East Portland Area - Thursday, 29 August, 2019

Below is a listing of the layouts available for tour during the convention. They are listed here in the suggested order of visitation; but feel free to visit them in any order you wish. The RR Name column has links to the descriptions of the various layouts, which in turn have links to slideshows of the layouts showing some of the features of each layout. I invite you to browse through these at your leisure.

# RR Name Host City Bus?
30
WWWI Railroad John & Meridith Stiger Milwaukie, OR Yes
31
Denver & Rio Grande / Rio Grande Southern Jim Reardon Milwaukie, OR No
32
Lone Pine and Western Railroad Tom & Betty Gaps Milwaukie, OR Yes
33
MRT&T Railroad TJ & Renee Meyer Milwaukie, OR Yes
34
Union Pacific Paradise Robert Maxwell & Linda Carr Milwaukie, OR Yes
35
Bearspaw Southern Railroad Warner & Brooke Swarner Portland, OR Yes
36
Southern Railway Rusty & Mary Baumberger Gresham, OR Yes
37
Pine Valley & Western RR Frank & Alexis Barberis Gresham, OR Yes

Here is a map of the general region where the layouts are located. The numbers correspond to the numbers in the layout listing above.


Click on the Railroad name or the picture to see more pictures or a video.


Bearspaw Southern Railroad

Bearspaw Southern Railroad 
35

See the 2016 Summer Tour Garden Time news clip for this railroad at https://www.youtube.com/embed/9nLSOb3EG4U.


Engineers: Warner and Brooke Swarner
Power: Battery and Radio Control, both Steam and Diesel


The Bearspaw Southern has over 1300 feet of track, more than 100 switches and encompasses nearly the entire residential corner lot of the Swarner’s home. This layout is a model of a fictional short line railroad connecting several Northwest towns in a region called Bearspaw. In addition to the entire front and backyards the railroad makes amazing use of created space by filling the excavated basement under the residence. The mainline crosses three waterfalls and streams along a route that may take a train up to 15 minutes to traverse without traveling the same track twice. Trains are controlled via radio control with self-contained battery power. Engineers walk the route with their train. The railroad begins in the front yard with miniature trees, logging scene and a stream running into a hidden lake. The route winds around the side and back yards through mountains, under grape arbors, and across ponds that are home to Koi fish. After crossing the yards outside the tracks tunnel underneath the house into what was once a basement "crawl space" that has been excavated to house the indoor division of the railroad. Though access is somewhat limited down a stairway, the basement provides year-round operation, train staging and scenic development. The Bearspaw Southern is proof that large-scale railroading can be done in a variety of creative places other than just a garden and has something for every railroad fan.

Open for tour on Thursday, 29 August, 2019.
The layout is Not handicapped accessible.

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Denver & Rio Grande / Rio Grande Southern

Denver & Rio Grande / Rio Grande Southern 
31

See “Jim Reardon’s On3” on Google for video.


Engineer: Jim Reardon
Era: 1940’ - 1950’
Size: 13′x31 ′ plus 10′x17′ L-shaped layout.
Control System: PFM Sound - analog


Features scratch-built buildings, rolling stock, hand-laid track, painted backdrops, sound effects, and 95% complete scenery. Jim builds everything you see and can share the techniques he found useful as desired.

Open for tour on Thursday, 29 August, 2019.
Not handicapped accessible.

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Lone Pine and Western Railroad

Lone Pine and Western Railroad 
32

See the 2015 Summer Tour Garden Time news clip for this railroad at https://www.youtube.com/embed/QR2umQL60ss.


