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Layout Descriptions

All photos are by Bob Bridges unless otherwise noted.  Click on photos to enlarge them.

ACL Spartanburg Division
Owner: David Koss
Scale: N Scale
Room Size: 20' x 16' (bonus room above garage)
Scenery: 80%
Train Control: Digitrax
Era: 1964
Dispatching: TT&TO
Distance from hotel: 20 miles

 
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Dave’s ACL Spartanburg Division is an N-Scale point-to-point layout designed for operations.  The layout is located in an upstairs 20' x 16' bonus room.  The track plan includes approximately 150 ft of mainline and about 70 turnouts/switches.  The railroad runs between terminals located at Wilmington, NC and Spartanburg, SC.  In Spartanburg it interchanges with the Clinchfield RR which runs north to Virginia & Tennessee.  Trackage runs through a number of small towns with short sidings and lots of switching, and a small classification yard is located at Laurinburg.
 
The layout is still under construction with a new switching terminal being added at Spartanburg.  Essentially all of the trackwork is complete with a full schedule of 13 trains running during a typical operating session.  The train control system is DCC (Digitrax) with radio throttles.  Most scenery areas have been constructed and structures are in place.  About 25% of the scenery is complete and detailed.  The system is Atlas Code 55 sectional track; there is no flex track used on the layout.  Main line is approximately 125 feet with over 75 turnouts and 16 sidings.

Point to point, 100 ft Main line run, lots of switching opportunities.

B&O Pine Creek Valley
Owner: Jim Babcock
Scale: HO Scale
  
 
 http://www.mer2016.org/_/rsrc/1460745799751/layout-tours/layout-descriptions/Babcock-0424.jpg 
 
Jim's layout features a completed layout based on the B&O subdivision.   Well groomed scenery complements custom-built structures based on real prototypes.  Jim's layout was featured in the local newspaper the Fuquay-Varina Independent in May 2009. This is a very fine layout that one must see.

Berkshire Short Line Railroad
Owner: Jim Murphy
Scale: HO Scale
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jim's layout represents the industrial city of Holyoke Massachusetts - a mill town powered by water through a canal system.  Industries in Holyoke included silk mills, wire mills, thread & yarn mills, brick yards, foundries, and paper mills - plenty of business for an indusrial railroad.
 
The layout features a double-track mainline with emphasis on passenger operations.  Express service for L.C.L. and refrigerated dairy and brewery service are featured on all local passenger trains.  Twenty-two lineside industries provide plenty of work for peddler freights.  Through trains originate in a unique eleven-track, 90-car capacity sliding staging yard (at 8 feet, one of the largest HO transfer tables you'll ever see).
 
The track plan represents nearly 3 scale prototype miles, and is operated with a DCC system and by a waybill & car card system.  Layout is fully operational and most scenery is complete.  It features many of Jim's contest-quality craftsman and scratch-built structures.

Jim was featured in the most recent issue of Model Railroader February 2016.

Blue Ridge & White Mountain Railroad
Owner: Chuck Batherson
Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: Two rooms: 23'x12' and 25'x15'
Scenery: 25%
Train Control: NCE DCC and JMRI
Era: 1959
Dispatching: CTC with Fast Clock
Distance from hotel: 65 miles

 
 
 
 
Photos by Chuck Batherson
The Blue Ridge and White Mountain Railroad is set along the Mid Coast of Maine in the late 1950's.  The layout is a double-deck, around-the-walls, point-to-point railroad.  There are 3 staging areas: 2 are at the far ends of the layout; the 3rd is near the center of the railroad.  The mainline is complete with about 90% of the sidings in place - the missing sidings do not hamper operations.  Scenery has begun, but is not complete at this time.
A double deck railroad set along the coast of Maine in the late 1950's.  Positions available are 1 dispatcher, 2 yard masters, 1 assistant yard master and 4 road crew. There is a mixture of freight and passenger server.

