Western Pacific, HO
Operations on the Western Pacific in the desert and the mountains in the early 1960s are the focus of Ernie Simard's layout. Railroad operations center on the division point yard at Portola with trains running west and then north on the WP's High Line, and east on the mainline across Nevada and Utah to the Rio Grande's Roper Yard in Salt Lake City. The layout combines single and double deck construction in a three car garage.
Ernie built a CTC machine to replicate the WP style of train control; authority is conveyed to train crews by signal indication. Operations are purposeful; as with almost any model railroad Ernie has made some compromises with the prototype to make it all fit. Fascia mounted track diagrams, station names and a timetable (for the passenger trains) create a solid information base for boomer train crews to work with.
The control system is Digitrax DCC. Ernie uses a fast clock; car forwarding is handled by switchlists.