Engineer: Tom Gaps
Scale: 1:20.3 (Fn3)
Power: Battery and steam


This layout was featured in the June 2014 issue of Garden Railways Magazine. The town of Lone Pine is a mythical crew change point on the transcontinental railroad. In the late 1800s gold was discovered in the near by Lone Pine Mountains. A branch line needed to be quickly built into the mountains to service the newly established mines. This branch line initially achieves a water level grade by following the Clear Water River into the mountains. At Headache Falls, the railroad diverts from following the river but the surveyors were able to maintain the same 1% grade into the mountains by blasting a series of tunnels. Due to the rugged nature of the mountains, this branch line is limited to single track operations with occasional, short passing sidings. The town of Half Way is located part way up the mountain. It consists of a small switching yard, a freight company, and a small wood products manufacturing business, all of which help to provide additional revenue for the branch line. Continuing on past Halfway, the branch line again follows the upper reaches of the Clear Water River for a short distance before again diverting to follow a canyon further into the mountains and more tunnels. The line eventually arrives at Summit Station, located near the gold mines. A small yard was built near Summit at Windy Ridge to turn the trains around for the trip back to the town of Lone Pine.

Here’s some interesting specifications regarding the construction of this layout you might find handy.

Item Quantity Units
1-1/2″ to 2″ Drain Rock 142 Yards
3/4″ Crushed Rock 36 Yards
Landscape Fabric 4,000 sq ft
Small Mossy Wind Mountain Boulders 9 Tons
Iron Mtn Slate 4 Tons
   
Item Quantity Units
Soil Mix 94 Yards
1/4″ Crushed Rock 8 Yards
Pond Liner 500 sq ft
Hand selected Mossy Twin Creek Rock 6 Tons
 

Open for tour on Thursday, 29 August, 2019.
Handicapped accessible.

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MRT&T Railroad

MRT&T Railroad 
33


Engineers: TJ and Renee Meyer
Power: Track


The MRT&T was established in 2013 and services the McCully/Powell National Forest, the small community of Rocky Top USA, and the restored gold rush town of Canyon City.
Rocky Top is nestled in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. At an elevation of 4516 feet, it is well known for its skiing and timber exports. It is summer 1959 and a typical day in the lives of the Rocky Top people. Located a short distance to the East is the gold rush town of Canyon City and since its restoration Canyon City has become a very popular tourist attraction that draws visitors throughout the region. Tourists are transported from Rocky Top to Canyon City by rail where horseback riding, rodeos and wild west shows keep the visitors entertained.
Construction for the MRT&T railroad began in February 2013 and consists of approximately 480 feet of brass track mounted on 2x6 lumber. The forest and logging extension was added in 2016 and is approximately 390 feet of brass track and a 60-foot fast flowing river. Mt. Rocky Top is constructed from twenty- four 4′x8′ two-inch pieces of styrofoam and supports approximately 650 trees.
Track-powered trains are controlled from a central location while the battery- powered trains are remote controlled. The dispatcher handles route assignment and switch settings.

Open for tour on Thursday, 29 August, 2019.
Very limited handicapped accessibility.

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Pine Valley & Western RR

Pine Valley & Western RR 
37


Engineers: Frank & Alexis Barberis
Scale: 1:29
Power: Track/Battery


This railroad represents what might have been a small short line railway in the Pine Valley area of Eastern Oregon that is an affiliate of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway circa 1935 to 1965. Steam is king, but diesels have made an appearance.
Nestled under a pair of White Ash trees where it began as a simple Figure-8 in 2008, it now occupies a 50 by 40 foot raised area with 550 feet of track and over thirty switches.
Two removable bridges cross a dry river bed and provide access to an island featuring a small recirculating fountain. Current plantings include a large field of sedums, some volunteer White Ash tree-lets (removed seasonally), and a small number of cypress. A small replica railway depot provides a climate controlled workspace and storage area for the Pine Valley’s locomotives and rolling stock.
The Dragon’s Gate flat classification yard provides for point-to-point operation by serving as both source and destination for trains as they move along the mainline.

Here’s some interesting specifications regarding the construction of this layout you might find handy.