Cape Fear Railroaders - Chapter 164

Owner: Club Layout
Scale: G, O, HO, N
Distance from hotel: 80 miles (Fayetteville)
Website:  
http://www.trainweb.org/capefear/

    

The Cape Fear Railroaders in Fayetteville, NC are located on the 3rd floor of the Fascinate-U Children's Museum in downtown Fayetteville.  They have 4 layouts for visitors to view - one each in N, HO, O, and G scale.
The N scale layout is a modular layout built to N-Track standards; it operates on a double-tracked mainline with an interior third line.  The HO layout is a double-tracked modular in a space totaling about 16' x 40'.  Modules include Mylan Yard in Fayetteville, a fiddle yard, a switching module, and an inter-modal yard.  Recently, there has been added about 40 feet of new modules providing another yard, a mining operation, and space for an ethanol plant.  Control of the N & HO scale layouts is with Digitrax DCC.
The O scale layout is represented by a classic Lionel tubular track layout.  There are 2 parallel mainlines each 100 feet in length with O-72 and O-54 curves.  The mainlines can operate under conventional transformer control or TMCC.  Inside the mainlines are 3 smaller loops, a rail yard, and trolley line.  Six locomotives can operate simultaneously under transformer control.  Visitor interaction is encouraged via push button operation of numerous accessories.  Rolling stock varies from 1950s Lionel to the latest versions of Lionel, Williams, and MTH.
 
The fourth layout is the club's G-gauge layout of approximately 100 feet of track suspended from the building's ceiling.

Carolina Model Railroaders

Owner: Club Layout
Scale: N Scale & HO Scale
Scenery: 50%
Distance from hotel: 60 miles (Greensboro)

  
 
 
  

Founded in 1973, the purpose of the Carolina Model Railroaders is to promote model railroading, build and operate model railroad layouts, and to foster fellowship among persons interested in model railroading. Membership in the Carolina Model Railroaders is open to any person interested in the goals of the organization.

We are currently building an HO Scale (1:87) layout featuring Greensboro, focusing on the area between the Spring Garden Road roundhouse and the Depot. During this first phase, we plan on have several identifiable historic buildings represented on our layout.

Our club models in two primary scales, N and HO. However, we built and maintained the O-gauge layout at the Greensboro Children’s Museum that was displayed for about 9 years. We also operate a Z-scale layout at shows and special occasions.

Our club is open to all who wish to promote and further model railroading. Family participation is encouraged and visitors are always welcome.



Chamberwell Railroad

Owner: Joe Gibson
Scale: HO Scale

Room Size: 24' x 10'
Scenery: 50%
Train Control: Digitrax DCC
Distance from hotel: 30 miles
 
 
 

This layout was designed on a CAD system 3rd PlanIt from El Dorado Software by Kim 
Parker (Train Buddy.com). It is 24' x 10' and is located in the Dining/Living room of 
Joe’s house. It is built on L girder construction with 3/8” plywood and 2x2 legs at a 
height of 48” from the floor. The modules are 30” by 8 foot. Control is by DCC 
(Digitrax) wireless and tethered throttles with sound decoders. Operations are JMRI and 
waybills. There are 175 feet of mainline track in a folded dog bone, with two reverse 
loops for continues running. Operation is out and back, with staging for 7 full trains in the 
middle yard of Devon. The yard of Austin has 7 double ended classification tracks and 
engine facilities. The town of Sarah has 15 set outs. And the town of Leroy has a mine 
and oil refinery. The town of Parker has 8 set outs. Then back to Austin for a full run. Joe 
will not be having formal operations during the open house but the layout is fully o
perational and trains will be running. 

Clinchfield Southern
Owner: Steve Benezra
Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: 24' x 44'
Scenery: 10%
Train Control: NCE wireless with tethered throttles at yards
Era: 1970
Dispatching: JMRI
Distance from hotel: 30 minutes

Represents the northern part of the Clinchfield Railroad from Elkhorn City staging to Johnson City, TN.  Interchage at Johnson City yard for the Southern Railroad to Chattanooga, TN staging.
Railroad is fully signaled and controlled by dispatcher using JMRI.  
The railroad is a point to point layout starting at Elkhorn City, KY (staging) and proceeding to Dante Yard, Nora and Fremont branches going south to Kingsport and Johnson City, TN where it interchanges with the Southern railroad.  From Johnson City the railroad divides with one portion going to Erwin, NC (staging) and the other going to Morristown and Knoxville, TN and onto Chattanooga staging.

