The "Santa Rosa Nscale" Model Train Layout

As I said in an old photo exhibition, if Meri was in possession of her own train, I was entitled to something, and in 2000 I started on the second in my series of "portable" train layouts. One had come with me from Aus, unfinished. I have just now at the beginning of 2003 completed the third and fourth ones, and now this one.

In the process of designing and building four of these, I have become quite good at it. The first was started in the mid 90s in Australia, and is still a work in progress. The fourth was an idea in May, started only in December after deliveries in November 2003, and is complete save for a couple of buildings that will hopefully arrive this month.

This picture shows the layout from above; it consists of simply two ovals of track, but the layout is divided into three sections: A diorama of a "railway square" through which the train runs, in the middle; a broad half-oval of twinned track wending its way from a cutting to a tunnel via a wood at the top of the picture; and a single "back line" running along the edge at the bottom of the photograph---hard to see in this view. Also, the power supply and two controllers with inertia are built into space in one of the two tunnel sections.

Including the power supply in tunnel the whole packs up into a 2'x3'x6" box.

You see here a steam locomotive in front of the railway station in Railway Square, here in Santa Rosa. Now the tracks of some West Coast rail company still run through Santa Rosa, and indeed they were in occasional use in 1998 when we first came here and lived in earshot of the line. This view, however, is a close-up in the "walled" square diorama.

This is a view of the said train departing into the tunnel out of the square. To the right you can see the tree in blossom, casting its shadow onto the Jacobs building (and its fine Italian Restaurant).

Panning further back, you see here a (rather European) goods train using the same line.

Here a Roco diesel passenger rail bus comes out of the tunnel to the back line.

Below two trains pass one of the tunnel portals in an unfinished state:

At right, a train comes out of the same tunnel, but finished with a portal and decorated.

Another view of the finsihed Railway Square.

This scene is quite interesting. The house you see is our house in Vallejo Street as it was when we first arrived there. Note the trees designed to resemble the large Maple in the back garden, and the two N-gauge figures, a man and a woman, travellers both....

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