Chad Boas’ MONON  HO


Monday evening HTI-10, Tuesday HTI-25

Wednesday evening HTI-11, Thursday HTI-26


If there is a railroad that epitomizes Indiana it would have to be the Monon Railroad.  This layout represents the Monon Railroad around the 1958 era running from Chicago and Hammond Indiana at the north end and Loiusville on the south end.  Specific towns that are modeled include Monon and Bloomington Indiana.  The main yard on this layout is the Lafayette yard with a very well modeled Lafayette Shops.  Yard jobs sort north and southbound cars as well as servicing the engines, and switching the supply cars for the Lafayette shops.  The McDoel Yard at the south end of the layout also sorts north and southbound cars as well as building locals and weighing limestone brought in from the quarries in southern Indiana.   There are 3 northbound and 3 southbound trains along with locals in an Operation session.  The locals are all designed to do only trailing point pickups.  Layout control is with Digitrax and dispatching is via verbal communications.



Location: West Lafayette, IN                  

Travel time from Hotel:  Est 1:05

(62 Miles)  



Accessibility:  Steps up to the house, 1 flight of stairs down to the basement.  

Parking:  On street parking, limited to one side.   

Pets:  Dogs

Chuck Tuttle’s Salt Creek and Eastern  HO


Tuesday evening HTI-3, Thursday evening HTI-4


This is an Eastern free-lanced railroad set in the state of mind, most likely that of Pennsylvania in the early to mid 1960’s.  It is a large layout of approximately 1,200 square feet with about 550 feet of single track mainline on two decks.  The transition between decks is a helper grade rather than that of a helix.  Operations are relaxed TT/

TO with a 2:1 fast clock and a “run until you can’t run any more, then start up next time where you stopped philosophy.”  Car routing uses car cards and single sided waybills.  Chuck’s 48 page timetable includes the Schedule, Guide to Car Routing and Placement, General Instructions and Rules and a Guide to Trains.  The main yard at Tutthill has a sit-down yardmaster who directs the switch crew and hostler.  Traffic moves on and off of the layout via several through second class trains, as well as a number of extras.  There are three locals serving the towns and industries along the line and two passenger trains running each way each day as well as an excursion train to a local brewery.  In addition to the mainline, the Shelocta Valley railroad operates independently of the SC&E, serving coal mines and a couple of towns, but does send coal trains over the SC&E via an interchange.  A third independent railroad the Gallippi and Blue Mountain serves a quarry and stone mill with a short segment of trackage rights with the SC&E.  Live interchanges are also worked with the NYC and EL.  For an Operator who might be terrified of TT/TO there is the Bennett Land and Timber Line a 3 foot narrow gauge line serving a saw mill and several lumber camps.  Layout control is Digitrax.



Location:  West Lafayette, IN                 

Travel Time from Hotel:  Est 1:15 (68 Miles)  

Sessions:  2 

Operators: 12

Accessibility:  Two Steps up at entry, 1 flight of stairs down to basement. 

Parking:  On street parking, no restrictions     

Pets:  Cat    

Bob Lehnen   C&EI in the 1950’s


Tuesday Evening HTI-5, Thursday Evening HTI-6

Saturday, July 2nd HTI-30, Sunday July 10th HTI-31


This layout represents the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, a regional, Class 1 railroad, as it existed in the early 1950s. Its 800 miles of track served many online heavy industries and agro-businesses. The C&EI also had extensive coal operations based in the coalfields of western Indiana/eastern Illinois and in southern Illinois. But the C&EI was probably most famous for its Chicago-Florida Dixie passenger trains. They provided the fastest, most direct, and luxurious service to Florida. The C&EIs Chicago-Evansville, Indiana mainline provided access to the Chicago markets for southeastern railroads L&N) and its Chicago-St Louis/southern Illinois Thebes gateway, for southwestern and western railroads (MoPac, Cotton Belt, Frisco).  Normal op sessions will see the C&EIs Dixie Flyer and Dixie Flagler, the L&Ns Georgian and Humming Bird, the Dixie Piggyback Flier, a first generation TOFC service, heavy coal drags, many through freights, and locals and extras working the industrial areas.  The layout and operating scheme for C&EI in the 1950s has been designed to be as prototypical as possible. The scheduled trains are from C&EI Timetable #45 (August 1951), many buildings are based on the picture evidence, all C&EI rolling stock models are based on the prototype, and place names and types of industries come from the prototype’s documents. 