CSXT Shenandoah Division
Owner: Bruce Faulkner
Scale: N
Details: Digitrax DCC control with walk around wireless throttles.
Website:  http://www.shendiv.com/

This large N scale double-deck layout features heavy-duty mainline railroading on a prototype-freelanced CSX route set in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The layout models autumn scenery of the Appalachian Mountains in 1986-1992 during the colorful post-CSX merger era. Based heavily on CSX’s former Clinchfield Railroad route, Bruce designed and built the layout to support operating sessions reflecting his rail-fanning experiences observing prototype operations throughout the Southeast.  

Operating over heavy grades in the in the Appalachian Mountains, the CSX Shenandoah Division hustles typical southeastern traffic on a freelanced north-south heavy-duty mainline route. Regular operating sessions see 18-25 trains run during a 4-hour session using a 2:1 fast-clock. A variety of traffic moves during each session, including unit coal trains, unit grain trains, intermodal traffic, general merchandise freight trains, Amtrak passenger trains, and local shifters serving large industries typical of the modeled region.

The layout uses full CTC signaling using Digitrax DCC hardware controlled by CATS and JMRI software. JMRI Operations Pro is used for car routing. The layout is linear walk-around double-deck featuring narrow scenes. The 30-35 car trains are dispatched sequentially and return to loop staging yards. 

The layout is located in a second floor bonus room, requiring climbing stairs for access. Only ten minutes from the convention hotel. Bruce’s layout was featured in Model Railroad Planning 2010: “A Modern Coal Hauler in N Scale.”  

Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway
Owner: Rob Westdyke
Scale: HO
Room Size: 14' x 30'
Scenery: 95%
Train Control: NCE DCC
Era: 1984 - second-generation diesel power; cabooses transitioning out
Dispatching: Automatic interlocking signals using CMRI hardware and software
Distance from hotel: 20 miles

  
 
 
Photos by Rob Westdyke

The layout is a folded dogbone, with stacked return loops and a helix nested into the return loops for connection between levels.  Mountain scenery; partial photo backdrop. 36” minimum radius on curves, maximum 2% grades. Principal city has a double-ended yard. In addition, there are two rural “towns” plus several industrial spurs. Hidden staging provides four reverse-loop tracks giving space for eight trains of 16-19 freight cars each. Operations sessions typically employ 5-6 persons for 2 -1/2 hours.

Duckunder Terminal Railway
Owner: Will Allen
Scale: O
Website: http://www.duckunderterminalrailway.com/

    

   

Will's layout has been featured in O Gauge Rail-Roading Run 228 April/May 2008; and also local TV station WRAL-TV.

Durham & Southern Railway
Owner: Robert Rousseau
Scale: HO
Room Size: 22' x 12'
Scenery: 10%
Train Control: NCE DCC
Era: 1973/1974
Website: http://durhamsouthern.com/

 

The Durham & Southern Railroad is modeled after the namesake 59-mile short-line in the Raleigh-Durham area in the early 1970s.  The line was primarily a bridge line, moving traffic between Durham, Apex, Fuquay-Varina and Dunn, NC.  What it lacked in online heavy industries, it made up for in interchange.  Most of the online traffic was in the form of aggregates cement, sand & gravel northbound to Durham.  Others were coal, propane, tobacco, bricks, textiles, and miscellaneous merchandise. 
This layout is NOT wheelchair accessible, and it does require climbing stairs to the second story layout room.
Rob was author of Model Railroad Hobbyist's October 2013 issue "Modeling a Norfolk Southern GE 70-tonner"

Lehigh Valley - New York Division in Pennsylvania
Owner: Jamie Jordan
Scale: HO

  
  
 

The Lehigh Valley Railroad, running from Buffalo, NY to New York City, was a class 1 railroad originally created to move anthracite coal from the mines in Eastern Pennsylvania to distant markets, and later became a bridge road as the coal market subsided.  The double-deck layout, under construction in a 50’ x 30’ finished basement, is a prototype model of a portion of the road’s New York Division.  It depicts the 1950 mainline between Easton, PA and the Lehigh River Gorge, as well as the branch line connecting the Gorge to the coal fields near Hazleton, PA.
 
