Friday Layouts

N Scale

Midwest N Pioneer MRRC

60' x 14' Scenery: 85% DC /DCC

This layout is our fourth design and move, being the second since the last Chicago convention of 1997. The layout is switchable between DCC an DC although these days it is operated in dcc mode due to the failing DC system. It has two main lines for continuous running. There are reversing loops under each helix to facilitate the change in direction between the main lines. The upper level has a multitrack station and classification yards for both east and west bound traffic. We have included a branch line off the upper level which traverses around the wall. This is made up of oNetrak modules, which are removable to take and set up at local train shows. Members have made their own which are included in these show layouts.

The current size is 35ft x 30ft which will have been on display at the January 2019 WGH in Schaumburg.

Twin helix providing access to upper level

N Scale

Bill Pistello's
     "Union Pacific Los Angeles Subdivision",

32' X 18' Scenery: 75% DC


UP set in present day from Riverside, CA to East L.A., 40% scenic, 32'x18' shelf. Features fully signaled CTC and dispatching panel. Layout has appeared in Great Model Railroads, Model Railroader and other publications.


HO Scale

Mike Ritschdorff
N&W Pocahontas Division circa 1958

24' x 41' Scenery: 100% DCC

The N&W is a 24' by 41' foot double deck layout set in 1958 with full fall scenery. The N&W and Virginian are well represented with all type of motive power represented with heavy steam, diesel, electrics and a steam turbine. The coal business is represented by two WORKING loadouts (tipples) and many coal trains running on a double deck layout.

Many large structures including tipples, coal washers, coal slurry breakdown plants, a tractor works and the massive Sieben's brewery.

Control is Lenz with CVP radio throttles and all locomotives are sound equipped. The layout was featured on HGTV in 2003 on the Incredible basements segment.

HO Scale

Ken Koren
Chicago Western Illinois

22' x 30' Scenery: 20% DCC

CWI is a triple decked freelanced HO model railroad located along the actual Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad mainline in La Grange Park, IL. The 22' x 30' layout is constructed of 2” foam over a steel stud framework. The building housing the railroad was built specifically for it and is heated or air conditioned when in use. The track (over 1500') is all code 100 Atlas flex track and Peco manual turnouts. A seven turn helix connects the three levels together. I use a Digitrax simplex radio system for control and provide Android phones with the Engine Driver app to operators if needed. Scenery is minimal so far on my modern diesel era railroad. JMRI software provides the manifests for the operators who use FRS radios to talk to the two dispatchers located in my Koren Tower which overlooks the IHB. The dispatchers use a magnetic whiteboard and issue modified track warrants to the operators. I hold operating sessions once a month and have a regular crew of 10-14 friends who keep the railroad humming.

CWI Introduction Link

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