Featured this year is a special program, Day Out with Thomas
, in which an appropriate replica train makes its appearance
at the layout's historical village.
Special effects are a big part of
RHJ Rail and recent developments have seen the
installation of a telegraph system which
can automatically transmit telegraph messages to any of four
stations around the layout. In
addition, this antique telegraph device can receive messages
as if they were sent a century ago. And, of course, its all
controlled by DCC.
On a fall afternoon, The Rocky Mountaineer descends through
the foothills and past the rural community of Barhill
where some young children are waiting with their parents for
their brothers and sisters who have just arrived on the school
bus. All are looking forward to the weekend to enjoy some time
off and possibly watch more trains on the two bridges just to
the left of this scene.
24, 2014: A long coal drag backs carefully down the western
helix at Mars Valley. This movement was made necessary to clear
trackage on the main layout for the 2014 edition of the RHJ
Rail Christmas Holiday Train which is being prepared
for its December 2014 annual run. The BNSF unit is part of the
consist for run-through unit coal trains which frequent the
layout and contribute significantly (although not always in
a positive way) to bottom line.
The Historical Park subdivision of RHJ
Rail includes an amusement park with animated
rides, music, special lighting effects, trains of a century
ago and other features while the double-track main lines pass
around the park, often provoking noise complaints from the many
Arrow Park Historical Village is preparing for a busy day,
including a car "show-and-shine" event. In the background,
the small town of Wild Rose can be seen with its grain elevator
tracks being used for extra storage for some antiquated railway
equipment recently acquired by the park. Also in the background,
to the right, can be seen the scratch-built Corner Gas
During a busy evening, a couple of rowdy characters is detained
while a purse-snatcher dashes behind the backs of the policemen
on duty at Arrow Park Historical Village.
The annual Christmas Holiday Train comes to RHJ
Rail. This year saw the addition of a new stage
car with flashing external lighting, a folding side door,
a group of performers and, of course, Santa Claus. Interior
lighting has both flood lights and variable coloured spot
lights. Lighting effects are controlled by DCC. Appropriate
seasonal music is played automatically.
A warm afternoon in late fall sees a few hardy folk getting
in some last minute recreation while a potash train rumbles
overhead on the high arch bridge over Stoney Creek. The potash
train and others can now be operated from the new Automated
Operations Control Centre.
Rounding the curve on the scenic Mount Vincent descent
from Stoney Creek, an eastbound 50-car potash train
makes its way down from Stoney Creek passing above Mars
Valley on a cold winter day in late December.
Nearly a month earlier at the same location, the 2009 version
of the RHJ Rail
Christmas Holiday Train makes a nighttime descent
from Stoney Creek. In this edition of the train, all lighting
was powered by DCC with a mobile decoder in the first car.
Due to heavy electrical demand, the MOTOR OUTPUT of the
decoder was used to power the train lighting.
Mixed train 5789 stops at Bow Valley at dusk for
opposing traffic while passengers wait patiently for their
car to pull forward so they can board. Dayliners 9056 and
9020 are spotted on the station spur for early morning departure
As Calgary grows rapidly, RHJ Rail has increased
traffic volume in an effort to improve shareholder value
while, at the same time, embarking upon an ambitious program
to acquire, preserve and restore railway equipment of historical
Now four years into a five year development plan, the
RHJ Rail HO scale home layout is nearing
completion. The over-all layout dimensions are 42 by 19
feet (12.80 x 5.79 m), separated into two divisions by a
central see-through room divider. The layout style is around-the-walls
with one peninsula and a lower level for storing long trains.
About three years into a five year development plan, the current
RHJ Rail home
layout is fully operational but lacks some scenery elements
and details. The layout is a total replacement of the original
12 by 12-foot home layout built in the early 1970's .