Donner Summit HO Scale Layout Gallery

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Layout Notes

The 10' x 15' HO Scale Donner Summit layout was started in 2009 and delivered to a valued customer in California in 2010 as a benchwork, track and running train project. The layout's concept was to capture the Southern Pacific's original route over Donner Summit yet incorporate many of the modern elements found there today. This freestanding layout features a 4 track lower level hidden staging yard representing both Roseville, CA and Sparks, NV. A covered turntable was also installed representing SP operations in Norden, CA. I have been back to California every summer since delivery to work on the layout.

The track used is code 83 Micro Engineering weathered flex track and Walther's turnouts on cork roadbed. The track was spiked down through the ties resulting in a virtually undetectable look and all curves were super-elevated. The track plan is for continuous running of trains and block wired for multi-train DC operation with DCC and a signal system to be installed at a later time. Under the table Tortoise switch machines handle turnout control and were operated from fascia mounted toggle switches. This layout was designed and built in 6 sections to be easily transported on a custom rack and was re-assembled at the customer’s location.

Layout Videos