Designed for operation, the layout will have 2 staging yards, 3 online yards, 3 live interchanges, and 7 towns for local switching and passenger service stops.  Benchwork and track for 1/3 of the lower deck are complete, but scenery has not been started.
 
Visitors will see several modern design and construction techniques including: sectional/portable benchwork design and underlying support structure; use of computer-aided layout design software (3rd PlanIt) to create prototype scenes; printing plans 1:1 scale; and laminating plans to plywood to serve as a blueprint for subroadbed cutting and track-laying.  If you're interested in seeing modern tools and technique for layout design & construction, you'll definitely want to visit Jamie's layout.

Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club

Owner: Club Layout
Scale: G, O, HO, N, Z
Distance from hotel: 16 miles
Website:  

     

 
The Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club was established 31 years ago in Raleigh as a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the State of North Carolina. 

Norfolk Southern Railroad
Owner: 
Cooper Dwiggins

Scale: HO
Room Size: 39' x 19' room
Scenery: 10%
Train Control: Digititrax DCC
Era: 1996 - 1999
Dispatching: Sequential schedule, casual ops
Distance from hotel: 20 miles

 
 
 
Cooper Dwiggins has a standard gauge HO scale layout that models Norfolk Southern operations in North Carolina in the 1996-1999 time frame.  The layout is primarily a switching railroad with a major intermodal yard, a paper mill, a lumber yard, Proctor & Gamble, Cargill and other industries requiring switching. There are also limited passenger operations. Freight trains have been as long as 130 cars. Constructions is foam sheet in the yards over 3/4 inch plywood. Most locomotives in the large fleet have LokSound decoders and nearly are equipped with sound and LEDs. The track is mostly Atlas code 83 flex-track with manual Peco turnouts over foam roadbed. Track power is Digitrax DCC. The visible layout is a single level with hidden staging on a lower level. The railroad is housed in a 645 square foot room that measures approximately 39 feet by 19 feet. Scenery and structures are in the early stages. Track work is flawless. Operations are casual with a few friends, with sequential train scheduling. Access is by two flights of stairs.

Norfolk & Western Walker Creek Branch
Owner: Danial Fisher
Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: 14' x 20' room
Scenery: 20%
Train Control: Digitrax
Era: 1956-1961
Distance from hotel: 10 miles

     
The Walker Creek Branch is a free-lanced branch of the Norfolk & Western Railway. The branch is part of the Radford Division. It leaves the main line at Wytheville, Virginia and proceeds north to the next valley. 

The layout is designed to support prototype branch line operations. Branch line trains will be built at the Wytheville yard, and proceed onto the branch. Through trains are stored on a six track staging yard located on the far wall of the room. Industries served on the branch include a paper mill and several coal mines.

The layout occupies approximately half the room above a single car garage. Access is by means of stairs to the second story. Due to the limited space, the number of visitors will be limited to 6-8 persons at a time.

A Plan for the Virginia Creeper, Model Railroader, September 2010 – this article is in no way based on the Walker Creek Branch, but does include some ideas that have been incorporated into the track plan.

Wytheville, Virginia Combination Station, The Arrow, (Norfolk & Western Historical Society Magazine), Apr/May/Jun 2013 – a model of this station will be featured prominently on the lower deck of the layout. The model is under construction; a mock-up of it will be present during the convention.

Otter Run and Beaver Creek Railroad
Owner: Vic Bitleris
Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: 15' x 16'
Scenery: 15%
Train Control: Digitrax Super Empire Builder
Era: 1920 to 1960
Distance from hotel: 20 miles

    
The Otter Run and Beaver Creek Railroad is a fictitious short line somewhere in rural North Carolina and mainly shuffles local runs from one town to the other.  It does pass through a City where it interchanges with bigger railroads to move freight from and to the towns of Otter Run and Beaver Creek.  There is also a hidden staging area that can generate traffic from distant locations.  Vic has planned a high line which will take freight and passenger traffic north to Mt. Airy as well.  

