern running from Kansas City (MO) to Shreveport (LA) with a branch line to Hope (AR). Time frame is 1969. Main line power is Fs, GP-30s, and SD-40s. Several through freights and Dodgers (way freights) with major switching in the Kansas City "Bottoms", Nekoosa Paper Mill, Dermas Yard, and Harriet Street Yards. Numerous transfer runs to four yards in the Kansas City Area. Through freights include automobile, forest products, and grain trains.

8, 3 Yardmasters and 5 Engineers, for Merchandise trains and dodgers (out and back dodging merchandise trains)

RailOp switch list and RailCommand for DCC

Santa Fe
Bill Childers
18” X 17’

This 18” X 17’ switching layout depicts an isolated Santa Fe yard located in downtown Oakland, CA in the 40’s and 50’s. A Car Float serves as a fiddler yard. If you like switching or want to learn switching from a real expert, this is the layout for you.

1 Switch Engineer / Brakeman
Fort Travis & Dayton
Richard Day
Richardson, TX
11' x 19'

The Fort Travis and Dayton railroad models urban communities with industries that depend on the railroad for transportation. Set in the mid to late 50's, the many industries in Gum Springs and Pine View provide plenty of switching activity. Car cards are used for traffic routing during operating sessions. The operations oriented layout, constructed in an 11' x 19' area, accommodates 3 operators. The railroad is currently converting from steam to diesel motive power so both types of locomotives are active. EasyDCC was installed to provide independent train control. Other recent changes include the addition of sound in many of the locomotives. Construction of the railroad began in 1992 and is basically complete including operating block signals and scenery. Like all model railroads changes and improvements continue to be made.

Yardmaster, Gum Springs local Engineer and Pine View local Engineer

EasyDCC and Car cards

Raton & Overland
Jack Orr
18' x 17'

The Raton & Overland RR models the AT&SF from Raton (NM) south to Lamy (NM), near Santa Fe, during the late 1940's and early 1950's. The layout is 18' x 17' in a purpose-built room over the garage. It includes a peninsula (Santa Fe) with a spur to the York Canyon mine and a helix down to 8 staging tracks (Pueblo). There is a fair-sized yard (Raton) with an operating turntable and roundhouse. Other towns represented include Las Vegas, Lamy and Kaiserville, which is fictitious, but is in remembrance of Ed Kaiser who contributed mightily to the early construction of the RR. Operations are with EasyDCC (wireless) and all diesels and steam have sound. A featured consist for shows is made up of brass F7's A-B-B-A and brass Santa Fe Chief passenger cars, although this consist is not utilized during operating sessions. CEO of the R&ORR is Jack Orr. VP is David Bartholomew.


Motive control with wireless EasyDCC

Fox River Branch
Eric Mumper

Based on the CB&Q Fox River branch from the Eola yard (staging) in Aurora, Illinois to Streator, Illinois. The layout is set in October of 1954 and is based on prototypical operations. The other railroads that the CB&Q crosses are active and modeled including the CRI&P, Wabash, GM&O, Illinois Midland, and ATSF. Silica Sand is the primary commodity and reason for the railroads existence. Two large glass factories and a large fertilizer factory keep traffic moving along with the usual granger road commodities of corn/soybeans/coal/oil/lumber. This layout is all switching.

6, Ottawa Q Yard Engineer, Fox River Conductor/Engineer, Streator Q Yardmaster/Engineer and Wabash/GM&O Engineer

This layout is all switching. Car forwarding with Car Cards. Motive control with EasyDCC.

Allegheny Railroad
Jerry Schoenberg
20' x 30'

The Allegheny Railroad is a highly mountainous railroad with a strong flavor of the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1950's Flat areas include an Atlantic City short line, Altoona Yard and a Steel Mill.

1 Yardmaster, 1 Steel Mill Operator and 3 Road Engineers

RailOp and EasyDCC. Track work includes a 2 track mainline and a 4 track Horseshoe Curve. Over 200 turnouts are controlled from buttons on panels with bicolored LED indication. Numerous towns allow for way freight operation. Trains are 10-15 cars long and power is multiple diesel and steam consists. All power is sound equipped and throttles are wireless for mainline and tethered for switchers.

