The layout models railroading around the Portland, OR area in the 1950′s—during the transition era from steam to diesel—the heyday of railroading. We model many of the key aspects of railroading in Oregon: industries in and around Portland, the Oregon logging industry, the heavy mainline traffic along the Columbia River Gorge, and the Central Oregon Trunk Line from the wye just west of Wishram, WA along the Deschutes River up to Bend, OR.
The layout is designed to allow the easy flow of a large number of visitors viewing the main layout; During peak traffic of our annual show, we can easily handle as many as 300 visitors per hour.
We’re working on a detailed layout tour, but there are more than a hundred towns, landmarks and scenes we want to highlight. Stay tuned for more updates. Here’s a small sampling to get started.
Perhaps the single most impressive structure on the entire layout is our highly detailed model of Union Station as it was in the 1950′s, built directly from the original blueprints. Our model replicates every detail: the roof lines, the sashes, the windows, the brickwork, and the 150 foot tall Romanesque clock tower.
There are more than 5000 feet (57 scale miles) of hand-laid double track in the mainline. It follows the route along the Columbia River through towns like Celilo, Wishram, and The Dalles. At the far east end is Spokane, WA … though it’s out of sight on our layout.
Traveling at scale speeds, it takes more than 25 minutes for a train travel from one end of the mainline to the other. Because our mainline is more than 57 scale miles long, we typically have 8 trains spread out along the mainline at the same time. There’s a lot of traffic!
Just like the real railroads, we use a system of waypoints, block detection, and communication between the dispatchers and operators to keep the traffic moving in an orderly (and safe) manner. See more…
Central Oregon Trunk Line
Starting at the junction at Hood River, the Logging Division recreates every aspect of the logging industry in the Cascade Range: harvesting, rough sawing, log floats. In the foreground is the log pond where logs are dumped off the rail cars and stored until they’re pulled up the ramp to the saw mill.