“This is the layout I’ve been dreaming about since I was 3 years old.”

Saturday was the 33rd Annual DOUBLEHEADERS Model Railroad self-guided home and club layout tour. This was the second year that I attended the tour that takes place in Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph, Ontario and I managed to see seven of the over 30 layouts on the tour. Here are some of the highlights, along with my thoughts:


David Johns’ Ayr Junction Railway was my first stop of the tour. Besides being a fantastic layout depicting CPR operations in the mid 50-60s, in Southern Ontario and British Columbia, this layout features computer operated lighting. David has an Arduino controlling the lighting animation with 1 minute equalling 1 hour. In the 24 minute rotation we experience both day and night operations on the layout.

This really inspired me to thing seriously about lighting for my layout as it added such a wonderful dimension to the model RR experience.


David works for CP Rail as a Locomotive Engineer and is involved in cleaning up after derailments as was evidenced by the excellent scene above. It’s amazing how each layout is such a personal reflection of the owner and I enjoy all of the unique and personal touches that railroaders incorporate into making a scene. One of the great parts of this layout tour for me is was to see clever, new scenes that will act as inspiration for my modeling.



The nice thing about the Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph, Ontario location of DOUBLEHEADERS was that you could stop for a bit of railfanning in between layout tours. Here is a nice little spur scene in Ayr, Ontario.


Kevin Miller’s Lehigh Valley New York Div. layout was my next stop. The amazing part of Kevin’s layout was the large  collection of railroad collectables that he had in the train room. It never ceases to amaze me the many ways that people approach this hobby. I guess I have some bare walls to fill in my layout room.



The largest and most ambitious layout I have ever seen was Jim Moir’s Canada and New England Railroad. This unbelievable layout features three levels, each double decked with over 3000 feet of handlaid track and a 1600 foot main line. If my math is correct, Jim has modeled 26 miles of main line track!!!!!!!!!


Jim, a retired Civil Engineer told me, “This is the layout I’ve been dreaming about since I was 3 years old.” There is no way to do the layout justice with a photograph, so I tried to capture a bit of the scope and scale with the video (below).


Charlie Ellis’ mailbox (below) indicated that I was in the right spot. Not sure that I could get this bit of home decor past my Chief Decorator (wife).



Ended my day at Steve Juranics’ Muskoka Central. You may remember Steve from the  Whether (or not) to weather post and his wonderful Maple Leaf Trading Co. project. Steve is one of the best prototype weatherers around and I was looking forward to see what was new with his layout.


Steve built a wonderful trackside pond scene complete with a couple of my HO scale 3D printer beavers that I gave him. The scene turned out beautifully and will in turn, inspire my beaver lodge efforts.



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