James Peterson
Coppell, TX
25' x 38' main room, plus hallway and staging room for a total of 1300 sq. ft.

The HO scale Gulf Lines is a model of the Santa Fe Railroad in Dallas in 1960. Actual Santa Fe plans are being used faithfully to depict the railroad and all its track work from mile post 44 in Oak Cliff, through East Dallas Yard, to mile post 53.4 near the Texas State Fair Grounds. Selective compression will reduce this mainline to approximately 250 feet or four scale miles.

Wide aisles, a comfortable crew lounge, and three large staging yards representing Cleburne, Gainesville, and Dallas Union Terminal will make it possible to host operating sessions for twelve or more guests. All main line track work and most sidings and spurs are complete from the Cleburne staging yard through East Dallas Yard. Operations on the first portion of the railroad began in February, 2011.

9 Operators: Stage Manager, Yardmaster, 2 Yard Switchmen and 5 Road Operators in 1 or 2 man crews.

All switches along main tracks and CTC controlled sidings are powered by slow motion switch motors such as Tortoise or Switch Master, as are yard and spur switches located in hard to reach areas. Industrial spur switches near the aisle are manually controlled. NCE radio cabs control the GCSF through an NCE DCC command station and several CVP Products boosters with Zone Master circuit breakers.

Frank Treadaway
Willow Park
11' x 31'

Modeling the Santa Fe and Katy in Oklahoma during the transition era.

4, 3 Engineers, 1 Yardmaster

EasyDCC and Car Cards

Texas Western
Texas Western MRC
Ft. Worth
HO and HOn3

The HO/HOn3 - scale Texas Western MRC is operated using Digitrax DCC power. In Ft. Worth, you'll marvel at the completely scratchbuilt T&P depot, freighthouse and Post Office. Much of the Ft. Worth yard has been ballasted. In Houston, come and see the new wharf area. There is even an operating drive-in theater to see. On the narrow gauge side, Delores has new structures, roads and cattle pens.

Car forwarding is with ProTrak.

Jerry Hoverson
Melissa, TX
HO and HOn3
25' x 25'

The Rocky Mountain Central (HO) and the Colorado Pacific (HOn3) are based on the D&RGW and the Colorado Southern in the mid 50s. Steam is still the primary motive power (most with sound). The layout features two large yards and a dual gauge interchange.

Standard gauge yard master (Grand Junction), Narrow gauge yard master (Durango), one to two interchange operators (Salida) and two road engineers on each gauge.

Car Forwarding: Car cards; Motive control: Digitrax DCC; Dispatcher controlled signals control train movement on the RMC while the CP is dark territory requiring Train Orders.

Chip Romig
S and Sn3
60' x 28'

The Colorado and Silver River is a 1950s short line operating in concert with the Union Pacific and the Rio Grande. Lots of steam runs on the Union Pacific and Rio Grande. The Sn3 portion of the layout is all steam. Layout is built in a 60' x 28' room with track work done and scenery 95% complete.

10, 4 Yardmasters, a Hostler and 5 Road Engineers. The passenger train is run from a cab simulator, sound effects included!

Car Cards with NCE DCC and SoundTraxx sound. Layout is fully signaled. Phone system, with lights and buzzers for dispatcher communications.

Joe Barnhart
Royce City
36' x 44'

The Denver North Park and Pacific Railroad is Joe’s dream empire connecting Denver and Gunnison, Colorado. Saving the lumber, steel and mining industries, this layout features 4000 feet of mainline, 200 turnouts, 750 freight cars and 50 locomotives. Normal operation is point to point, but loops at both ends allow for continuous running. There are 26 cities serving 45 industries on 5 levels. The average train takes about 2 hours to run.

Scenery is 80% complete. Signals, turnouts and occupancy sensors are all connected to JMRI on a CAN bus.

The layout has been recently expanded to 36' x 44', effectively doubling the size. This allows for a lot more running.

4 Road Engineers and a Yardmaster

The DNPP was designed and built for operations. Operation is with EasyDCC command control and wireless throttles (WiThrottle and Engine Driver (bring your own phone if you like)), JMRI generated switch lists, and a computer assisted dispatcher.

