ALL OPS Sessions are now FULL!

Those of you have taken part in our annual “Ops ‘til You Drop” weekend know what a great variety of operating layouts we have in Central New York. We have something for everyone, from Colorado Narrow Gauge to today’s CSX, Timetable and Train Order, to CTC. There are over 125 “Ops” slots, but you’ll want to get your registration in early to insure you get a chance to operate on your favorite layout.

In addition to the layouts in Central New York, we have added three outstanding layouts in the Lakeshores Division (our neighbors to the west around Rochester) to our ops lineup for the convention. Ops sessions on the Danby Ludlow & Springfield, Rondemont & West Shore, and Maine & Western railroads are scheduled in conjunction with the Lakeshores Limited tour on Friday (see details under the "Layouts" tab). While you do not have to go on the tour to attend one of those op sessions, it it something you should consider as an efficient way to see several beautiful layouts which might be new to you and then operate in the area that evening.

Click on the Layout/Owner name by each photo to get more detail about each layout!


Operations Schedule (All times are subject to change)

For more info and Questions please contact our Convention Chairman at eorourke@twcny.rr.com

Canada Spokane & Pacific – Drew James  The HO  CS&P is a freelanced bridge line jointly owned by Burlington Northern and Canadian Pacific set in the early 1980s.  A long mountainous single track mainline connects five modeled towns with Spokane, Washington and Calgary, Alberta on this 40' x 35' point to point railroad.  This layout was designed for operations and features wide aisles and a comfortable lounge for off duty crews.  Trains are headed by sound equipped diesels and controlled by a wireless NCE DCC system.   Operating sessions feature a wide variety of local, manifest, and through freights as well as streamlined passenger trains.  A JMRI and LCC system is utilized for dispatching and a signaling system.

Leadville & Red Cliff – Bill Brown   The LARC fills a 2400 sq. foot basement and was featured in the June 2018 issue of Model Railroader. The layout depicts the Rio Grande Tennessee Pass line through central Colorado as it would appear today if it had not closed in the 1990s. The LARC is controlled by Digitrax wireless DCC with CTC control and full signaling. This expansive layout features 6 foot high mountains, deep valleys, over 300 structures, 400 pieces of rolling stock, 80 sound equipped engines, and stunning scenery. One special attraction is the computer day/night sequence in which the lights dim, the sun sets behind the mountains, and hundreds of building lights go and off individually during the night…all during the operations!

Ogdensburg & Norwood – Jim Heidt  The prototype was Jim’s family’s business during 1967-72, and the model O&N is backdated to 1948, serving as a bridge line connecting Canada via car ferry with southern New England.  The layout is double-decked with 400+ feet of main line.  The O&N uses Digitrax DCC radio control, signaling, and timetable/train order rules.  Turnouts are controlled by “brakemen” using custom-made turnout motor controls.  Computerized “theater-style” layout lighting with fast-clock synchronization allows for automatic layout lighting with time of day for more realistic 24-hour operation. For more, visit the O&N online at http://sites.google.com/site/ogdensburgandnorwoodrwy. The layout was recently featured in the February 2017 Model Railroader Magazine.

CSX Northeast – Dave Martini  The CSX Northeast is a 24’x40’ prototypical, freelanced CSX/Conrail merger prior to the breakup of Conrail.  The layout features a single track mainline from Cleveland OH to Buffalo NY both represented by staging.  Overhead freights pass through Euclid OH, Erie PA, Fairport Harbor and Dunkirk NY.  There are several industrial switching areas and a helix to a 2nd deck and the fictional S&N Railroad.  Unit trains of coal and cement are generated that travel east, while sweeper trains handle online switching duties.  The West end features the shortline Central Ohio Railroad that interchanges with CSX at Euclid OH.  Mainline trains are dispatched by a master schedule while locals and yard jobs work from switch lists.  The layout is DCC (Digitrax) with operating signal on the west end of the Division. 

Mohawk Valley Southern - Bernie Messenger
 This layout is designed for operation. The Mohawk Valley Southern is an imaginary extension of the NS here in Central New York. It has three staging yards as well as a modelled classification yard. It starts at Buffalo, NY and terminates in Massachusetts. The layout uses Digitrax DCC, radio equipped and has a fully functional signaling system. It is set up for either ABS or CTC control. The era is the present.

