Welcome to the 2024 edition of the model railroad web site of
RHJ Rail

Layout by Richard H. Johnson

Current Photos

RHJ Rail was recently on the Calgary Model Railway Society's Layout Tours. A hand-out was made available to visitors. If you would like to view this, click on RHJ Rail 2023 handout.

RHJ Rail is a large HO home layout influenced by Western Canadian railroad operations. One of its goals is to collect, preserve and restore railroad equipment of historical significance.

June 2022: Once again railfans gather to get their first glimpse of newly restored
2922, a CPR locomotive used on fast passenger trains in the last days of steam.
RHJ Rail
recently acquired this classic locomotive as an addition to its historical
collection. Fast, but not particularly powerful, the 4-4-4 is a Jubilee
class F-1a steam locomotive..

January 2022: CP Heritage Unit 7013 (SD70ACu) makes its first appearance on
RHJ Rail to the great interest of railfans gathered at Bow City East to get their
first glimpse of this totally rebuilt locomotive.

2021: A new condo development, Eagle Vista at Barhill, was completed in the
rural village of Barhill, increasing property values and interest in this picturesque
locale which overlooks the famous winter ski village of MARS Valley. more ...

New on the layout in 2020 was the British Columbia Railway Royal Hudson 2860
which pulls a consist or British Columbia Railway passenger cars

2020 - Featured for the first time was a new semi-prototypical signal system which monitors trains and adjusts the signals around the layout. The signal system is controlled by the Automatied Operations Control Centre which runs on a Windows computer using JMRI, a model railroad computer interface. Details of how this works can be found on the website below for those with a technical interest. See Technical 8. Signal System

Still in operation is a set of replica cars, based on the real ones as they appeared at Heritage Park in Calgary 20 or more years ago. These were “kit-bashed” and painted by RHJ Rail some two decades ago. The train with these cars shares the single-track Arrow Park subdivision with another train which operates there the rest of the time and automatic procedures enable the swapping of the two trains when required.

The telegraph system permits Morse Code messages to be sent automatically to any one of fours stations on the layout or to a full-size, real telegraph key from a century ago. Messages are sent automatically and custom messages can be written as required.

The layout has areas representing all four seasons; an historical park with rides, animation, lighting and music; several train yards, including remote storage and staging areas; finished scenery; many special effects; nighttime operation; a collection of restored railroad equipment of historical significance and many other features.

Much of the time recently has been spent in designing, installing and integrating the new signal system with the layout, improving automatic running of trains and integrating the various systems together to provide smoother and more reliable operations. In general, automatic operations have proven much more reliable than manual ones, but of course when visitors are present, this doesn’t always apply!

New features are being implemented all the time, so be sure to check the web site for the latest additions.

To see what we've been working on lately, see RECENT DEVELOPMENTS and LAYOUT TODAY.

For details on how all this works, see TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION

For photos of the history and development of the layout, see LAYOUT OVER THE YEARS

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Unless otherwise specified, photo credits: Richard H. Johnson

RHJ Rail is owned and operated by Richard H. Johnson
© Copyright 2024 Richard H. Johnson