Dakota Northern
Olaf Melhouse
Ft. Worth, TX
12' x 13.5' with an 2' x 8' extension for Lakota Yard

The Dakota Northern is a Burlington Northern subsidiary inspired by the Great Northern line between Grand Forks and Minot, North Dakota. Focus of the layout is Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. In addition to the BN, The Soo Line also has operating rights in the area. Local switchers contend with heavy movements of agricultural traffic on the main line, particularly grain moving to Duluth and the Twin Cities. Era is 1975. Built for operation, the Dakota Northern is 12 x 13.5 feet. Scratch built structures are a favorite part of the hobby to Olaf and many structures in and around his home town of Devil’s Lake are represented.

4, Two crews of an Engineer and Conductor each

Walk-around MRC Prodigy Advanced 2 DCC throttles and printed train orders and switch lists are used to operate the trains. Two mainline freights deliver cars to Devils Lake and Lakota Yard for the Devils Lake switch, the Warwick Local and the Valley Turn. Devils Lake has a local switch job and Lakota Yard has a switch job to makeup the locals and switch the industries there. We also run a Soo Line freight that interchanges cars with the Dakota Northern and delivers coal for the power plant at Devils Lake. In addition to this we run a loaded unit grain train and an empty unit grain train when time permits.

Lloyd Keyser
Dallas, TX
15' x 35'

The Chicago and North Western Iowa division in the Belle Plain area is the focus of this 15' x 35' foot railroad. Branch lines of the Milwaukee road and the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are also represented. Layout is a John Armstrong design heavily modified by adding more towns and switching and was featured in Model Railroad Planning. Many structures are still in the mockup stage. A great deal of recent effort has gone into making the railroad ready for operation. Control is RailCommand with car routing by car cards and waybills. Lloyd is a consummate craftsman well known for his detailed models and articles in the hobby press. He is also a C&NW authority and has authored four Volumes for Morning Sun Books on the Chicago and North Western in color as well as over 30 magazine articles.

4 (Req'd), Cedar Rapids and Iowa city yard and road Engineer; Wausau yard plus Plymouth Patrol; New Ulm turn out of Belle Plaine Engineer; Columbus Engineer out of Belle Plaine; and the Belle Plaine Yardmaster building and breaking down the above trains for main line set out and pickup at Belle Plaine industries.

Wireless throttles using Rail Command. Toggle switches for turnouts. Train instructions and Car Cards for car movements.

Four railroads are involved in this operation which involves three interchanges. One operator will run the Crandic Interurban which involves switching Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the Milw. Road interchange at Wausau. A Wausau yard operator who my also run the M&StL interchange and switching in New Ulm. Belle Plaine will require a yard man to work the set outs and pickups on the main as will as switch the industries. The fourth operator will run the Milw. Road branch out of Wausau to Plymouth which includes a turn with the Northwoods Hiawatha. A New Ulm turn will be run out of Belle Plaine by who ever is available. This session will involve a lot of switching using car cards and will consume approximately 3 hours.

Cowtown Model Railroad Club
Ft. Worth
1200 sq ft

The LMRA RR Club’s Gulf & Denver Railroad Authority (GDRA) layout is based on a fictitious setting running east and west. The layout has four operating roads under the umbrella of GDRA, the Gulf & Denver, St. Charles & Western, Port Allen Terminal RR, and the Lone Pine & Eagle Pass Rwy.

2 Yardmaster, 1 Switcher, 6-7 Road Engineers

Yardmaster - Cimarron yard: Largest yard on the layout with nine (9) working tracks. Job consists of makeup and tear down trains and switching of pickups and drop-offs from transitioning trains..

Yardmaster - St. Charles Yard: Four (4) track yard plus assembly tracks. Job consists of makeup and tear down trains and switching of pickups and drop-offs from transitioning trains..

Midway Switcher: Local switcher operating between between the towns of Midway and Gila Basin. The switcher switches out the various industries and sets out the pickups for transitioning trains through the towns and also distributes the drop-offs from those trains to the specific industries.

Road Engineers: The road engineers operate various trains types, freight, way-freight, passenger, unit, MOW across the layout on either the Gulf & Denver trackage or the St. Charles & Western trackage. There are also a few "turn-trains" that go out and return to the initial yard.
Most trains have some level of switching en-route.

