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 2013 National Narrow Gauge Convention – Layout Pre
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Author Previous Topic: Cradle of Forestry Topic Next Topic: Free 1905 Logging Book  

Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/24/2012 :  6:58:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit thecitrusbelt's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Two of the layouts to be featured on the 2013 National Narrow Gauge Convention tour will be featured on an upcoming layout tour in San Diego County, CA, on Saturday, August 11, 2012. (The Convention itself will be headquartered in Pasadena, CA.)

David Balser’s On30 Onion Valley Mining & Lumber Company and Steve Harris’ HOn3 Rio Grande Southern will be available to visitors next month.

The Onion Valley Mining and Lumber Company is an On30 layout set in the Sierra's circa 1934. The previous OV was an HO layout converted to On30 about five years ago. The bench work, mountains, and trees were saved and the hand laid track and Fastrax turnouts were put down using the same track plan. It is a point to point railroad, turntable to turntable, with a five track transfer table holding about 25 cars. Gears locos and Critters pull the rolling stock through eleven tunnels and five percent grades. Most of the cars are ready to run wood cars from Granite Creek. Dave is a member of the Dead Rail Society and currently has four radio controlled battery locos in addition to regular DCC power. Scenery is about seventy-five percent complete and structures are in progress.

Steve Harris’ HOn3 Rio Grande Southern is housed in a 32-foot office trailer located on his rural home site. Steve’s railroad was on the cover of MODEL RAILROADER in November 2004 and July 2009 and has published many articles in the NARROW GAUGE & SHORT LINE GAZETTE.

His layout is built on two levels and operates by DCC with a SoundTraxx Tsunami sound system. The helix on Steve’s layout has been replaced by a fully automatic train elevator based on Dick Robert’s design and was featured in the June 2009 MR. The upper level is 100% complete, and the lower level is 50% complete. All track and switches are hand-laid and most of the structures are scratch-built. The scenery and structure weathering on this layout are first rate.

Photo Links:

In addition, John Constans’ Sn3 Tuolumne Lumber Company also will be part of the August 11 tour. The Sn3 Tuolumne Lumber Company is loosely based on the prototype West Side Lumber Company. This garage-based layout is a two foot by twenty foot shelf layout with approximately sixty feet of hand laid Code 70 rail for the mainline.

This railroad has been rebuilt from the original layout John built before he moved to his present location. It is presented in three stages: (1) sawmill/yard/warehouse area, (2) mainline to the mountains including a trestle & switchback, and (3) log loading camp.

Here are the locations and schedules:

David Balser (On30)
10:00 to 4:00
2037 Country Wood Way
RSVP at 760-436-6139
on Friday, August 10

John Constans (Sn3)
12:00 to 4:00
16202 Via Pacifica
Rancho Santa Fe

Steve Harris (HOn3)
1:00 to 5:00
12424 Sierra Rojo Road
Valley Center

These layouts are part of a larger self-guided tour of ten layouts at nine locations in the north San Diego area. This is a free event and you may bring relatives and friends. If you would like additional information on the entire tour, including an area map, please contact me at:


Persons taking this tour assume all risks and liability for their personal safety. Although I am the Moderator of Model Railroads of Southern California, I am not responsible for personal loss or injury to those taking this tour.

If you cannot make this tour, more tours are scheduled including tours in the Central Coast and Ventura-Santa Barbara-Northwest L.A. County area this fall. A Kern County tour is schedule for March 2013 as are tours that year in conjunction with the National Narrow Gauge Convention in August, and the Banning Train Festival and Central Coast Railroad Festival, both in October. A tour in the South Bay-Long Beach area may be scheduled for the spring of 2013.

Bob Chaparro
Model Railroads of Southern California

Country: USA | Posts: 143
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