Southern Oregon Z Model Engineers finds a permanent home.

Loren Jun 27, 2017

  1. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Southern Oregon Z Model Engineers has found a permanent home in Railroad Park in Medford . It happened this way.........

    Since beginning my Z adventures back in 2004, I have dreamed of having a permanent Z layout in our own local Railroad Park where 5 different clubs share property the city of Medford has basically turned over to us for operations of railroad related subjects. Currently there is the HO scale Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club, the Southwest Oregon Large Scale Trains--(G), the Southern Oregon Live Steamers, where we offer rides to the public, the Morse telegraph club, and the Southern Oregon Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

    This year the Morse club disbanded due to illness, advanced age of members, and also the death of one of the main members.

    Just recently the decision was made to offer the Morse Club building to me to turn it into a permanent Z layout. Right now, just Joe D'Amato and myself are the only Z people we know of interested in a permanent layout.

    This venue will be perfect for introducing thousands of local folks and visitors to our park to Z scale. We will have open house the second and fourth Sundays from April thru October and operate from 11-3pm.

    The building, while small still offers us opportunity to showcase Z in a wonderful way. So far the only cost to me has been a couple of hours of sweat equity cleaning out the structure and 4 stitches on my right arm, where an errant screw decided to attack me Sunday during demolition of the old interior........actually my bad as I didn't know my own strength.

    The structure does have air conditioning, but the doors will be open during operation as visitors will have to enter one side, pass through during viewing, and exit the other side of the building.

    The big challenge now facing Joe and me is deciding what type of layout to construct. As I mentioned, size is a major factor as we only have about 66 square feet of floor space to build the layout in.

    One possibility is to model the actual Railroad Park using Z, N, and HO sizes to simulate the park. It could be done very accurately, but with all the switches, the possibilities of derails is much higher and since access to a lot of the layout will have to be through removable sections, (harder to reach back areas) that idea is not too favorable.

    Another possibility is to model the tunnel 13 area of the Central Oregon & Pacific RR which has a lot of local history and is very scenic, (need a lot of my tree magic on that possibility.)

    A third possibility which I favor is to model the Verde Canyon scenic tourist railroad in Arizona. The layout would have a lot of unique rock scenery that is not found on most model railroads. It would basically be a dog bone with emphasis on scenery. HTTPS://en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Verde_Canyon_Railroad

    Joe and I have a lot of planning to do before construction begins. The exterior of the building needs some sprucing up and a new sign of course.

    Here are some pictures to show the structure as it stands today.

    Wish us luck.
    Loren
     

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  2. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    This is the exterior of the building......small structure but it will be full of Z!
    002.jpg
     
  3. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Dang, if I was a little closer, I'd help out!!(y)
     
  4. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dang Kurt, if you were closer, we'd welcome your sweat equity. Only drawback is it is all volunteer, no CEO, 5013c, 401k or coffee breaks.....:D
     
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  5. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hey, Did someone mention Verde Canyon? Jim

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Good good stuff Jim. And good to hear from you. Still cranking out the beautiful scenery are you?
     
  7. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Good luck.
     
  8. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Cool, great opportunity!

    I think the first idea is blah.

    I would probably pick the CORP idea just for the local interest tie-in, but MAN would that Verde Canyon layout be cool. I just Google Earth'd it....what a beautiful railroad.
     
  9. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    I say leave the modeling of Arizona to Arizonians. I'm not all that familiar with Oregon railroads, but the route of the Coast Starlight offers a wide range of Oregon landscapes. It would even give you the opportunity to lay a bit on Zn3 track.

    Mark
     
  10. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mark, I disagree. Oregon, smoregon. Loren and I are from Oregon for the most part and scenery is scenery as well. Loren and Joe have probably modeled more of Oregon than they ever wanted to. I encourage them to branch out and give their new layout some new energy and something to study to make it realistic. Just sayin. Need a photo of most anywhere Oregon? see attached. Jim

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
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  11. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jim,
    If they were building it for themselves I'd say model anything you want. But this is a public display. And over the years it seems that the layouts that attract the public's attention are fantasy/toy trains or local/regional interest, ie:

    http://www.gsmrm.org/ho_scale/canyon.shtml

    Besides, the group would be the: I wish I were baking in Arizona Z model Engineers.

    Loren,
    If you are looking for flashing lights and such for the layout let me know.

    Mark
     
  12. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Is Joe supplying the rolling stock?
     
  13. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mark, Good point for sure. I didn't think about the public. On the other hand they probably know enough about Oregon anyway. As long as something gets built is the important thing. Cheers, Jim
     
  14. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks guys for the input. It's true, Joe, Jim, and I do know the Oregon scenery pretty thoroughly as Jim points out. I think Joe does lean towards tunnel 13 idea, but so few know anything about it or even care, I'm not sure they would be impressed with a zillion trees. They can see those on my home layout when they visit. Speaking of which, I have a home layout tour coming up in October so my energies will be stretched a bit thin when construction actually begins.

    I was struck with the beauty of the scenery for Verde Canyon and thus I would like to see that theme developed. Since Joe and I have differing tastes on what we'd like, we just may have our first fight coming ;). As far as public goes, more and more, I am encountering younger folks who haven't a clue about railroading. The millennium generation is out to lunch on a lot of things. Joe has been on vacation this past week and won't be back to his desk till Thursday and then we will do some head scratching.

    I have received a good indication from Eric at MTL that MTL will do some sponsoring of this layout with track and likely rolling stock also. I really don't want to take my own stock to the park and leave it there as I don't have an over abundance and need it for my own home layout.

    Well, that's it for now. Thanks all,
    Loren
     
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  15. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Loren, your link to Stonebridge Models in your signature is broken, any news there?

    Also, I was wondering just what the dimensions of the building inside are, if the doors are 3 foot wide, and it is 66 square feet, is it 22 feet long? Looks shorter.

    Greg
     
  16. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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  17. southernnscale

    southernnscale TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sounds Like fun for you guys! Small building but small trainz! wish I was closer too. It would be fun to help out! hope all goes well and there isn't too many fist fights and more running trainz. I think it will bring people in once the word gets around about the Z scale layout! There are a lot of people just don't believe there that small. Keep us updated it would be nice to see it as it grows! keep on the right track and keep steaming along!
     
  18. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Walt, I plan to document the construction, from start to finish........I wonder how old I will be by that time?
     
  19. sumgai

    sumgai TrainBoard Member

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    With your magic roads featuring operating cars and dizzyland-all-in-a-briefcase layouts, you have a veritable McMansion of a display space for your creative genius. Just don't constrain yourself to one level. Think multiple level stacked but separate dioramas.
     
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  20. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    You guys are thinking way past my energy level at this age.;) One should always set your goals way out there, but reality dictates a somewhat conservative approach to this. I don't know how involved Joe will be as he is always a mile deep in his own responsibilities at MTL. Why does real life have to always get in the way?(n) Only time will tell. Back to the think tank.
     

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