Operating Strategy: We operate to have fun! The layout operates with walk around EasyDCC control and hand held two-way radios. A central dispatcher controls all main-line and passing siding switches. Trains are controlled by dispatcher radio clearances and upon request given track and time at various towns for switching chores. When track and time are granted by the dispatcher, control of switches are reassigned to the local town panels.

Some trains are pre-staged and others are made up in the yards. There are six locations on the layout that could contain pre-staged trains consisting of 17 tracks.

(1) Gulf
(2) Denver
(3) Rock Springs
(4) Steel Mill (no mill, as of yet)
(5) Denver Jct.
(6) Ironwood Jct.

However not all tracks contain trains at the same time since some are destination tracks. An overall schematic of the layout can be downloaded from the website.

Westbrooke Parkway II
Michael Haas
Dallas, TX
18' x 12'

September 1956! Fictitious 200 mile stretch between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with a 25 mile branch line into Johnson City, West Virginia. The branch line is served by the cities of Westbrooke, PA and Keyserton, PA.

Code 83 flex, 140 feet mainline with #6 and bigger turnouts and 22" minimum radius turns.

3 yardmen

Car Cards with EasyDCC plug-in throttles.

Chris Atkins
Argyle, TX
15' x 35'

The layout is set in northern Wyoming and southeastern Montana. The top level is the Burlington Route from Sheridan, WY to the connection with the Northern Pacific mainline on the Yellowstone River at Huntley, MT and is mostly rural, open spaces. The lower level is where the Burlington has trackage rights over the Northern Pacific from Huntley to the city of Billings the large yard at Laurel.

Major industries served by the railroads in 1967 are coal mines, sugar beet factories, oil refineries, a meat packing plant, steel fabrication, flour mills, grain elevators and agriculture.

Construction began in January 2015 and about 1/3 of the track has been laid. The layout is housed in a 85'x15' 1895 Texas and Pacific section house moved down the tracks from Roanoke. This is the second layout to be built in the section house.

1 yardmaster and 4 switch crews

Car Cards and Digitrax

Colorado and DRGW
Darrel Smith
Haltom City, TX
12' x 56'

Come operate trains on the Grand Valley branch of the DRGW railway. The double track main line and over 110' of space means 4 trains can run on the main lines. Plus there is a major yard where operators can be taking trains apart and put together at the same time. Lots of car spotting at three coal mines. We load real coal here, come see how it's done. Join us for the most fun you can have on a model railroad.

This layout has been in You Tube videos and featured in the Cow Catcher. So bring your cameras, the layout has become a must see for model railroaders.

Black Bear & Bayou
Leo and Lorrie Palitti
Ft. Worth, TX
HO and HOn3
24' x 30'

Set in the 1940's and 1950's, the layout runs from southern Utah to the bayous of east Texas.

This HO/HOn3 layout is designed for point to point operation but includes continuous running options. Scenery features towering mountains, beautifully painted backdrops, ocean scenes, along with many structures a realistic thunder storm and four turntables. Trains are both steam and diesel. It includes dual gauge trackage, switchbacks, various levels. We've also added a computerized yard / switch controller and car counter to the staging yard. The ligting is setup for both day and night time viewing.

2 Yardmasters and 4 Engineers

Thru freights, passenger trains and way freights.

Spur Lines Express
Tommie White
Terrell, TX
29' x 24'

Spur Lines time frame is during the transition period from steam to diesel. The layout has approximately 250 feet of main line with 133 Fast Tracks hand built turnouts. All turnouts are powered by tortoise switch machines. The railroad is under construction with all the track work completed and 55% of the scenery completed. The layout is designed for operation and for the most part, follows typical railroad operation.

We have 3 industrial yards plus 11 towns with lots of switching.

7: 3 Yardmasters, 4 Road Engineers

The layout is DCC powered by Digitrax. For throttles we use UT4Rs. The JMRI program is used to schedule trains, print manifests and switch lists.

Remember to ask operations organizer for the HOA gate code before you leave home or the hotel.

Don Murphey
Southlake, TX
26' x 40'

It is in the 1950's and the U.S. economy is booming.  Railroads are working hard to move freight across the country. Passengers are continuing to travel by train as in the World War II period.  Due to the heavy rail traffic, the railroads have had to supplement new diesel power with steam locomotives. Coal is cheap and so is oil, thus both types of energy are fueling steam. 

