railroading has been my hobby for many years, starting with
Hornby Dublo, a British "00" scale three-rail system as my first
electric train in the mid 1950s. Even before that, I had
a variety of O-gauge clockwork tinplate equipment.
HO scale became more popular, it was adopted as the RHJ
Rail standard and, as time passed, it provided a wide
variety of North American prototype equipment from which to
choose. Particular interests were western Canadian prototype
equipment, particularly Canadian Pacific Railway (early diesel),
some CP Rail, Rockymountaineer Railtours and Heritage Park in
Rail includes the model railroading division while RHJ
Shows includes the circus and amusement park division
of this vast conglomerate HO enterprise. They are often
displayed together on the club layout at model railroad shows
and other events.
earlier home layout was constructed in the early 1970s as the
Rodgers and High Creek Junction Railway (RHJ Rail).
It was built in HO scale in a 12 x 12 foot room in the basement
using sturdy benchwork. Its configuration could be described
as a folded dog-bone duck-under with fairly steep ruling grades.
layout had conventional DC block control with 32 blocks, 45
remote control turnouts, two control panels and complete block
detection with train location (and direction) indication on
the main panel. It was possible to run up to four (theoretically,
five) independent trains at one time.
layout was briefly adapted so that DCC operation could be used
as an alternative means of control.
The decision to abandon the layout was made in 2000 and it was
completely removed in early 2002 to make room for the South
Division of the new layout.
few images of the layout are included below.
thirteen-stall roundhouse was completely scratch-built
as was the turntable. There were 25 tracks off of the
turntable, with one main approach lead and two other leads
as well as the roundhouse stalls and additional outside
internal view of the roundhouse during demolition shows
some of the construction techniques.
control panel had complete block detection for all blocks
and sub-blocks and showed the location and direction of
every train on the layout.
was the original control panel and controlled the turntable
and all the tracks leading off from it as well all mainline
blocks and sidings.
early view of High Creek shows one of the first mainline
trains through that location. SD-40 locomotives
were not available from commercial sources painted
in the new CP Rail paint scheme so this model of CP
Rail's first such unit was hand-painted.
Rail pioneered the use of mid-train "slaves" or robot-controlled
locomotives so RHJ Rail was eager to adopt
this new technology. In those early days, experimentation
with robot control was not always a success.
cats were forbidden on the layout but a serious security
breach resulted in this situation. Increased security
measures were implemented.