I've been working on finishing the scenery in my main classification yard, called DeBraal Yard (for my friend and yardmaster), which is located in South Spokane, WA. 

Extra 6014 East leaves DeBraal Yard's departure tracks. 

X6014D West resized

The caboose service area.  These are all GC Laser kits that I built.

Caboose Service area resized





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Nice progress, Jerry! Good to see you're still pecking along.

Your layout just keeps looking better and better.

I've been in "End Of The Riding Season" motorcycle mode, so my layout isn't getting a lot of love and attention of late. Hopefully that will change come hotter weather.

All fer now!

Yer ol' Oakie Bud,


Hi Andre:

Thanks for the comments.  COVID-19 has forced a lot of layout time, particularly since our Friday night crew has not held a session since March 13th.  We are holding our first "Phase 3" session tonight at my house, but I will only have a crew of 8, including yours truly, 9 if you count my dispatcher who is going to dispatch the session from his house.  Looking forward to trying this remote dispatching, as it might work to entice some other remote people that love to dispatch to give my railroad a go.  Hey, this adds just another piece of realism to the equation.  I'll be the "super operator" for all of the stations tonight, so the crews will just give me their OS times, and I will phone them to the dispatcher instead of the crews doing it, which adds another level of reality, except I do more than one station.

Jim, sorry to say that photo is not taken on my layout.  Very nice modeling, but one big difference for my layout vs the one in the picture is the equipment is weathered.  I've neglected that facet for the time being as I want to focus on layout construction, which for me is scenery.  My friend Tom completed all of the engine terminal trackage over the last two months, and is moving on to my tractor plant.  The goal is to finish all track and scenery on the upper level this year. 

I'm taking a week's vacation next week to set up my 3D printer, and start that facet of model building.  Since I really don't want to go anyplace yet for a vacation (just not worth the risk yet), I may take a week off and do nothing but weather equipment.






Hi Jerry!

I understand on the "move cautiously" as we come out from under the lock downs. Here in OK, the virus peaked several weeks ago and has dropped dramatically (according to the OK site devoted to such statistics) to very low levels. However, our cases were never anywhere close to what some of the more populated states were experiencing. Enough of this virus talk... onto trains:

I hope you attain your goal of getting the upper level functional and scenery in place! Such a wonderful feeling to have 100% of the track in place and functional. (Scenery is my big hang up.) I really like the Northern Pacific*, and thus I enjoy seeing your progress.

* I actually have the track in place on a V scale rendition of the NP's Stampede Pass switchbacks from Lester over to Easton, circa 1880s! You ought to handle trains with primitive air brakes over that sucker!!

Though I'm still full-on in a motorcycle mode (I'm neck deep in a restoration project that I am determined to get completed this summer), I still slip out to my layout and fire it up and enjoy the sounds and fun of piddling with my trains. Like you, there has been no structured operations w/visiting operators since mid-March. Yesterday I went to my layout building to retrieve a step stool I needed to use on a lawn tractor task and as soon as I stepped inside, the wonderful smell of plywood, birch wood, and Homasote greeted my olfactory senses in a delightful way. Though the layout is barely over a year old (started it Feb 12, 2019), it is ALREADY triggering good memories of operations past! Later, when finished with tasks, I returned the step and while inside, I fired up the system, ran some trains, and simply enjoyed the relaxing and wonderful effect of being in my layout room. I will forever love the hobby of model trains. IMHO model railroading is THE best craft hobby going.

Okay... flapped my jaw long enough. Hope you make some good progress over the coming weeks and and take care!

We'll chat some more here at OGR as the days go by.


Speaking of the NP and the 1880s...

No. 201 in the Stampede Pass area:


Switchback No 1:


Switchback No 5:


Amazing piece of railroad engineering, the Stampede Switchbacks! (Trestles out the wazoo and up to 5.6% grades!)

Yup, the NP is alright in my books! (Loved their original F, GP, and RS schemes, too!)



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