Brunswick and Tuscan – Mike Shanahan  This is one of those rare treats in model railroading. This model of The Pennsy around 1956 has been featured in Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman. The layout features a replica of Horseshoe Curve, a large waterfront, a steel mill and two large cities. Mike’s specialty is realistic scenery, superb structures, and massive amounts of detail. After 40 years Mike and friends have worked hard to update the railroad for operations. Don’t miss this treat from the golden age of railroading!


D&RGW Colorado Narrow Gauge – Bill Brown   All Crew Spots for the Friday 1:00 PM Session are Filled   Sitting above Bill Brown’s modern LARC layout is a second level that takes one back in time. The D&RGW Narrow Gauge was featured in The July 2013 issue of The Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette. The plan features several intertwined aspects of Colorado Narrow Gauge including some aspects of the Rio Grande Southern from Ridgeway to Ophir Loop, The Rio Grande from Salida to Silverton, and the Silverton Railroad to Red Mountain Town. Most is set in 1949 with the exception of The Silverton Railroad which is set in 1910. All steam engines are sound equipped and the plan features timetable/train order dispatching.


New York Pennsylvania Central – Roger Beiswenger  The NYPAC Adirondack and St. Lawrence Divisions is a free-lanced 1950’s-1960’s road running from Utica to Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks, running mostly 1950’s New York Central equipment.  The plan incorporates the Raquette Timber RR branch out of Tupper Lake.  NCE radio control is used, with several locos equipped with sound.  The track plan is 100% developed with 90% of the scenery completed.


The B&A Central - Dick Hehir  The B&A Central is an 11’ x 11’ (plus staging) freelanced layout representing a fictitious part of The Boston and Albany Railroad connecting the two towns of Weston and Eastham Mass. At Weston there is an interchange with the New Haven, and at Eastham there is an interchange with the Boston and Maine. All three railroads share some mainline trackage. Freight service operates from all three railroads with passenger service also connecting the towns. Don’t let the small size fool you, there is a great deal of operating action on this finely detailed pike.


Maine & Western – Gordon and Jeanne Spalty  The Maine & Western is a freelanced railroad in New England during the steam to diesel transition era.  The M&W connects Portland, Maine on the Atlantic with the Great Lakes port of Ogdensburg, New York.  The railroad is operated under joint management with the Boston & Maine and the Maine Central so there is a variety of motive power on the line.  A modeled two foot narrow gauge, the Portland Oneida Railroad, interchanges with the M&W.   The layout features a walk-in design operated as a point to point with a common fiddle yard at both ends.  There are long runs between towns where operators can enjoy the beautiful New England scenery!  Come and enjoy relaxed operations in the glory days of New England railroading.


Rodemont & West Shore – Ron Stacy  The RWS is a major Mid Atlantic east-west carrier set in 1977.  The modeled portion of the line runs from Pittsburg east into the Allegheny Mountains.  A wide variety of trains run over the line including local freights, through freights, coal trains, commuter runs, and since RWS did not opt into Amtrak, long distance passenger trains.  Conrail has trackage rights on the mainline while the Chessie and P&LE interchange with the RWS.  Helpers are required on heavy tonnage trains.  You may have seen pictures of the RWS featured in NCE advertisements as well as in recent scenery “how-to” articles in both RMC and MR. 

Danby, Ludlow, and Springfield Railroad – Ned Spiller, MMR
  The freelanced DL&S Railroad serves as a bridge across southern Vermont. Located in the area that was served by the Bellows Falls Subdivision of the Rutland Railroad, the DL&S provides a connection between eastern New England and upstate New York and the Midwest, and also serves the Vermont marble indus­try and local agriculture and industry. The period is 1954, with motive power provided by steam and first-generation diesels. Control is wireless NCE DCC. While modest in size, the layout is designed for operations, with a single track mainline serving several towns, a compact yard, and hidden staging. A variety of trains including local switching, thru freights, and passenger are run during a session.