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Among the fine articles in OGR Run 279 - AUG/SEP 2015, there is one, very aptly written by Vernon Hart, on our friend Roger Wasson's layout. The layout itself is breath-taking, but the story of how the layout came to be is nothing short of incredible. I have had the fortune of having seen this layout in person a number of times, and each time I am amazed that it even exists.

 

Congrats to Roger and Vern!

 

Alex

Alexander MÜller

 

Last edited by Ingeniero No1
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Alex, thanks so much for your good words. We enjoyed having you and Judy come and visit us....by the way, our home is always open to you all.

 

I think that Vern did a great job on the photos and the words. Without him, this layout would NEVER have come to completion....it would still be on a ping pong table.

 

I would never try to dig this crawl space out again, but now I can enjoy this wonderful hobby.

I want to thank you all...Brian, Dave, Don, Spence, GrampsTrains, & Alex M. on your kind words. Those kind words from you all, my peers make the digging and hard work worth while.

 

I learned a lot from everyone on this forum on a lot of different things. From scenery, trackage, ballast, structure building, etc. This forum is the BEST place for the O gauge hobby. Thanks again for your kind words and I hope you all have a great Holiday weekend coming up.

 

And we hope to make it to York this October to meet more of you.

 

 

Last edited by Roger Wasson
Originally Posted by BradF:

Roger,

Roger your layout is amazing as was the article by Mr. Hart. I would love to see more photos of this layout.

 

Brad

Brad,

Thanks for your kind words. I have had several folks e-mail me wanting more photos, I will try to post more photos here later today. Thanks for your request.

 

Roger - Love your layout and the story about it.  I have seen pictures of your layout from time to time on the forum and would love to see more.  It was a great article in the magazine, but left me too wanting to see more pictures of the layout.  The magazine pictures were all closeups and didn't give us a sense of the layout's scenery or scope.

 

Art

Alex, Thanks for posting this thread about Roger's article in OGR.

 

And Roger, the article was a very interesting read, and all the more so because I had met you at York. It was enjoyable to learn of such a determined effort by you to eventually play with your trains in your own home. (Of course, one photo in particular gave me quite a good feeling, and I was tickled to see it made the cut.) Congratulations on your victory and on being presented in OGR !

FrankM.

Last edited by Moonson

I read Roger's Web site thoroughly a year or two ago, and had to email him at the time about how impressed I was.  I know of guys who have dug out crawl spaces for layouts, and one fellow who dug out a whole basement starting on his stomach with a searving spoon.  But cutting through rock I'd unbelievable!

 

the layout itself is fantastic in its own right.  Thank you OGR for publishing this article that gives more insight!

 

Thank you Roger for the inspiration to build a layout and the inspiration of the double meaning of your layout name!

Just read OGR.....

"Solid Rock Railroad" is a unique and outstanding layout. Most unique is the owner who was equally adept at digging his model railway right-of-way with a pick and shovel and, building the motors at Level Cross Shops to help Richard Petty win a record 200 NASCAR races.

 

Look forward to seeing more photos of the Frisco operations.  

Last edited by Dewey Trogdon

OK, here are a few photos, but bad quality as I have taken most with an iphone.

Some have ask about the size...the first layout is 13' x 17' and the main part that is under the house is 46' x 30'

 

If you right click on a picture and then click "open link in new window", you will get a full scene shot that will give a lot of detail...  Hope you enjoy and I appreciate you taking the time to look.

 

Now some of the photos from down under:

 

 

Overall photo of layout_0002

Overall photo of layout_0003

 

Overall photo of layout_0005

Overall photo of layout_0006

Overall photo of layout_0007

Overal lphoto of layout

 

And now for the smaller layout that we call the John Deere Room:

 

Overall photo of layout

Overall photo of layout_0001

If these are too many photos, I am sorry. If you want more, please let me know.

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  • Overall photo of layout_0001

Perfect timing, Alex, for posting this - I received Run 279 yesterday and just read the article on Solid Rock Railroad article this morning.

Vern, nice job on the article - it's a fun read.

Roger, what a creative use of a crawl space area, and kudos to you for undertaking your 2 year excavation project.  The results are amazing.  In the overview pictures that you shared, I like your control panels, the lighting effects that you have, the backdrops all around, and the hot air balloon. Great job!  Enjoy your layout.

Frank, Jim -

 

You are very welcome.

