click for prev

click for next

back to top

***This is a BONUS layout, which will be available on Friday Evening April 20. Choosing this layout will not affect your choices for regular layouts***

Founded in 1979, Silicon Valley Lines (SVL) is a freelance HO Scale Model Railroad Club located in San Jose, California. Construction of the current layout began in late 2000 and is located in the basement of an industrial building near downtown San Jose. The railroad occupies a 23' x 72' space, and is a multi-level design built using commercial steel C-channel as a benchwork system with over 600 feet of mainline. The upper level is a single-track division, while much of the lower level is double tracked. The layout features two large operating yards, as a well as ample hidden, yet accessible staging.

Basic scenery is about 50% completed with painted backdrops and some key structures in place. Scenery construction, tuning operations, and refining the electrical control systems of the layout are now the top priorities for the club.

Realistic operation has always been a key focus in the SVL club. Throughout construction members have been operating monthly on the layout to ensure that the railroad is built to create an enjoyable experience for our members and guests. Generous aisles provide ample space to support up to 8 simultaneous train crews and we are capable of running more than 25 trains on a good night.

Just like the former Southern Pacific, SVL utilizes Direct Traffic Control (DTC) to keep trains moving on the railroad. Crews use radios to obtain authority from a dispatcher, and engineers are given switch-lists which describe the work. Switch-lists for each session are generated using a new software system (Spar) developed by one of our members.

The club was an early adopter of command control, starting with the Keller Onboard system in the 1980s, and quickly transitioning to Digital Command Control in 1995. Layout Control uses NCE DCC with support for both plug-in and wireless throttles, as well as Wifi-throttles using JMRI Withrottle. Turnout control around the layout is done using touch screens. The dispatcher desk is integrated with that system as well and controls signals and turnouts remotely.

Here's a TSG Multimedia video tour:

See the club Website for more information.

revised 4/17/2024