Size: 2700 sq. ft., 2-levels around basement walls.   

Scale: HO, code 83 track. 

Scenery completed: 80+ %.    Rolling stock: 80 locomotives; over 500 cars. 

Electronics: NCE          

Operations: DTC with dispatcher via radio and JMRI switch lists 

Location:  Indianapolis       Travel Time from Hotel   Est  20 min  (6 miles)  

Crew size: 12  

Sessions:  2    

Accessibility:  Steps up to the house.

One flight down to the basement.  Parking:  Along the road one wheel on the grass.  No parking in driveway.  

Pets:   Dog

Marty Witkiewicz’s  Erie Lackawanna Railway, Fairfax Divisison   HO


Tuesday Evening HTI-15, and Thursday Evening HTI-19


Welcome to the Erie Lackawanna Fairfax Division, a prototype based freelance HO scale model railroad of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.  Scenes on the layout are representative of cities, industries and scenery found almost anywhere throughout the United States.  The details, structures, engines and rolling stock are typical of what may have been found along the railroad between the year 1970 and 1975.


Layout Overview


Construction of the layout began in January of 2010.  The layout is located in a 910 square foot area, with 210 feet of main line track.  The layout is a single deck around the wall design with staging located in an adjacent room.  The track plan is linear in nature, and includes a large staging area, a large division classification yard, and several interchange tracks used by other railroads.  Aisle widths are generally between 36 and 42 inches, to comfortably accommodate a large number of operators and visitors. 


Digital Command Control is utilized on the railroad and NCE wireless is used for power management.  Most trains are sound equipped.


Train movement is dictated by Direct Train Control (DTC) with a dispatcher.  A dispatcher’s area is located in the crew lounge.  Crews communicate using two-way radios.  Car forwarding is managed with car cards and waybills.


Layout location is in the basement and accessible by a stairway.

Parking:  Driveway can accommodate 6 cars without blocking anyone.  More parking in the yard or on the street.

Smoking:  Outside only

Restroom is available in the basement

Communications with FRA radios

Pets:  One dog and 2 cats.  The dog will be put up for the session and the cats will just hide until it is over.

Gerry Albers   Virginian and Ohio, Deepwater District


Saturday, July 9 OTW-10


The Deepwater District is 60 (prototype) CTC-dispatched miles long at the west end of the Virginian Railway in southern West Virginia, the heart of coal country.  Over 400 hopper cars are employed to haul WV’s finest smokeless fuel, primarily to the east coast port at Sewalls Point (not modeled).  Numerous industries including the railroad itself are serviced by steam, diesel and electric motive power.  The railroad interchanges traffic with the New York Central and the Virginian & Ohio at Alloy, with the Chesapeake & Ohio at Deepwater, Pax and Winding Gulf, and with the Norfolk & Western at Gilbert.  Ten hidden staging yards (41 tracks) on this point-to-point, single deck layout provide lots of action.  The layout design was featured in Model Railroad Planning 2005, and again in 2014. Also numerous other articles have appeared in the hobby press.  The railroad is extensively scenicked, with a custom backdrop, utilizes Gerry’s “Signaling by Spreadsheet” CTC signals, and computer generated train assignments.  


Size:  1600 sq. ft.

Mainline Track:  500 ft.

Scenery:  100%

Era:  1959

Dispatch Method:  2 Dispatchers/CTC

One for the Virginian and the other for the Virginian and Ohio

Communications:  Fascia Mounted phones

Car Forwarding:  Car Cards and waybills

Pace of Operations:  Sequence or Rotation

Control:  Digitrax

Operators:  15



Alan Bell   New York Central Mohawk Division     HO


Tuesday HTI-17, Thursday HTI-18


Prototype modeling and operation of the New York Central System mainline in upstate New York, between Rensselaer and Schenectady.  Circa 1948-1952 the Greet Steel Fleet passenger service plys the tracks in and out of Albany's Union Station.  Operations  also include LCL Pacemaker freight , mail and express, milk service, and merchandise freight routing through the Capital District.   Car movements include interchange with the Boston & Albany and Delaware & Hudson railroads.  The layout features handlaid track, incorporating selective compression of the key NYCS trackage.  Tower operation with signal indication govern the movement of traffic across the double-deck layout.   The layout is DCC, utilizing Lenz.  Eight operator positions featuring yardmaster, stationmaster, hostler, tower operator, and road crews are needed to run an operating session.  Additional information describing the layout may be obtained by reading "Intense Passenger Operations" The Dispatcher's Office, October 2008.