 

The first time I saw Roger's layout, I was in awe. Then, when I learned the story behind it, which took more than one visit to take it all in with both Roger and Vern adding details, I wanted to tell the world about it.

 

Needless to say, all my neighbors and many of our guests have heard about Roger's layout and the saga of getting it built. Rebecca, my young neighbor who has helped me with my layout (OGR Run 263, pg 68), has asked me to take her along to see Roger's layout.

 

The best word to describe Roger's and Vern's work: Inspiring.

 

Alex

Last edited by Ingeniero No1

Congratulations Roger!

The article and photos, including the recent ones you posted here, present a great story of the Rock Solid Railroad (it could have been called "The Dugout Layout").

 

I'm sure all visitors will walk away smiling for hours.

Again, Congratulations and Happy 4th.

Ted

 

PS

My deck is up, just laid about 30 feet of track and put on a Rio Grande cattle car to see how it tracks.  Your railroad and a few others are truly inspiring.

Updates:

(1) 2023 PBS Video of Roger
(2) 2024 Dismantling of Layout


~~~~~~~ 2023 VIDEO:

There's a very-nicely-done, 28-minute-long PBS video made in 2023, featuring Roger narrating about his layout, at

www.pbs.org/video/ive-been-working-on-the-railroad-8t57np

see 4 enclosed screen captures below.

This video really "gets going" on the railroad-stuff at about the 8-minute point, so you might want to start at the 8-minute point; then come back later and watch the introduction which describes some of Roger's own history as a Richard Petty auto-racing mechanic, and the railroad's construction.

Roger did an outstanding job of providing a smooth and fact-filled narration -- telling us a lot about the history about Springfield MO where Roger lives, and the Frisco railroad which had its headquarters in Springfield.

Considering this video was done by a PBS station and NOT a railroad video company, I thought they did an amazingly good job of matching the video scenes to the narration -- i.e. showing a video of what Roger was describing while he was talking.


~~~~~~~ 2024 DISMANTLING:

Roger has been selling off parts of the layout and dismantling it -- see 5th enclosed image.

~~~~~~~

More Photos: Besides photos by Roger, that are above in this post, there is another 2013 post by Alan Arnold with more photos, "You've got to see this fantastic layout!" at  ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/youve-got-to-see-this-fantastic-layout .

There are also some photos I took while visiting in 2019, in a Google Drive album at drive.google.com/drive/folders/11LhGzyGjQ8QPIEFu8Lpg0Nn4CGMEAC0R .

~~~~~~
OTHER NOTES:

Roger's previous website at solidrockrailroad.webs.com appears to be GONE -- since Vistaprint acquired webs.com, and apparently deleted all the free websites.

As an FYI, Roger's wife of 48 years, Louanna, passed away in January 2020, after a 3 ½ year battle with cancer. ( legacy.com/us/obituaries/legacyremembers/louanna-wasson-obituary?id=17054777 )

~~~~~~

Some of this information has already been posted on the "What did you do on your layout today?" Thread on Page 1246  , but I thought it might be helpful to post it HERE in this thread -- where Roger's layout is featured.

23BP-OzarksWatch-Video1q5023BP-OzarksWatch-Video2q5023BP-OzarksWatch-Video3q5023BP-OzarksWatch-Video4q6024EZ1-ogr-wasson-posts

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Last edited by James Ingram

Updates:

(1) 2023 PBS Video of Roger
(2) 2024 Dismantling of Layout


~~~~~~~ 2023 VIDEO:

There's a very-nicely-done, 28-minute-long PBS video made in 2023, featuring Roger narrating about his layout, at

www.pbs.org/video/ive-been-working-on-the-railroad-8t57np

see 4 enclosed screen captures below.

This video really "gets going" on the railroad-stuff at about the 8-minute point, so you might want to start at the 8-minute point; then come back later and watch the introduction which describes some of Roger's own history as a Richard Petty auto-racing mechanic, and the railroad's construction.

Roger did an outstanding job of providing a smooth and fact-filled narration -- telling us a lot about the history about Springfield MO where Roger lives, and the Frisco railroad which had its headquarters in Springfield.

Considering this video was done by a PBS station and NOT a railroad video company, I thought they did an amazingly good job of matching the video scenes to the narration -- i.e. showing a video of what Roger was describing while he was talking.


~~~~~~~ 2024 DISMANTLING:

Roger has been selling off parts of the layout and dismantling it -- see 5th enclosed image.