The weather in the central part of the country has made rail traffic congested. The Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are over flood stage.  The Mississippi can only be crossed at St. Louis and, thus, all east west movement is through the St. Louis Gateway, whether from Chicago or south to New Orleans. 

The Missouri River at Kansas City is the only crossing in Missouri and so northern and southern movements west of St. Louis must route through Kansas City.

The Golden State as seen on YouTube!


EasyDCC form CVP Products, Railop for car forwarding.

Oregon Joint Line
Dean Ferris
25' x 28'

The Oregon Joint Line is a joint NP/GN mainline through the mountains and canyons of eastern Oregon connecting the Pacific Northwest with California. The layout, which is set in 1969 just prior to the BN merger, has plenty of pool power from the connecting California roads (WP, SP, and ATSF). Most heavy trains (freights are typically 22-28 cars long) receive helpers for the shove up the 2.2% grade to the summit at Snowline. A forest products shortline, the "Oregon & Northeastern", switches the Hines Lumber pulp/plywood complex and makes log runs out to Canyon Reload. The major terminal area has three yards (NP, GN, and the O&NE) with plenty of transfer/interchange activity and industrial switching.

9, Dispatcher, 2 NP Yard crews, 1 GN Yard crew, 1 O&NE crew, 1 local/helper crew, 3 road crews

The layout is operated with radio controlled with NCE DCC. Car forwarding is currently done with car tabs and dispatching is Track Warrants.

John Garfield
Burleson, TX
12' x 22'

The layout depicts the Erie, Buffalo Subdivision, from Buffalo (NY) to Salamanca (NY). The original Erie went from Dunkirk (south of Buffalo) on Lake Erie to Port Jarvis (NY) with a B&O interchange in Salamanca and an interchange with the Buffalo Pittsburg Line in Dayton (NY). After acquiring the B&P, Dayton still served as an Erie/Erie interchange and also the only tunnel on the Erie. The railroad represents heavy coal hauling to the steel mills of Lackawanna (NY) which were served by the South Buffalo RR and general freight and light passenger service for interchange with the primary east/west route of the Erie at Salamanca (staging). There is also a short line private RR (Conception and Viridity meaning beginning and always green) that interchanges to provide hardwood and limestone out of the Appalachian foothills of southern New York.

5 Operators, Yardmaster, Hostler/local service Engineer, road Engineer, Swithcer/Short line operator and steel mill operations.

DCC with sound operations, Rail Op switch lists.

Greg Keng
12' x 14'

The Galveston, Colorado & Santa Fe and is loosely based on Santa Fe's GC&SF division. It is a 12' x 14' switching layout representing Galveston, Tx in the late 1950's. To simplify things, there is no Galveston Terminal Railway, Santa Fe does all it's own switching.

2 Operators

Using EasyDCC and Car Cards for operations.

Pennsylvania Railroad
Brady McGuire
Sherman, TX

The PRR Laurel Valley Secondary (2 rail O scale, ¼ inch / ft.) represents the 45 miles from Pitcairn Yard in East Pittsburgh to Moss Lake and Bowest Yard at Connellsville, PA in October 1957. This heavy industrial RR has 31 industries in four industrial districts. The PRR Snow Hill branch line serves the town of Laurel Springs and the large 3 track Penna. Coal and Coke Co. mine #42 at Snow Hill. Industrial districts, Moss Lake, Earlton, East Pittsburgh and Post Oak have 63 car spots.

On display: My 20 car military train with 17 flatcars with 28 vehicles, my 18 car reconditioned RBB&B circus train built circa 1960’s, a 3 track icing facility servicing 21 reefer cars and an award winning double track deck truss bridge. Authentic Pennsylvania RR station sign, PRR interlocking tower signs, a Truc-Train trailer logo disc, PRR wood box phone, RR lanterns, prints and stuff.


The RR is operated by Train Orders with car cards and color coded waybills. A six station phone system allows operators to communicate with the Dispatcher.

Please no food, beverages or smoking in the Depot. Bottled water is OK. Rest room available.

Speed Muller
20' x 20'

NCE DCC, Live Switch lists on Touch screens

Eastern Valley
Tom Santella

DC with wireless and wired cabs

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