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If The NCNGRR Went Standard Gauge...

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  • Bob Chaparro
    Dick Roberts build an HO standard gauge layout based on this premise. In 1913, at a meeting of the Board of Directors, a plan was put forth to standard gauge
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23 9:51 PM

      Dick Roberts build an HO standard gauge layout based on this premise.

      In 1913, at a meeting of the Board of Directors, a plan was put forth to standard gauge the entire line, but the Board never initiated the conversion. In 1987 Dick Roberts provided the funds and the Nevada County Railroad was born (in HO scale). 

      The 21' x 24' layout is set in the spring of 1920 which allows Dick to model the line as it was realigned in 1908, including the steel bridge over the Bear River .  The October 2008 issue of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN features an article by Dick on modeling this bridge, and includes drawings and many detail photographs.

      The layout has been featured in Model Railroad Planning 2001, and the Sept/Oct 2006 NARROW GAUGE AND SHORTLINE GAZETTE.  The track plan follows the NCNGRR route from Colfax to Nevada City via Grass Valley with several intermediate stops. 

      Structures and scenery follow the prototype as closely as possible with minor modifications for the slightly larger standard gauge equipment.  This layout incorporates the "mushroom" design concept with a track elevator.  There are two levels of track stacked above each other, but only one level is visible in any scene (compared to a double deck layout where the tracks are stacked but are also all visible in one scene). Control is Digitrax DCC and all engines are equipped with Soundtraxx decoders.  The turnouts are controlled by slow motion switch motors, which are operated by recessed trackside controls.  Regular operating sessions are conducted each month using RailOps software to provide organized car movements and switch lists.

      This layout is one of fourteen in the San Diego, CA, area that will be open to the public on July 14.  Here are more details:

      San Diego (CA) Model RR Tour – July 14

      Model Railroads of Southern California's thirty-third layout tour takes place Saturday, July 14. (This is the first of two San Diego County tours in the next several weeks.)  This will be a self-guided tour of fourteen layouts at ten locations in the San Diego area.  Four layouts are appearing for the first time on our tour program: Jim O'Connell's HO scale Pinnacle Creek Mining & Timber Company, Steve Seidensticker's 1:32 Gopher Canyon Railroad, the San Diego S-Gaugers club layout, and Bob Treat's 1/20.3 Snow Creek Railroad.

      Altogether there will be six HO scale layouts, one N scale layout, three large scale layouts, one S scale layout and three O scale layouts. This is a free event and you may bring relatives and friends.

      Here are the layouts and the schedule –

      Ray Inbody (O)

      10:00 to 2:00

      4665 El Penon Way , San Diego

      Jim O'Connell (HO)

      10:00 to 2:00

      7467 Mission Gorge Rd. ,

      Space #80 On Fernridge,


      Sue Piper (G)

      9:00 to 5:00

      9030 Palomino Ridge Drive ,


      Dick Roberts (HO)

      12:00 to 4:00

      760 Camelot Parkway , El Cajon

      Steve Seidensticker ( 1:32 )

      1:00 to 4:00

      2223 Commonwealth Ave. , San Diego

      Frank Tepedino (HO)

      9:00 to 1:00

      4544 Calle De Vida, San Diego

      Bob Treat (1/20.3)

      9:00 to 1:00

      3650 Copley Avenue ,

      San Diego

      Dick Trotter (HO)

      10:00 to 4:00

      9245 Rock Acre Drive , Lakeside

      La Mesa Model RR Club (HO)

      San Diego 3-Railers (O)

      San Diego Model RR Assoc. (HO, O)

      San Diego Society of N Scale (N)

      11:00 to 5:00

      1649 El Prado, San Diego

      (Admission Required To Above Clubs)    

      San Diego S-Gaugers (S)

      11:00 am to 4:00 pm

      Suite 106 , 2445 Truxtun Road

      ( Liberty Station), San Diego

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

      Be sure to check the Model Railroads of Southern California website the day before the tour to see if any changes to the schedule or layout lineup have occurred.

      If you would like an area map with the locations of the layouts, e-mail me directly at:


      If you cannot make this tour, more tours are scheduled including one more San Diego County tour on August 11 and 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.

      Bob Chaparro


      Model Railroads of Southern California





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