~~~~~~~

More Photos: Besides photos by Roger, that are above in this post, there is another 2013 post by Alan Arnold with more photos, "You've got to see this fantastic layout!" at  ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/youve-got-to-see-this-fantastic-layout .

There are also some photos I took while visiting in 2019, in a Google Drive album at drive.google.com/drive/folders/11LhGzyGjQ8QPIEFu8Lpg0Nn4CGMEAC0R .

~~~~~~
OTHER NOTES:

Roger's previous website at solidrockrailroad.webs.com appears to be GONE -- since Vistaprint acquired webs.com, and apparently deleted all the free websites.

As an FYI, Roger's wife of 48 years, Louanna, passed away in January 2020, after a 3 ½ year battle with cancer. ( legacy.com/us/obituaries/legacyremembers/louanna-wasson-obituary?id=17054777 )

~~~~~~

Some of this information has already been posted on the "What did you do on your layout today?" Thread on Page 1246  , but I thought it might be helpful to post it HERE in this thread -- where Roger's layout is featured.

23BP-OzarksWatch-Video1q5023BP-OzarksWatch-Video2q5023BP-OzarksWatch-Video3q5023BP-OzarksWatch-Video4q6024EZ1-ogr-wasson-posts

James, thank you for your very kind words. It was my pleasure for you to stop by and see the layout. All the folks on this forum have really contributed to this layout. I miss seeing you all. Have a blessed week.

James, thank you for sharing all the links.  That is a wealth of information that I had not seen, and some I had seen.  The PBS show was excellent!!!

Roger, I mentioned a few days ago that I was sorry to see you have to tear the layout down, but I totally understand though I am 10 years younger than you.  I would like to comment on the PBS program James shared with us.  The host really does a great job directing the conversation.  You and he interacted very well.  Having lived my life in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, I learned a lot about Springfield. 

I would like to comment about the part of the conversation where the host asked about the future of O gauge railroading and comparing it to his hobby of ham radio.  I, like you, first learned about electricity reading a few magazines and building a small model railroad.  I went to electronics technical school out of high school and worked as a technician and low-skilled engineer for power and telecom utilities.  A few of us on a Facebook group for our now defunct electronics school were lamenting that it was announced our successor college is closing it's doors for good this summer.  Someone wrote that he thinks there is only one college in all of Pittsburgh that even has an electronics program now.  I'm talking about resistors, capacitors, transistors, even vacuum tubes installation and maintenance of electronics.  Now various aspects of computer science have taken over.

(Hang on folks; I'm going somewhere with this!!!! )

A friend from my small rural grade school and high school drove with me down to Pittsburgh every day to learn about electronics.  He is now retired also and keeps active with his ham radio.  I keep my hand in electronics with model railroading.  I realize there isn't time in a half hour PBS show to talk about the part of model railroading in all scales and gauges that is computerized.  I can see the future where young people are interested in controlling trains and a layout with a smartphone or tablet.  I know the teenage son of a former coworker who has bought all postwar trains and accessories.  He even finds old railroad signaling devices that he refurbishes and keeps in the backyard or sets up at a railroad museum.  So "old school" kids are still out there. 

Roger, I wish you well in taking down the layout and finding good homes for the engines, rolling stock, structures, and even sections of scenery.  I'm sure there will be a few items you keep as keepsakes.  May God bless you while keeping you do this with your family in mind.  I will probably be doing the same thing in 10 years if the Good Lord doesn't take me first.

Mark Boyce, Thank you so much for your kind words. Tearing it down has been more a mental thing than physical. By that I mean it brings back so many memories. I started tearing down the part of the layout that I did first in 2003. That was when I was just beginning and had no idea what I was doing. Everyone on this forum has helped me with the design and various problems that I ran into. I could start naming names, but I would leave someone out. I have had many a email and phone conversations with a lot of guys on the forum. And everyone of them were willing to help this old man. This hobby has been probably one of the best things that have helped me with my retirement and life style. I have made many great friends. My wife and I traveled several states for train meets, conferences, hobby shops, etc. Always was a new experience meeting the guys you have talked with either on the phone or email.

Best hobby ever and my wife, Louanna, was a great hand and supporter for me. Thanks everyone for this GREAT ride that I have been on for over 21 years. The hobby is the best and you all are even better. Stay true to each other and help each other out as someone like me is probably starting his new model train layout this weekend.

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