The layout concept, Design, and construction

track diagram

The Concept of the club is Western prototype railroading in HO scale (1/87 actual size) from the 1940s through the present day.


Layout Room Size is 62 feet long by 18 feet wide with a 10 foot tall ceiling. An additional 32 feet by 4 feet extension runs into the meeting room area and is used for setting up trains and turning trains around through the dual reverse loops.


The Layout incorporates both standard gauge and narrow gauge track.


Standard gauge (4’- 8.5” between the rails) is the type used by BNSF, UP, NS, CSX and most other large railroads today. The majority of track is standard gauge with 1751 actual feet of track. This is 28.9 scale miles of track.


Narrow gauge (3’ between the rails) is typical of smaller late 19th century and early 20th century railroads such as the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec tourist railroads. This narrow gauge portion of the layout is located in the northwest corner of the layout room. There is 167 actual feet of narrow gauge track (2.8 scale miles).

Several areas where the standard and narrow gauge track meet feature dual gauge track. This type of track can handle both gauges of the scale trains. It is recognized by the third rail just offset to one side within the standard gauge track. There are 46 feet of this type of track (0.8 scale miles).


Total track is 1964 feet (32.4 scale miles).


Minimum siding length is 16 feet (about 20 cars).


Minimum radius is:

-Mainline is 34 inches

-Branchline is 30 inches

-Street track in Turnbow is a minimum of 8”

-Narrow Gauge is 24 inches


Maximum grade is 4% in the southwest corner where dual gauge track climbs to a logging camp. Maximum grade on the mainline is 2.5% from the town of Apache to summit near the west wall.

The lowest point of the railroad is 34” above the floor at the secondary bypass from Turnbow to Mogollon on the old trolly line.

The highest point is Summit at 57” above the floor. It is located in the southwest corner.



Rails are a nickel alloy in code 100 (0.100” high) that has been hand laid on scale wooden ties.

Turnouts are custom built for their location and feature investment cast nickel alloy frogs and points. Mainline turnouts are #8 and yards use #5 turnouts. Several newer sections of the layout use manufactured flex track and commercial turnouts.

Roadbed to support the rails is made from Homasote cut to the proper contours and curved to form the track base. It is supported by wood risers on a rigid girder structure.

Ballast is commercially available material.

Clearances meet NMRA standards. NMRA gauges are used to ensure compliance of the clearances, track and rolling stock wheels.