Prairie Rail 2018 Layouts

Here are the layouts that are scheduled to participate. Click each logo or layout title to obtain additional information.

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HO scale, 1970's Pueblo, Co to Denver's 38th St Yard. Branch line to Golden, CO, home of Coor's Beer. You will run ATSF, BN, DRGW, and RI trains. Also unit coal trains and unit grain trains. Coors special Insulated box cars are featured on the layout. Work locals on the RI, ATSF and DRGW.
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N Scale. Kansas City to Emporia, Kansas is the focus of the operations on the Argentine Division. The first and second subs meet at Emporia with all west traffic heading off from there while the east traffic goes to Marceline, Missouri.
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The Stockton & Copperopolis is a Time Table and Train Order operated railroad running through California’s agricultural country in the mid-1890s.  The Moraga Springs Northern, a first class railroad, has trackage right over a portion of the S&C and interchanges freight and passenger equipment with it. 
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The Moffat Line of the Denver and Rio Grande Western represents the Rio Grande’s main yard in North Denver and runs West over the Moffat Line. The Moffat Line is set in the 1960s with first generation diesels providing most of the motive power. Lots of yard action with trains terminating and originating at North Yard. Operations consist of scheduled freights, local peddlers, and extras with the Rio Grande serving as a bridge route for other major railroads.
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Experience the ambiance and excitement of a busy Union Pacific mainline across Wyoming in the fall of 1956. The fall perishable rush is in full swing with expedited 30 car reefer blocks delivering produce from California and the Northwest to eastern destinations. Add in westbound forwarder merchandise and drag frieghts and the result is a robust lineup of mainline action. Top that show with steam, first generation diesel and turbine power, all with sound and then couple in ABS control with semaphore control and the excitement just builds.
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The Butte Division of the Great Northern served the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Central Montana. This is a Time Table and Train Order railroad operating during the Steam to Diesel transition era, specifically July 1953. In addition to the GN there are three Interchange Roads that are modeled the Northern Pacific, the Milwaukee Road and a free lanced line the Glacier Marias and Southern.
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The Hinton Division of the C&O is an O Scale layout in a free-standing 35' x 50' Butler metal building that is handicapped accessible. It is a walk around design with track heights of 20" at Gauley to 68" at Alleghany. Control is NCE radio. Two dispatchers at a rebuilt US&S CTC machine line the routes and clear signals for the two divisions: New River and Alleghany. Dispatchers wear telephone headsets and crews call on phone lines to get signals to run on. Two hostlers move engines onto ready tracks for road crews and move inbound engines to the service tracks.
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The Kaw Valley Railroad is loosely based on a railroad named the Kansas City, Kaw Valley and Western Railroad. It was often referred to as the Kaw lines or Kaw Valley Railroad. The original line was an inter-urban traction railroad that ran from Kansas City, Kansas to Lawrence, Kansas.
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The Santa Fe Emporia Subdivision is an HO railroad representing the line from Argentine Yard to Augusta set in 1995. This railroad features long ATSF manifest trains, lots of hot intermodal trains and plenty of Super Fleet power for Super Service. The main yard stays busy classifying the manifest trains and working the intermodal and automotive trains that have setouts and pickups at Sunflower Lift. The large refinery complex at El Dorado will keep a local operator busy spotting and pulling cars. Surrounding the bottom level of the helix is a unit train capable grain elevator complex and mill.
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The ATSF Plainview District is a secondary mainline in the Texas Panhandle that connects Amarillo, TX with Lubbock, TX. This line sees overhead traffic between the Gulf Coast and Denver, CO. Run-through trains from the St. Louis & San Francisco via Floydada to California also pass through The layout is HO scale and currently occupies about 700 sq. ft. in the basement (access is by stairs only). An additional 400 sq. ft. now holds the permanent staging yard. There is also a separate crew lounge.
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The Burlington's K Line from St. Louis to West Quincy, Missouri, in late summer 1963. The MKT has trackage rights from St. Louis to Machens, Missouri. Interchange occurs with the Hannibal Connecting and Wabash at Hannibal, Missouri, the GM&O at Louisiana, Missouri, and the MKT at West Alton, Missouri. Eighteen to 20 trains run in a session including 2 passenger, 2-3 locals, ore train, coal train to Union Electric power plant at Machens, Missouri, and through freights.
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The HO Scale Rock Island Clay Center Line models the territory between Manhattan Kansas and Belleville Kansas. The layout is set in the fall of 1969 and the trains move a lot of grain. The layout is single track "dark territory", and is 57 ft x5 6 ft. around the wall. Stairs come down in the middle of the room. The layout height varies from 46 inches to 56 inches.
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This large N-scale railroad has much to offer the operating enthusiast, including eighteen scale miles of fully signaled CTC main line; a division yard spanning 45 ft, with full interlocking plants at both ends; and a three-segment CTC panel, run by one or two dispatchers. Train control is by RailCommand. The Burlington Northern Marais Division has a little bit for everybody. Come for the trains. Stay for the treats!
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When the Rock Island Railroad (RI) went bankrupt in 1980, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT or Katy) assumed operations of the RI’s East/West line from McAlester, Oklahoma to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Katy established a subsidiary called the Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas (OKT) to operate the line west from Oklahoma City to El Reno, Oklahoma and to operate the former RI North/South line from Herington, Kansas to Ft. Worth, Texas.. Since this operation was on ex RI track and run by mostly ex RI employees, it puts a little different spin on the Katy.
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Making it's Prairie Rail debut! The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (RI) had a large presence in Oklahoma. The prototype West Yard wasn't actually a yard in the conventional sense but was an industrial switching area. This O-scale layout consists of a Main Line, a Passing Track, an Interchange Track (with the Frisco) and four (4) Industry Spurs. A good Switchman can get the work done in about an hour and half.
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Making it's Prairie Rail debut! It is the fall of 1958 and the Katy mainline runs from Vinita Oklahoma to Checotah Oklahoma. The mainline going south runs through Vinita, Big Cabin, Smith/Pryor, Maize, Wagoner, and into Muskogee. Going south out of Muskogee you run through Checotah. Smith/Pryor is a large industrial complex in the middle of nowhere served only by the Katy. At Muskogee all freight trains are switched and 6 passenger are combined or split up.
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Rick’s vision was to recreate the feeling of moving trains across the road, and you will certainly get plenty of time to watch the scenery pass by as you run a train from Kansas City south through the Kansas and Missouri landscapes, to Springfield and beyond. The Kansas City yards are a beehive of activity, as they serve as the primary northern destination for trains on the layout. Trains run under Digitrax DCC with wireless throttles. Track authority is by verbal warrants from the Dispatcher. Communication is by a phone system. Many of the locomotive are fully equipped with sound.
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Modeling the 1968 CB&Q track from Kansas City to Omaha, this layout is located in a 22 ft x 40 ft basement. Access is through stairs in garage.