The layout is 15 ft by 16 feet and is basically a folded dog bone, which has continuous running capability as well as point to point operations.  Currently there are four industry areas that will accommodate peddler freights.  There are also four depot's for passenger operations.  There are about 65 turnouts in the railroad, most scratchbuilt and most operated via Tortoises and push button operation.  The main yard has six tracks and is routed using a diode matrix to the Tortoises.  

Brag points: some craftsman structures and scratch built structures on the layout, 3 of which received AP Merit awards. Most of the structures have lights inside and outside as per prototypical usage.  Included in the many scratch built turnouts are 2 three way (lap switches) and one double slip switch.  Most of the turnouts are Tortoises and are operated using push button controls and also indicate the direction on control panels. 

Penn Central Railroad — Lehigh & Delaware Division
Owner:
Michael Pennie

Scale: N
Room Size: 1100 square feet, basement
Scenery: 90%
Train Control: NCE wireless and plug-in
Era: 1970
Dispatching: Sequential schedule, CTC on mainline; yard limits on branches, Tags on cars
Distance from hotel: about 90 minutes

 
 
 
 Photos by Steve Benezra
It's June, 1970, and business is booming. The Penn Central railroad, desperate for a way to bypass the clogged Northeast corridor, has merged it's 97% owned Lehigh Valley into the fold. Among other things, this has resulted in the newly formed Lehigh and Delaware division of the Penn Central Railroad. It's a mix of Penn Central and Lehigh Valley tracks, running Northwest from Philadelphia, PA to Buffalo, NY. Integration is just starting, but several high priority PC trains are already running on ex LV tracks. However, most trains, both PC and LV, are still running as they have in the past. The Central Railroad of New Jersey and the Lehigh and Hudson River still have trackage rights over much of the LV mainline. There is still a fair amount of CNJ traffic.

The layout is an N scale layout, more or less filling an irregularly shaped basement about 1100 square feet in size. It is complete as to track and wiring. Scenery is about 70% done. It is a single level design, with no duck-unders. The layout is point to point, with staging yards at each end. The longest mainline run is about 10 miles, but only a few trains make the whole run. About 1/3 of the mainline is single track, with the rest double track. Two branch lines have yet to be started.

See Great Model Railroads 2007 for more.

Rio Grand Southern, Eastern Division
Owner:
Charlie Rausch
Scale: On3
 
 
 
 

Layout is about 14' by 35' and is an On3 layout, that he calls Rio Grand Southern, Eastern Division.  The track work is 100% complete and about 50% of the scenery is completed and detailed.  He uses Digitrax DCC and 4 operators can conveniently run trains and do switching operations with minimal interference.
People will enter from the rear of the house into the walk out basement.  Charlie will have railroad crossing signs posted at the subdivision entrance as well as at his house.  The era is approximately 1947 and 1948 with mostly steam power.

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad
Owner:
Lou Sassi
Scale: On30

 
 
 
 Photos by Lou Sassi.

Lou Sassi’s On-30 Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad occupies a 17’ by 22’ bonus room above the garage of his home. The railroad is free standing in the center of the room and measures 7’ by 16’ with a 2’ by 10’ central opening in which there is a movable backdrop. One side has a (10’ long by 3’ high) photo mural depicting early spring and the other, a (10’ long by 3’high) photo mural of mid summer. Both photos are taken in the general vicinity of the railroad.

Rather than modeling the entire 112 miles of the SR&RL, Lou incorporated only the villages of Strong and Kingfield with the track running in a closed loop rather than point to point as on the prototype. There is an interchange (adjacent narrow-standard gauge sidings where lading is moved between cars) with the Maine Central in Kingfield. (The interchange was in Farmington on the prototype). There are also team tracks on the leads to Forster’s Toothpick Mill in Strong and the Winter Store in Kingfield.

The bench-work and trackage of the railroad are completely finished with scenery about 75 % done. Trains are controlled with North-Coast Engineering DCC. The model represents the prototype as it existed in the late 1920’s to early 30’s. All locomotives are sound equipped. All motive power and rolling stock are lettered and numbered for the SR&RL, custom painted, and weathered.

