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.
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 ...
the layout in 2020 was the British Columbia Railway
Royal Hudson 2860
which pulled a consist or British Columbia Railway passenger
- 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 Automatic 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
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
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
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.
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
doesnt always apply!
New features are being implemented all the time, so be sure
to check the web site for the latest additions.
otherwise specified, photo credits: Richard H. Johnson