For more information:


Tom Cain Eastern Illinois Santa Fe  HO


Thursday HTI-7


This layout has been designed from the prototype to represent a section of the pre merger Santa Fe Railroad from Joliet, Illinois to Streator Illinois.  Trains running on the layout are a combination of Intermodal through trains, manifest trains, AMTRAK and local trains that switch cars in and out of local industries.  The layout gives the feel of the high speed trains typical of the period and location.  But local trains moving cars in and out of local industries are always out on the layout using the mainline giving a challenge to the dispatcher to keep the through trains running.  Operation sessions usually last 3 hours and will allow 12 to 14 unique trains to move across the layout.  A six track staging yard is built underneath part of the layout which holds the 14 trains to run in a session.

For more information:


Size:  800 sq. ft.

Era:  1995 before the BNSF merger

Communications:  FRA radios

Car Forwarding:  JMRI Operation generated switchlists

Scenery:  50%

Location:  Indianapolis, IN    

Distance from the hotel:  9 miles       

Sessions:  1   

Operators: 6

Accessibility:  Stairs to the basement.   

Parking:  3 cars in Driveway.   

Pets:   Dog


Gary Evans  The No Where Line  HO


Sunday July 10 OTW-8


The No Where Line is an HO scale switching layout located in a 13 x 17 foot basement room using Digitrax for control.  Train movement and traffic is controlled by a Traffic Manager.  The layout is built around the walls with an upper-level branch line and walk-in access.  The double- and single-track main line serves a generic Midwest region.  It runs from Loop on the West (think Chicago Loop) to Tunnel on the East (think Appalachian Mountains).  Because of pass-through and originating / terminating traffic, the most intensive switching occurs at Bigburg, which is loosely patterned after and highly compressed from the Wabash track arrangement in downtown Fort Wayne.  Smallville is compact and busy.  The town of Branch hosts the passenger operations in the form of the Hungry Hobo tourist dinner train and train ride (Climax steam).

For more information:


Dan Hinel   Rail Xpress Railroad  HO


Monday HTI-8, Wednesday HTI-9, Thursday HTI-27


Rail Xpress Railroad (RxRR) is a terminal switching railroad with a CTC controlled double track beltline configuration surrounding a metropolitan area of Gotham.  RxRR occupies an “F” shaped 2300 sq ft room.  Track configurations is a figure 8 folded onto itself.  The 800+ ft double track mainline is CTC dispatcher controlled with a Dispatcher panel that is three LED monitors.  RxRR uses NCE wireless systems.

A typical crew would be CTC Dispatcher, Gotham Yard Master and Assistant, and six 2 person road crews operating locals and yard transfers.  The yard transfer freights originating at Logan and Randal interchange yards will stop at Havana or Sexton before terminating at Gotham.   There are 4 locals out of Gotham, 3 out of Sexton, and 2 out of  Havana plus additional passenger an intermodal trains.  Crews utilize telephone intercom system to communicate with Dispatcher and Gotham Yard Master.


RxRR interchanges with several class I railroads with 2 interchange yards, Logan and Randal.  Industries served by RxRR enjoy good competitive transportation links to the world.  The great success of RxRR operations can be attributed to their prescription to effectively and economically serve over 70 customers in 10 switching districts to quickly and timely freight operation.  On RxRR rail traffic originates and terminates at the interchange yards.  There is a major classification yard at Gotham and two minor yards at Sexton and Havana.  RxRR has 3 intermodal yards at Havana, Sexton, and Victory. 

Our customer base is primarily manufacturing, bringing in raw materials like steel, plastic pellets, crude oil, chemicals, lumber and food stuffs.  RxRR ships finished goods like appliances, machinery, furniture, truck parts, metal shelving, printed materials, chemicals, toys, sporting goods and bicycles to name a few products.  Also, RxRR handles various agricultural products such as grains, fresh produce, canned fruits and vegetables, and meats.


