29th Street Wharf: US HO

29th Street Wharf Stone Aggregates harbour side tracks.
The Stone Aggregates terminal at 29th Street Wharf, with loading in progress and awaiting departure.

My first model railway exhibition layout is 29th Street Wharf, an HO scale, “freelance”, box theatre-style representation of a typically rundown railroad yard located on a West Coast USA city sea-front.

The exhibit has been gradually evolved over 5 years, to depict a fictitious US railroad scene and associated industry activity, over the period 1960s – 1990s. The scenario is that industrial and commercial organisations require railway hopper and box-car handling facilities and the model features a small locomotive servicing area, a timber landing/pier, and a stone/aggregate loading terminal linked to a conveyor system.  The latter is accessed via 2 harbour-side tracks and river/sea-going barges can also be loaded.

Most building structures have been built using either modified Cornerstone kits or scratch built structures and have been weathered to illustrate the grime and wear & tear likely to be encountered in such an environment.

Some buildings have lighting, including the [perhaps] appropriately named ”Institute of Poetic License”, shown below – which also has detailed and staffed offices!

Stone Terminal activity
SD26 #4629 leading a loaded set of hoppers.

Visiting railroad operations provide a range of visitors that include Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern locomotives.

The layout is controlled using either a Lenz or NCE digital command and control system.  Most of the locomotives are sound-enabled, to add realism. Track points are controlled remotely using slow-motion Tortoise motors.

“29th Street” has appeared at numerous exhibitions ranging from High Wycombe in the South, Spalding in the East, and Perth in the North. It is booked to appear several times in 2019.

3 thoughts on “29th Street Wharf: US HO

  1. Hi Dave,
    This is a lovely layout that I really enjoy seeing and catching up with you guys. Maybe I could lend a hand with this one, too? (please!). I can even bring some rolling stock for H0!
    Cheers, John E.

  2. Hi John,

    Your wish is my command – you will be operating 29th Street very soon. I must have forgotten to tell you, it is the layout for Rainhill :-).

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