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Schedule of Home Layout Tours (self-guided)

The Capitol Limited N Scale East 2014 convention has arranged tours of several fine home layouts for your enjoyment during your visit to our corner of the model railroading world.

Layout tours are self-guided, meaning you can visit one, or visit all, depending on your schedule of convention activities.  We have tried to schedule the layouts to avoid DC commuting patterns, and bridge crossings in rush-hour, but allow at least 30-45 minute of drive time to any of the layouts or between layouts.   Addresses, phone numbers, maps and directions will be included in your registration packet, to protect the privacy of the layout owners.

Also in your packets will be supplemental info about prototype rail fanning near the venues of the home layouts, especially on the Friday circuit.  We’ll have maps and descriptions of the Manassas Wye, Alexandria Station and Quantico Station, which are all worthy rail fan destinations, with plenty of Amtrak and VRE commuter action, in addition to CSX and NS freights.

We’re still trying to enlist more home layouts for the tour, so please check back closer to the convention for updates.


Friday, August 8, 2014

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM   Mat Thompson’s Oregon Coast Railroad (HO)


The HO scale Oregon Coast Railroad, set in 1956, follows the Columbia River from Portland to Astoria and then south along the Pacific Ocean to Tillamook. Modeled activities include an ocean port with a tramp steamer and car float, a large yard and engine facility, a large meatpacking plant, a riverside fishing town and a large lumber mill. The layout fills a 36’ by 32’ room in a folded dog bone configuration plus a 40’ x 2’ extension in a second room. Scenery is 90% complete with several water features and hundreds of trees. The control system is Radio Digitrax. Engines are a mix of steam and diesel and all are sound equipped. The layout was featured in Great Model Railroads 2014.

 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM   Pete LaGuardia's New York Central’s Western Illinois Div. (HO)

The New York Central’s Western Illinois Division (WID), is set in 1953.  The WID fills a 35’ by 32 room. The control system is radio NCE with 6 power districts. Activities include a yard and engine facility with an 18 stall roundhouse with programmable indexing. Modeling includes a meatpacking plant, paper mill, city scenery and a harbor with car float.

12:00 PM to 3:00 PM  Monroe Stewart's Hooch Junction



The Hooch Junction is one of the most famous N scale model railroads in the United States.  Monroe's N scale railroad empire has scale miles of waterfront, mountains, yards, countryside, cities and villages, all bound together by two parallel tracks.  One sees sheer cliffs, plains and farmland.  One sees illuminated signals arching over tracks, then lone signals on branches.  There are backdrops of varied terrain, each cued to the scenery around it.  In adjoining rooms there are more tracks, wending their way through walls and looping back to the main layout.  Under these tracks are workbenches, drafting tables and tool racks.  Taken all together, the layout has thousands of details.  You're in the presence of one very accomplished modeler.

And yet, Monroe started as we all did.  When he returned from military service in Vietnam, he bought a small circle of track and thought working with it might be a pleasant diversion.  Musing over his tiny railroad, he looked out his back door, saw a garden shed that looked like one of the Vietnamese huts called hooches, and named his fledgling empire Hooch Junction.  Now a Master Model Railroader, now a modeler with national recognition, and now a modeler with a presence in virtually every modelers' magazine, he continues to broaden his horizons.

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM   Jim Hellwege's Bangor & Aroostook (N)

Jim’s B&A was designed as a U layout shaped walk around layout, covering a 12‘ by 8’ space in his basement.  The idea of the layout was for continuous running, not operations, although an operations system can be incorporated with the numerous industries on the three 40 ft. interconnected mainline loops on this 100% scenery covered railroad.  The locomotive stock includes all versions of the varied Bangor & Aroostook paint scheme (commercial and custom), including early F3s and BL-2s to the more modern GP-9s and GP-38s, and an extensive collection of Bangor & Aroostook passenger and freight rolling stock

 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM   Prince William Model Railroad Club


Friday evening open house on their HO scale railroad in the Quantico, VA Train station.   The Prince William club also has a robust modular component that sets up HO modules at many DC-area train shows.  Our layout is in the "South Room" of the Quantico Depot.  This room was at one time the Railway Express Agency baggage room.  The Depot was built in the early 1950s, replacing a previous structure.  In the fifties passenger service was provided by the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad.  Today the Depot is a stop for commuters using the Virginia Railway Express and Amtrak.  Our layout combines locales in our area such as Quantico and the bridge over Powell's Creek with more fanciful areas such as Armstrong, Allen, Hawck's Nest, Cooper's Holler, Dillinger and more.”