A typical crew would be CTC Dispatcher, Gotham Yard Master and Assistant, and six 2 person road crews operating locals and yard transfers.  The yard transfer freights originating at Logan and Randal interchange yards will stop at Havana or Sexton before terminating at Gotham.   There are 4 locals out of Gotham, 3 out of Sexton, and 2 out of  Havana plus additional passenger an intermodal trains.  Crews utilize telephone intercom system to communicate with Dispatcher and Gotham Yard Master.   And if you’re thinking that this layout is in Atlanta, well, it was.  It’s now in the Indianapolis area.  


Location:  Westfield, IN  

Distance from the Hotel:  28   (40 min)  

Sessions 2  

Operators.  8

Accessibility;  Stairs to the basement.   

Parking:  on street.   

Pets:  None. 




Rick Schroeder   Danville and Western  HO


Saturday July 2nd OTW-1, Sunday July 3rd OTW-2,

Sunday July 10 OTW-3


The Danville and Western Railroad is a 1975 period "freelanced east-west bridge line" between the Norfolk and Western and the Louisville and Nashville. It is a point-to-point railroad with 3 staging yards, the L&N, N&W and a branch off the C&O. The mainline is 150 feet in length and Danville is centered on the run. A coal branch to Grape Creek and Himrod serves 3 mines and a quarry.

 Four through trains operate off the N&W and L&N setting out and picking up  at Danville, The Bradley turn works the brewery (there is a Brewery switcher) and the town of Bradley. The Pikeville switcher works the town of Pikeville and a turn from Danville works Flatrock and then delivers and picks up at Pikeville for the return trip. The C&O originates a turn to Danville setting out and picking up at Pikeville. The Grape Creek turn works the entire session on the branch working the mines and other industries. A C&O empty coal train runs late in the session.

 The mainline is CTC with dispatching via JMRI computer with track detection dispatching on the railroad with radios used for communication. The C&O line is ABS and the Grape Creek branch is TWC. Danville yard has a Yardmaster (who operated switch engine) and a yard switcher. Operations requires 10 operators including the dispatcher. Sessions last 3 to 3 1/2 hours, Digitrax DCC is used along with radios furnished. Access to basement is not handicap accessible.  Layout is 100% scenery.

Link to layout info:  

Location:  Champaign, IL   

Distance from the hotel:  125 mi. 

Sessions:  1  

Operators 8

Accessibility:   Steps up to the house, stairs to the basement.  

Parking:   Driveway and Street. 

Pets:  Dogs. 


Mike Lehman   Silverton Union RR, DRGW Four Corners Division  HO, HOn3


OTW 4, 5, and 6.  Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd, Sunday 10th


The Rio Grande's Four Corners Division offers a flexible boutique
approach to narrow gauge operations. It can accommodate up to 10 crews, plus a dispatcher, although 6 is about the maximum on the road at any one time. DCC is NCE, with JMRI accommodating WiThrottle and Android visiting crew throttles. Typically, 2 or 3 "way freights" operate at the same time as extras, but several branches, including on the Silverton Union RR to Red Mountain and Animas Forks, provide additional freight run opportunities as needed. In addition to single car freight are stock, pipe, tank, log, pole and lumber trains. These move from the yard at Durango or staging at Chama to Silverton, where they turn to continue along the 150' main through virtually complete scenery to Crater Lake or Snowden on grades of as much as 3%.  There is a passenger schedule of 6 trains that is rarely used due to lack of crews, but if there are at least 4 operators, the fast clocks are available to let 1 or 2 crews keep everyone else on their toes looking at the timetable. All steam is Tsunami sound-equipped, plus there are a number of narrow gauge diesels on the roster. There is extensive dual gauge track and standard gauge operations are potentially available if there is interest.


Location:  Urbana, IL.    

Distance from the Hotel:   118 miles     

Operators:  5

Accessibility:   Stairs.  

Parking.   No issues.  

Pets:   3 Cats. 

Link to photos:



Jon Silverberg  DRGW/RGS   On30


To be determined HTI-13


The On30 scale DRG&W / RGS is set in the late summer of 1942. The 22’ x 27’ layout depicts the line that runs from Durango to Ridgeway, CO as well as Chama and Farmington being represented by staging.. The track plan is double deck around the walls with two peninsulas. There is a helix and the staging tracks are in a separate room.

The layout is built for operating sessions that reflect the slow nature of narrow gauge railroading.   The transport of coal and yellow cake for the Manhattan Project play an important part of the operating scheme, as well as cattle, general freight, and passenger trains, including a Goose.

