***This layout is being offered as a "Two-Fer" with Steve Hayes' Western Pacific. This means that when you sign up, you get both. These are BONUS layouts, which will be available on Wednesday and Thursday March 15 and 16 only, choosing these layouts will not affect your choices for regular layouts***
These are large (by California Standards) layouts about 5 miles apart, 125 miles from the convention hotel. We recommend that you leave the Bay Area no later than 3 pm on Wednesday, otherwise you will not get to the WP by 7 pm due the heavy commute traffic heading to Tracy. This should also give you a chance to check into the hotel and to get something to eat in Sonora before the operating session. The WP session will start at 7 pm on Wednesday the 15th. Operators will need to spend the night in Sonora. Steve and John will provide hotel information once you have signed up. Then on Thursday, the 16th, starting at 9 am you will be on the Sierra. On Thursday you will be leaving John's house in Twain Harte no later than 4 pm for the 2 1/2 hour drive back to Fremont.
The route to the layouts is very scenic to the east of Oakdale and the Sierra Railroad Right of Way is visible to the South of the roadway.
John's model of the ever-popular Sierra Railroad is situated in an 1500 foot basement within sight of the right-of-way of the prototype (unfortunately, this part is abandoned). Operations follow the prototype with a simplified TT&TO scheme. The layout is faithful to the prototype although some industries operated over a longer time frame to increase operating interest. A 4:1 fast clock is used. The layout is well documented with JMRI switchlists, manifests, maps, train briefs and timetables.
Track is generally flex with commercial turnouts and operates reliably. Train control is via 16 EasyDCC radio throttles. The tone of the layout is casual but purposeful, one of the main purposes being that visitors have an enjoyable operating experience.
The layout is about 40% sceniced, but many key structures are in place, giving the modeled scenes a sense of place.
The layout can accommodate up to 14 operators, including 3 major yards, 3 smaller yards and 8 road jobs.