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Our Layouts

If you are interested in running one of your trains on our permanent layout, or one of our trains on the portable, the information here will familiarize you to our tracks and operating rules.

Main Layout
Our Main Layout has been at the old Clintonville Substationon on Kenyon road in South Elgin for over 65 years. The building is 40′ by 60′ and our layout takes up most of the space.  We have a freight yard, passenger station and inter-modal yard where members and visitors can set up their trains to run on the layout.  There is a long winding ramp (not helix) to move trains between the main level and the smaller upper level.

Re-built and upgraded over the years, our layout is DCC with wireless controls. Most of our main-line switches have realistic lighted signals with block detection and lockout. Also rare among train clubs, we can set routes, control signals, and set switches from a computer operated dispatcher station located above the layout.

Main Layout Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) Map – Map of our layout at Clintonville Station in South Elgin.
Main Layout – All of the track.
Main Layout General Orders – Our basic “Rules of the (Rail)Road.” They include the Signal Rule Chart, which states what the track signal lights mean. The rules are fairly straightforward, starting out as simple as green, yellow, and red signals. There is a LOT more to operating a railroad, though, so take a look.

Portable Layout
Our Portable Layout was built for the enjoyment and education of kids. With a top height of only 30 inches, kids as well as adults are welcome to run trains. Just ask for a wireless controller and follow the signals.
Portable Layout Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) Map – Map of our Portable Layout.
Portable Layout Signal Rules– What the track signal lights mean.

This short instructional video will explain how to operate a train on the Valley Model Railroad Club Portable Layout. The video goes over the NCE DCC controller functions and the track side signal rules.