Lou’s SR&RL has recently been featured in Model Railroader’s June 2014, July 2014, June 2015, January 2016, April 2016 issues. There was also an in depth article on the planning and construction of the railroad in 2015’s Model Railroad Planning.  

Seaboard Air Line Railroad - Virginia Division
Owner: Bill Aulicino

Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: 16' x 37' E-shaped double decker
Scenery: 50%
Train Control: NCE DCC
Era: 1966
Distance from hotel:  15 miles
 
 
 
 
 
 
Point to point layout based on the Raleigh, NC to Hamlet, NC route representing the SAL freight and passenger operations in 1966.

Somewhere Out West Railroad
Owner: Jerry Mersch
Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: 13' x 12'
Scenery: 99%
Train Control: NCE DCC
Distance from hotel: 8 miles

   

Jerry Mersch models the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific on a completed and fully scenicked HO scale, standard gauge layout in a bedroom sized 13 X 12 room that is fully accessible via a wheelchair ramp in his garage. The completed layout is designed for solo operations and uses NCE DCC for operations. Although the rolling stock is UP and SP, the layout is free lanced. Jerry’s specialty is structures and the visitor will enjoy seeing detailed, kit-bashed and lighted buildings throughout. The creative use of photo-backdrops provides the allusion of deep scenes from every viewing angle. Lou Sassi has photographed Jerry’s layout for Kalmbach Publishing and four photos appeared in the 2015 HO Walther’s catalog.   

Southern Cambria Industrial District
Owner: Richard Buchan

Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: 20' x 30'
Scenery: 90%
Train Control: Digitrax
Dispatching: Way Bills
Distance from hotel: 10 miles

     

The Industrial District consists of various industries and the Keystone Steel Works (Plants 1, 2 and 3).  The District is serviced by the Pennsylvania RR, the Baltimore & Ohio RR, the Manufacturer's RR owned by Keystone Steel) and the Inplant Keystone RR.  The PRR, B&O, and Mfg RR have trackage rights to all industries on the layout and the steel mill yards.  Cars to industries on the layout are dispatched by way bills.  The industrial side has 27 locations.  The Steel Mill has 54 sidings.  There are over 400 cars on the layout including at least 12 locomotives.

Southern Pacific Coast Division
Owner: Ken Reising
Scale: HO
Distance from hotel: 32 miles

   

Southern Pacific Coast Division, San Francisco to Watsonville Jct, in the 1970's to 1980's. Mixed freight with mainline switching, run sequentially, with two timetable passenger trains.

Tehachapi Pass
Owner:
Jerry Davis
Scale: O
 
 
 
 


This large 28'x45' layout fills the basement on multiple levels with a 450' main line run.  Scenery is mostly complete, featuring the Tehachapi Loop and numerous Southern California scenes, set in the Fall of 1954.  Steam still predominates over diesel, with long Cab Forward locomotives pulling period freight trains.  Digitrax DCC controls the layout with a basic signaling system in place.
 
This layout was featured in the Sep/Oct 2010 (#52) issue of O Scale Trains Magazine.  Jerry is a California native now living in North Carolina.  He was inspired to build this layout based on actual track arrangements and memories from his youth.

Terrapin District Railway
Owner: Vinny DeRobertis
Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: 14' x 12' with 30" x 48" in closet
Scenery: 80%
Train Control: DC cab/block control & AristoCraft wireless throttles
Era: 1950's
Distance from hotel: 14 miles
      
 
The Terrapin District Railway is a branch line railroad that connects New York City to the fast‐growing industrial 
and rural areas along the Hudson River in New York State. The Terrapin District Railway shares tracks along the 
Hudson River with the New York Central (NYC) & Hudson River Railroad (NYC&HRRR). There are interchanges 
with the New York New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H) and the Delaware & Hudson Railroad (D&H). 

