Update on Dick’s N scale California Zephyr

“Hi Al:

I have been busy this past month, all track wiring is done and concealed, and all track has been attached to the layout except some dead end sidings that could have minor changes to them.

Test runs are proving to be very good.

In this set of pictures, the trains are parked at Chicago which is the West end of the layout, the long 4 track run is next which is the South wall, then across the aisle from the long run is Denver, then circling around and coming into Salt Lake City, back to back with Denver.

Looking at Salt Lake City from the West, one can see the East wall with several buildings and the viaduct. A line will branch off just before the overpass and head North to the right and reach San Francisco.

I have lots of wall to cover with backdrops. Along with that will come topography work, cutting in a river, adding mountains etc.

I sure am enjoying everyone’s layouts and info, all has been inspiring to keep at it.

Dick Chapple in Hardin Mt USA”

N scale

N scale

N scale

N scale




And now on to Bill (his last post is here).

“Hi Al

Thank you for all you do for our hobby!

I’ve gotten more done with scenery and have both sections of my layout together and am operating my railroad.

Attached is the latest video showing the layout in operation.

Hope you enjoy!

It all started after I discovered your site and went from arm chair to benchwork 😀

Best

Bill in Virginia”



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

A huge thanks to Bill and Dick.

I do love what love Bill has said:

“It all started after I discovered your site and went from arm chair to benchwork :D”

What a fanstastic line – expect to see often now, folks.

That’s all for today.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget – the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going on your own layout.

Best

Al

14 Responses to Update on Dick’s N scale California Zephyr

  1. looks like you have a good layout in the making here Dick …You Switching works great Bill …Dangerous Dave

  2. george zaky says:

    Dick
    WOW! Hats off to all you N guys. Keep us posted on turnouts, controls, & progress.

    Bill
    Great job! What next? If you need encouragement to take up most of your floor space then here it is. A great master of the art must never be idle. Your fan base awaits.

    George from NY

  3. How about putting track plans for some of these layouts? Pictures are great but hard to envision the entire layout without a plan. Please.

  4. WILLIAM ROBERTS says:

    Absolutely magnificent! How do you make the flickering welders light? How in the world do you keep track of all the switches? The turn table is great. What scale is the system?

  5. Vincent A Quartararo says:

    Wow!

  6. Jim Eaton says:

    I just started reading a book by Janet Dawson called Death Rides The Zephyr. In it she describes one of the terminals of the California Zephyr at Oakland. It is on a “Mole”. Never having heard of one I “Wikied” it and sure enough it was like a pier, but solid earth, jutting out into the bay of Oakland Called The Oakland Long Wharf where the ferry pulled in from San Francisco. A model wouldn’t have to be as elaborate as most Moles were but could be the terminus of a layout. Food for thought?

  7. Stephen Fetzer says:

    Real nice layout, Bill

  8. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    Hi Jim:
    Thanks for the input, yes Janet Dawson’s 3 books are what caused me to build this layout. I meant to say Oakland actually rather than San Francisco. I do like your thought for sure.
    Maicolm, like you I love to see the track plans. I need to post a better one tna the first one Al put up for me.
    And Bill…….wow wow wow!! Stunning work, what an absolutely fun looking operation and such realism. Thank you for sharing your work with us. So inspiring.

  9. Gary Manganiello says:

    Bill….. I love your layout and you working the yard……… Also your ground cover is terrific…….something I envy. Great Job.

    Gary M

  10. Billy Mills says:

    An overhead ( bird’s eye view) shot of this layout would have been amazing.

  11. Bill in Virginia says:

    Richard your layout looks great! Your track plan is giving you a nice long run for your trains! Will be very fun the watch :D. Please share a video when can – thanks!

  12. Bill in Virginia says:

    Hi all. Bill in Virginia here. Thanks for the nice comments! I really appreciate them all.

    The flickering lights are from a LED lighting kit I got off eBay that is set up with resisters to simulate welding. They work really well and I have each of the two set with their own toggle

    The track work is HO scale. This weekend I will take a plane ride overhead and send in two pictures showing the track plan. I did that for the first section a while ago but will do the same for the second so all can see the plan for it. Between both both sections I have 42 switches. All are manual with the track side throws. Since it’s a one man operation I have to think thru each movement I want to make and align all points then run the engine. When not shooting video it’s easier since I can reach in quick and not worry about a giant hand entering the camera shot lol

  13. Ben Olson says:

    Dick: Incredible track layout…awesome work!
    Bill: I love the scenes you created, so many wonderful details, but the one that really got me was the welding, blue flashing light…very cool!
    Thanks to both of you for the great posts!

  14. Rob McCrain says:

    Both layouts, Bill’s and Dick’s are great examples of good layout design. Dick, I love the Zephyr. It was still called the Zephyr when I rode it in the 1960s. They still had the cigar rooms by the men’s toilets. I was 14 it was hard to forget.
    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

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