This Doubleheaders Layout Tour
Featured 40 Layouts

This self-guided tour was held in March, 2010. This is an annual event that is well worth attending. These are model railroad layouts in Central Canada west of Toronto: Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph areas. There are many excellent modellers in the region.

Video #1

The Doubleheaders-Part 1 video features four HO layouts. 

Graham MacDonald's layout in Baden, Ontario is called the Ottawa, Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway and represents the Canada Atlantic Western Division as it was in 1922 when the Grand Trunk was merging with the Canadian National Railway (CNR). The point-to-point model railroad is a series of well-crafted scenes modelled as closely as possible to the prototype. There is a beautiful harbour, port and town. Small steam engines serve freight and passenger trains that run through Algonquin Park to the division point town of Madawaska and then into staging.

Structures are scratch and kit-built, rail is mainly hand-laid code 70 and 83. Command control is by Digitrax.  The layout is backed by lots of historical research. It was featured in Canadian Railway Modeller, Aug/Sept 2005.

The second model railroad layout I visited on the Doubleheaders Layout Tour was John Wagner's North Easthope Central, also in the town of Baden.  John's freelanced model railroad is set in Southern Ontario in 1975. Trackwork is hand-laid code 83. Two hidden staging yards are connected by a 120-foot mainline. While scenery is still in the early stages, formal operation sessions have started with three walkaround cabs and one yard throttle.

Also freelanced and under construction is Chris Bramble's CN Central Ontario HO layout in Waterloo, Ontario.  Chris is building a version of the CN subdivision between Toronto and North Bay with a Canadian Pacific (CP) interchange. Passengers are served by VIA Rail. Switching is done with computer generated switch lists (ShipIt). Chris has installed NCE wireless DCC.

The fourth layout on the video is Doug Sullivan's layout in Kitchener. Sullivan Junction takes up an 8- by 10-foot area in the family room on the main floor of his house. It is a "U" shaped inverted dogbone with two mainline tracks and many sidings. It is fully scenicked and is operated with sound-equipped locomotives under Digitrax DCC control.

Video #2

The next video is of the St. Jacobs Junction Railway at the St. Jacobs Country Mill museum.  The 30- by 8-foot model railroad exhibit is on the 4th floor and its worth the climb. This is a professionally made exhibit behind glass and is both entertaining and educational. It is part of a new museum displaying railroad and other historical items from around the area of St. Jacobs. 

This is Mennonite country and the model features Mennonite structures and rural scenes. The buildings are modelled after actual locations and the layout includes the trestle over the Conestoga River. Trains feature CN and CP steam and diesels. The railroad is automated and unattended. It operates with Lenze DCC. The workmanship is superb.

There's also a display of vintage O gauge tinplate trains on shelves. 

The museum also has a quilt exhibit and a section devoted to the maple syrup industry.

St. Jacobs is a wonderful town to visit if you're ever in this part of Ontario.  Antique stores. Restaurants.  Unique gifts.  And a famous country market.

Video #3

Here in the East we seldom see model railroads featuring western scenery.  Peter Wright's HO scale layout is based on the Panhandle area in Northern Texas where the Santa Fe rules the rails. Peter started the layout in 1989 and it's now virtually complete. The railroad has five yards and a large engine servicing facility with a scratchbuilt turntable at Temple. All Code 70 track and turnouts were handlaid in place on pine crossties. Scenery and backdrop depict the arid Texas landscape. Locomotives and rolling stock are heavily weathered. Peter powers the layout with Digitrax DCC tethered and radio throttles.

The second layout on this video is also in Waterloo, Ontario and belongs to Charlie Ellis. It is also operated with Digitrax and the scenery is essentially complete. This HO scale layout is point-to-point with handlaid track and features CNR/CPR/BAR operations in the St. Leonard, New Brunswick/Van Buren, Maine area circa 1950s. Motive power is first generation diesels with a few holdover steamers.

The final video in this set that I shot on the Doubleheaders Layout Tour was of Dieter Engelmann's model railroad in Kitchener, Ontario. This 13- by 22-foot railway depicts the Norfolk Southern (Conrail Southern Tier) and is set in the southern region of New York State. He has concentrated on depicting the CP trackage rights on on Conrail, now Norfolk and Southern, between Hornell and Buffalo. Some locomotives in Conrail blue still mingle with the engines in &N&S; black livery. Scenery is 90% complete on the visible portions. There's a double-track mainline and a large yard. The trackage extends into an adjacent room for staging and a newly added loop provides more operation.  The layout operates under NCE-radio control.

My thanks to Danosongs for the use of free soundtrack music. If you have videos that could use some music, try Free Music by

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