Twin Cities and Lake Superior Railroad
Owner: Mike Humble
Scale: HO Scale
Room Size: 10' x 20' (bonus room above garage)
Scenery: 50%
Train Control: NCE DCC
Era: early to mid 1970's
Distance from hotel: 10 miles
 
 
 
 
In the early 1900s, the Twin City & Lake Superior Railroad Company (TC&LS) 
began construction in Minnesota of a north-south running railroad connecting the 
twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul with the Lake Superior port cities of Duluth 
MN, and Superior, WI, a distance of approximately 130 miles.  Envisioned as a high-
speed, state-of-the-art electric transportation system, the new railroad would run 
“straight as an arrow” between these terminal cites, and was to be known as “The 
Arrow Line.”  Other railroads already provided service between these cities, 
including the Northern Pacific and Great Northern to the west, and the Soo Line to 
the east.  The NP, GN and Soo Line right-of-ways bowed outward compared to the 
direct line to be occupied by the Arrow Line, thus the Arrow Line’s niche would be 
as the straightest, fastest service for merchandise, mail and passengers between 
these hubs. 

Today, all that remains of the old Arrow Line are the stories told by locals, a 
section of the roadbed leading to the St Croix River bridge abutment north of 
Sunrise (which can be still be seen in the Wild River State Park in Minnesota), and 
minor rises in the topography where the roadbed once ran across farm fields.  One 
of those farms near Sunrises belonged to my great grandfather, and was the farm on 
which my grandmother was raised and my father was born.  All of my life I heard 
stories about the old Arrow Line.  My dad would point to the rise across the fields to 
show me where the old line once ran.   My grandmother told stories about how her 
father had to pay someone to level the former roadbed crossing his fields.

My TC&LS railroad is a freelanced prototype based on what “could have 
been” had the Arrow Line been completed.  Inspired by the many articles in the 
model railroading press describing freelanced railroads, I decided it would be fun to 
resurrect and develop the TC&LS – a railroad that had a genuine history but never 
actually existed.  The recreation would be based on whatever information I could 
dig up on the original railroad (such as rights of way, its purpose and intent, etc.), 
the operations of existing railroads with similar functions and history, and some 
creative license.

Purpose of the railroad and/or operations:
The timeframe for my railroad is autumn 1970-76.  Like the Minneapolis, 
Northfield and Southern Railway (MNS), another Minnesota railroad originally 
envisioned as an electric railroad, the concept of an electrified TC&LS never became 
a reality.  Instead, the TC&LS used standard steam locomotives for freight traffic and 
gas-electric motorcars for passenger service.  Following WWII, the TC&LS 
transitioned to diesel-electric locomotives, testing models from a variety of builders 
but ultimately focusing on EMD models (Geeps, BL2s, and F units).  

Towns serviced by the TC&LS represent small, Midwest towns typical of 
what’s seen across Minnesota.  Locals head south out of Duluth or north out of 
Minneapolis to service the grain elevators and businesses along the line.  The 
railroad also serves as a bridge line between its namesake terminals, with through 
freights and unit grain trains a daily occurrence.  Passenger and mail service is 
handled principally by EMD E and F units.  

The TC&LS interchanges with a variety of Midwestern railroads, including 
the Soo Line, GN/NP/Burlington Northern, MNS, Minnesota Transfer (Minnesota 
Commercial), and the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range (DM&IR).  The route acts as a 
relief valve for other twin cities and twin ports railroads during busy or congested 
times, or during times of emergencies, so trains from any of these railroads may 
make appearances on the TC&LS.  These capabilities and capacities have helped the 
TC&LS remain successful and financially viable.

Wilson & East Carolina Railroad
Owner: 
Wilson Area Railroad Modelers (W.A.R.M.)

Scale: HO
Room Size: 120' x 20' room on 2nd floor
Scenery: 100%
Distance from hotel: 65 miles
Website: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
The Antique Barn & Hobby Shop in Wilson houses the Wilson Area Railroad Modelers club layout on the 2nd floor (no elevator available). Featured on the Tar Heel Traveler on WRAL TV.
http://www.wral.com/wilson-hobby-shop-has-467-mile-model-train-layout-/13758112/

Opened in 1965 as an antique shop, the business has evolved over the years into a full service hobby shop. Their primary focus today is the sale and service of model trains (all scales), radio control cars, boats, helicopters, and planes. 

The showroom has one of the largest inventories of model trains and radio control products in the eastern United States. They are the one-stop source for all model train and radio control model products.