Display Track Section Length Radius
Main Line 219′ 5′
Inner Loop 63′ 5′
Figure-8 34′ 2′
     
   
Passing Sidings Length
Jeffery 5′
Pine Valley 16′
Junction (Lapped) 20′(10′ + 10′)
Dragon’s Gate 21′

Open for tour on Thursday, 29 August, 2019.
Handicapped accessible.

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Southern Railway

Southern Railway 
36


Hosts: Rusty and Mary Baumberger


1. The Southern Railway models the 1950s Steam-Diesel Transition era on the SRR Division between Asheville, NC and Greenville-Spartanburg, SC, including the infamous Saluda Grade, the steepest continuous grade (averages 4.5%) in the U.S. The motive power includes several steam engines including a Southern Crescent Pacific (4-6-2) and several early diesels including an F-3 ABA consist and NW-2 switcher.

The garden layout covers one side of yard and is being expanded (work-in-progress) to include the back of the yard. The walkway and yard area is flat and handicap accessible.

2. The layout is G-Gauge, 1:29 Scale with a minimum main line diameter of eight feet. The original portion contains about 200 feet of track on a raised bed. The layout is configured as a single-track “dog bone” loop with Asheville, NC on one end and Saluda, NC on the other, operated as a point-to-point two-track main line. Construction is adding a new portion of 100 more feet with the Saluda grade and a rail yard and interchange with the SRR north-south corridor at the Greenville-Spartanburg end.

There are several intermediate stops, passing sidings, and a regional yard and roundhouse at Hendersonville, NC. A helper engine is kept at Saluda. Through and local passenger service runs on a regular schedule between Asheville and Greenville-Spartanburg, with stops at Hendersonville and Saluda. A curved 200-foot (scale) trestle is located near Saluda, a pony truss bridge crosses the river near Hendersonville, and a 96 foot (scale) deck girder span is near Asheville.

3. Personal note: Rusty’s grandfather, John Baumberger, was an Engineer on the Southern Railway, based in Asheville, and operated trains on this route (including the Saluda grade) from the 1920s to 1950.

Open for tour on Thursday, 29 August, 2019.
Handicapped accessible.

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Union Pacific Paradise

Union Pacific Paradise 
34


Hosts: Robert Maxwell and spouse, Linda Carr
Power: On-board batteries


This Union Pacific “short line” is graced with both shade and sun. The time is that of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, when World War II was a fading memory and steam-powered transportation was still king of the railroads. Even so, the youngest and newest diesel-powered freight engines were slowly but surely taking the place of steam.
Our short line is typical of the many small railroads that serviced towns, forest lumbering, and farming communities along the Pacific coastal ranges of the western United States.
The engines and rolling stock that you see here are typical of the era.
We hope that in your visit here, you will enjoy your step into yesteryear.

Open for tour on Thursday, 29 August, 2019.
Unfortunately, our small setting cannot accommodate handicapped accessibility.

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WWWI Railroad

WWWI Railroad 
30


Engineers: John and Meredith Stiger
Power: Battery


Located on a steep slope overlooking a small lake located 70 feet below, the WWWI Railroad is the result of the owner’s determination to access the rich natural resources located at various locations on the slope. A large deposit of shale suitable for the production of cement was the first project. To access this deposit and the cement plant nearby, a series of bridges and a serpentine track route was constructed. Later, a large deposit of rich ore containing silver, zinc and lead were discovered, requiring a further extension of the track. Finally, in the valley below, grain farms that formerly had to truck or wagon out the products were now accessible to WWWI lines.
A series of bridges including a functioning Bascule type drawbridge 8 feet in length and a Howe Truss Bridge some 24 feet long and a total of over 1,000 feet of track have been necessary to create this railroad. Battery-powered diesel locomotives provide motive power. Structures are mostly scratch-built from plans from Brewer and others.

Open for tour on Thursday, 29 August, 2019.
Not wheelchair accessible. Steep stairs could make access hazardous for those who are physically challenged.

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