The layout uses Micro Engineering code 83 track and a combination of Micro Engineering and Fast Tracks turnouts. It is powered by Digitrax DCC and uses wireless throttles.

Location:  Sheridan, IN (Country) 

Distance from the Hotel: 30 miles  (45 min)  

Sessions 1  

Operators 5

Accessibility:  Stairs down to the layout.  

Parking:  In the Driveway.    

Pets:   Dogs. 


Bob Talbot  Freelanced Kentucky and West Virginia   HO


Monday, July 4th HTI-14 Friday, July 8th HTI-28


A freelanced layout set in the coal region of Kentucky and W. Va.  The point to point mainline has a helix leading to a 30 foot staging yard, holding 16 trains.  The railroad runs north to south from Newport Ky. to Dante Va. While not based on any prototype, the railroad borrows from scenes and names of  locations visited on railfanning trips over the years.


During a typical 3 hour op session, two locals make mine runs out and back from Dante.  Through trains run as needed.  Interchanges with Conrail and also the C&O are scheduled into Dante as well, making it a very busy spot.  The other end of the layout is Newport Ky., where 11 industries are switched with cars arriving on both north and south bound trains.


The crew is made up of a dispatcher, hostler( also may run interchange arrivals), yardmaster for Newport, switcher operator at Newport, 3 road crews, yardmaster for Dante, and 2 persons to handle the local from Dante. Car cards and waybills control car movement. 



Pete Pedigo’s New Unionville & Western Railroad,  1/8th scale


Saturday, July 9th, 10 AM to 4 PM, HTI-22 


This is a spectacular 1/8th scale layout on a 50 acre property with over a mile and a half of mainline track.  There are 120 turnouts and 11 passing sidings.  There are 6 bridges and one tunnel.  The railroad is a freelanced railroad that highlights many of the characteristics of the Monon Railroad and southern Indiana.  Locomotives are a variety of modern and other second generation diesels.  Some use battery power and golf cart motors, and some use a lawn mower power with hydraulic transmission.  Movements on the railroad are managed from a quarter sized Interlocking tower in the middle of the property and 2 way radios are used by the Dispatcher and train crews. 

Guests to this Operation Session will serve as conductors and brakemen, while the owners of the locomotives will pilot the trains.

Guests should bring their lunch for the day.

Scenery: 100%

See the March issue of the NMRA magazine for more information on this railroad and more pictures

For more Information see:

Dan Hadley's  Sierra Northern - HO Scale, early 1970's.


Tuesday HTI-23, Thursday HTI-24


The all diesel Sierra Northern is a shortline but also a bridge route located on the eastern slope of the Sierra mountains in northeastern California. It straddles the area between high elevations and the semi-arid lands to the East. The railroad acts as a bridge route between Western Pacific and Southern Pacific and hauls lumber products, wood chips, minerals and rock along with general freight. There is no longer any passenger service. 

Approximately 500 sq. ft.
Digitrax duplex throttles. FRS Radios.
Scenery is 75% complete.
Room for 4 engineers and 4 conductors.
Plenty of street parking in suburban neighborhood.
In basement - not handicap accessible.
Cat in house but upstairs.
No smoking. 

Naptown and White River Model Railroad Club


Sunday, July 3rd HTI-20, Tuesday, July 5th HTI-21


The club layout is an HO scale layout in a building owned by the club.  The layout is in a 20’ by 40’ space.  The setting is a freelance theme with scenery consistent with central Indiana and the time frame is the transition era.  Most aisles are 4 foot which allows for reasonable access and the ability for operators to move around each other.  The pattern of tracks on the layout has been described as a “wedding cake” design with some tracks at different levels in the same scene.  The layout is nearly completely scenicked.  The control system is Digitrax, but if an operator has a Withrottle it can be used.  Train movements are managed with Car Cards and Waybills and FRA radios are used to communicate with the dispatcher.  The club is just beginning its entry into Operations so they are still in the learning curve.  They will have had several Operation Sessions by the time of the convention.   


Distance from the hotel: 5 miles

Sessions:  1


Accessibility:  Everything is at ground level.  Threshold has a bump.  Layout height is about 52”

Parking:  At the club house

The Westin Hotel, Indianapolis
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