Layout is around the walls with a 15 ft ‘ x 30 ft wide section running down the middle of the layout. Railroad is 48" to 52" high.
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Mike models the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, or commonly known as the Katy, in the year 1981. The MKT Northern Division encompasses the states of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The Katy was a bridge line with Glen Park Yard in Kansas City, Kansas. Glen Park takes in transfer jobs from the Kansas City staging yard. These transfer jobs could the following railroads: ATSF, BN, SSW/SP, UP, CNW, KCS, MILW, and MP. The MKT main line is modeled from Kansas City to Muskogee, Oklahoma.
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The Santa Fe Northern is an HO scale model railroad designed to replicate operations of the ATSF railway on the “old” northern passenger main line route. This route runs west from Newton, Kansas to La Junta, Colorado, and then southwest over Raton Pass into New Mexico. In the period modeled, the line saw a surge in traffic that featured the York Canyon to Oak Creek, Wisconsin coal trains, intermodal action with Q-trains, regular manifest traffic, and Amtrak 3 and 4, the Southwest Chief.
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Hearken back to the simpler days of 1984 and run the Katy through scenic Missouri landscapes. This tidy N-scale pike packs plenty of fun and operation into a 15 ft by 25 ft main train room. The track snakes along the Missouri River, serving the riverside communities along the way. Freight, coal, and TOFC trains make up the bulk of the through trains, winding their way from Sedalia, Missouri to St. Louis Missouri. They will have to dodge the local trains that serve the agricultural-based industries of mid-Missouri.
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The N Scale B&P is a regional railroad operating in New York and Pennsylvania within a few weeks of startup in 1988. Using 1st-generation locomotives leased from CSX and purchased second-hand, the mix of novice and experienced operators service multiple large and small industries along the mainline and on the Northern Branch. Two, 40-car daily road freights feed the two yard switchers and three local switchers. With a trackplan, timetable, and switchlists designed using the prototype’s, there’s plenty of realistic work for everyone but there’s time to take a break too.
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The Chicago Great Western Railway is a nine year old layout that is a work in progress. It depicts the CGW located in North-Western Iowa in the mid to late 60's. Its a time when covered wagons were in command of the daily mortgage lifter timefreights. The CGW is a 450' long single un-signaled main track with six ample sized passing sidings. It also depicts the main line to Minneapolis.