Saturday, August 9, 2014:

8:30 AM to 11:30 AM   Brian Sheron’s Long Island Railroad (HO)


The Long Island Rail Road is the largest class one commuter railroad in the United States. The branch modeled is the Port Jefferson branch, which runs from Hicksville, in the center of Long Island, to Port Jefferson, on the north shore of the island, about 60 miles from NYC. Some of the towns along the way include Syosset, Huntington, Greenlawn, East Northport, Kings Park, and Port Jefferson.  The Long Island part of the layout is in a 13' x 19' room;  the model of New York City and Pennsylvania Station in the smaller front room. To capture the hustle and bustle of NYC, I have modeled an elevated train, or "el" system,  Bachmann "cityscenes" buildings, built 3 CMR kits, and kitbashed numerous City Classics and DPM kits to create the tall buildings found in a large city.

All of the engines and passenger cars are accurate models of the engines and passenger cars that ran on the "Port Jeff" branch during that era. The diesels you see include RS-1'S, RS-3'S, C-420 high-hoods, H15-44'S, CPA24-5'S, and DS4-4-1000's. In addition, although they did not run on the Port Jeff branch, there are two Budd rail diesels on the layout that were known as the "Babylon Scoot." The third rail electric trains are also accurate models of the P-54 MP's that the LIRR ran from Jamaica into the city. The layout has over 300 vehicles, and I have lost count of the number of people, but it is also well over 300. Control is Digitrax DCC.  Brian Sheron is also MMR #469.  

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM  Leisure World Model Railroad Club




The Leisure World retirement community hosts layouts in three scales, the largest of which is a 20' x 25' HO scale layout, with smaller N and O scale layouts.  The HO layout has two main lines that can operate independently so two trains can run continuously requiring little or no supervision, a feature that comes in very handy for shows.  The scenery is pretty much complete, including some beautifully painted backdrops by a non-railroader Leisure World resident, and a large number of very familiar structures including DPM, Walthers, Bachmann and others, most of which are still available.  Some of the older structures were dressed up with lighted period signs.  Even the ubiquitous Atlas Silver Spring Station is there, appearing twice in different locations!  

And the prototype Silver Spring, MD, station is just down the road toward DC on the CSX Metropolitan Subdivision, if you really want to compare! 

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM   Stan Knotts' Royal Oak and Southern (HO)


Stan’s Royal Oak and Southern is a free-lanced HO model railroad located fictionally in Western Pennsylvania in 1939.  The layout fills a 17' x 25' room in his basement.  There is a slight duck-under at the entrance to the layout (a rolling chair will be available if needed).  There is also an HOn3 narrow gauge portion.  The layout is about 95% sceniced with many structures including craftsman kits and scratch built.  Operation is by NCE radio control.  There are several scenes with sound systems, as well as sound in the locos.  Parking is available on the street.  Stan has a somewhat long driveway.  Layout is not handicap accessible.

 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM   Jim Brewer’s Norfolk and Western Railroad in the Shenandoah Valley (HO)


Jim Brewer's N&W Shenandoah Valley Line occupies a 3300 square foot basement and represents N&W's Shenandoah Division,in HO scale circa 1956.  The modeled portion replicates the line from Front Royal, VA to Waynesboro, VA.  The layout is 80% scenicked and features many scratchbuilt structures, including the American Viscose Plant at Front Royal, a significant portion of the town of Luray, as well as other structures and depots along the line.  A truly beautiful model railroad!

 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM    Howard Zane’s Piermont Division (HO)


Howard Zane’s Piermont Division has been recently converted to the Erie in the late 40’s to early 50’s with an emphasis on steam operations. It is located in a 2,800 square foot basement with a main line over 1,400 feet long in a blended double deck. Scenery is about 95% complete. Most rolling stock is scratch-built or built from wood kits. Most structures and bridges are scratch-built.

No coats, bags (including purses and camera bags), loose clothing, and boxes are allowed in the basement. All attendees are required to sign guest register. Photos and videoing are encouraged. Howard warns that his dog is on the lookout for nit-pickers and rivet counters.

Howard's layout recently changed its focus to Erie operations in the late '40s to mid '50s, with lots of his brass steam locomotives chugging through that amazing scenery!


Sunday, August 10, 2014:

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM     Marty McGuirk’s Central Vermont Winooski Subdivision, (HO) 

Marty set his Winooski Subdivision in north-central Vermont in October, 1954. Many scenes are based on specific prototypes, although many structures are still in "mockup" form the layout is completely operational with all track/wiring completed. The mainline runs from White River Junction, Vt., through typical New England countryside and small towns before reaching Essex Junction, Vt. The layout measures 16 x 48 feet in a completely finished layout room with staging yards in an adjoining room. Scenery is approximately 25% complete.