This was one of those I’ll-go-because-why-not ventures, but in Yorktown, VA November 22nd for the annual open house for the Chesapeake Bay & Western Model Railroaders. On the flyer which I had been directed to said they had “the largest HO scale layout in the state of Virginia”. I naturally found myself skeptical but I needed to see what this place was all about.
When I entered the club it was pretty difficult to see just how big the layout was, it wasn’t until talking to a club member how massive and true to life the layout is. 16-scale miles from one end of the loop to the other, and it takes 35 to 40 minutes to make just one loop doing prototypical speeds. The layout spans 5 tiers on 2 actual floors, the layout is wired for accurate signalling and is dispatched from the main floor by the front door. Each member who is running a train keeps in contact with the dispatchers to see where they are cleared to. At one time I believe we had up to 9 trains running across the layout at one time, it was quite a sight watching all of the operators, the dispatchers, and the 3 yardmasters throughout the layout work the facility as if it was the real thing.
I was joined by NW1776 and JoesJct for this outing which also made the experience enjoyable, but I was also in awe of the diverse amount of trains run and also around in yards adding to the effect.
Next up, time to get into the spirit given the time of year.
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