The working Division point yard at Clarion, Iowa is represented. The yard is at the junction of the three spokes of the system that radiate out towards Chicago, Omaha and Minneapolis. The yard has 8 tracks measuring 16' long. It also serves 5 industries.
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St Louis Division of the Santa Fe Railway. This is the first year that this new HO scale railroad will be open for operations, and Prairie Rail will be the first time out of towners will grace the rails. The railroad is theoretical taking into consideration that the Santa Fe Railway always wanted a route from Kansas City to St.Louis to Chicago. Set in the late summer of 1978 the railroad features heavy mainline action. St. Louis will be our major yard with a pair of Division Point Yards to be located “route wise” on either side of the major yard. The railroad also includes a very busy branch line down to Columbia Missouri. The branchline is operational and will be the portion of the layout that will be operated during Prairie Rail.
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Located in an 11 ½’ x 15’ downstairs spare bedroom, this HO scale, single deck, operation-oriented layout offers three operators plenty of switching opportunities. Twin Cities and Western is a contemporary Minnesota shortline. Selective compression of the 229 mile prototype includes 92 modeled miles and six stations—Glencoe, Buffalo Lake, Hector, Ruebel, Granite Falls, and Montevideo.  Sister railroads, the Minnesota Prairie Line and Red River Valley and Western, provide variety of motive power.
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The Monongah Division of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is an HO scale railroad and represents operations between Cumberland, MD and Parkersburg, WV. It is set in the 1950's, steam diesel transition era and features through freight and passenger trains, locals and mine runs. Eighteen to twenty trains are operated in a session including Helpers and Pushers. The railroad is fully signaled and mainline trains are operated under Traffic Control System rules.
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The Milwaukee Road Chestnut St. Branch is a six-mile industrial line more commonly known as the “Beer Line”. As the name implies, the brewing industry (Schlitz and Pabst) are the major traffic generators, but there are also many other industries such as tanneries, corrugated container plants, and an American Motors body plant that require daily switching on this busy line. Sixty different car spot locations at nearly 40 different industries make for continuous switching activity along the line.
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The East Broad Top Railroad is a 3 foot narrow gauge coal hauling railroad in South Central Pennsylvania. This modern, steam-powered railroad runs south from the dual gauge interchange with the Pennsylvania at Mount Union, through the shop and headquarters town of Orbisonia, the ganister rock quarry town of Saltillo, and terminates at the mines of Robertsdale. The point-to-point system features coal trains, rock trains, mixed freight, passenger and gas electric operations with modern steel equipment. Crew requirements are a dispatcher, Orbisonia yardmaster, Mount Union yardmaster, and 4 road crews. Communications is by vintage telephones.
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The UP South Platte Division is a free lanced Union Pacific line running from Council Bluffs to Cheyenne. It is run either as a 1960’s era or a 1970’s era layout with lots of large or unique UP power on the trains. South Platte is my version of North Platte and is the main focal point of the railroad.

Southern Pacific had run thru trains to North Platte and Council Bluffs and my railroad has Southern pacific power on some trains as well. There are seven westbound trains and seven eastbound trains along with two locals. A dispatcher sits just off the railroad and car cards and waybills are used.
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This HO layout represents the Santa Fe Railroad from Belen, New Mexico to La Junta, Colorado in late 1991 to early 1993. Most of the locomotives still sported their "Desert Storm" flags and looked pretty classy. Belen and La Junta are staging areas at both ends of the layout with modeled locations being Jansen and Gallinas, Co. Springer, Canyoncito, Lamy, and Albuquerque, N.M.
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The Durango Division of the Denver and Rio Grande Western is based on the heart of narrow gauge country in America, Durango Colorado. From Durango the railroad serves the 4 points of the compass, north to Silverton,south to Farmington, east to Chama, and west to Dolores via the Rio Grande Southern. Silverton is also served by the Silverton Northern which ran northeast from Silverton to serve the mills at Silverlake, Eureka, and Animas Forks. This HOn3 version of the Durango Division is built as a double deck railroad, with Durange Yard splitting the two decks.
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Dave models the Missouri, Kansas, Texas Railroad from 1975 to prior to the Frisco and Rock Island demise in 1979/1980 between Parsons, Kansas to Kansas City. Frisco and MOPAC trains are brought in from hidden staging in the middle of the layout room/basement, which is also where the Dispatcher's Office is located. Operation of the Katy is simulated using prototype timetables. A typical operation session lasts 3 hours long, operated on a fast clock of 8:1. Prototypical operation, having fun, and emulating the Katy in the mid 1970's is the primary focus, but in a laid back environment.
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Depicts “The Northwest’s Own Railway” operations circa 1967. This HO-scale railroad represents parts of four SP&S subdivisions: from Wishram, Washington, west and south (the Oregon Trunk) and the Goldendale branch.

Focus is on prototype Time Table and Train Order and traffic, though we still hope to some day have scenery which will beautifully represent the magnificent Pacific North West.
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There are several layouts currently under construction or in the planning stages. Many of them will be featured at future Prairie Rail events.

Although they are not yet ready for Prime Time, we thought that you would enjoy learning about the new layouts.