HERE IS A SHORT VIRTUAL TOUR of my 20'x20' layout. Since the pages on Multi-deck Layouts, Operations and Forms, and Layout Operations include a number of general photos, this tour will tend to concentrate on more detailed photos.

This is the view as you enter the layout room. This is El Portal at the east end of the line. The station and train shed are at the far end of the line while Highway 140, leading to Yosemite National Park, heads uphill to the right. The telephones visible are used to communicate with the dispatcher during operating sessions.

This view looks out over much of the rest of the layout. Merced is out of view below while Incline (and the logging incline) are in the center of the photo. The first level of the layout represents the area from Merced to Merced Falls and Tunnel 1 while the second level runs from Bagby to El Portal. 

The two-story scratchbuilt railroad station at Merced. R Street runs in front of the station while a passenger train waits for passengers on the back side of the station.

The track side of the station at Merced. The blue sky in both of these photos and the following one was added in Photoshop.

I model 1939 and this photo shows a couple of details which help reinforce that fact to visitors...a billboard for Texaco gas and, out on R Street, a family of migrant workers displaced from Okalahoma has suffered another setback...a flat tire.

My model of Caboose No. 19. It was scratchbuilt from styrene.


The caboose also includes a full interior including an August 1939 pinup calendar and a conductor's desk with a blotter, coffee cup, and paper work.

My scratchbuilt model of the interlocking tower in Merced. This tower controlled the semaphores protecting the crossing of the YV and the AT&SF. Just beyond the tower is Bear Creek. The semaphores (out of the picture), as well as the rods and cranks, all function.

A freight train rolls eastbound after having just based over Bear Creek. The eucalyptus grove near the head end of the train still exists today near Black Rascal Creek; the abutments for railroad bridge over Black Rascal Creek today support a bike bridge.

The Merced Local is caught out in the San Joaquin valley east of Merced, headed toward Snelling and Merced Falls. The smoke was Photoshopped into the picture.

Highway 49 where it crosses the YV tracks at Bagby. After crossing the tracks, Highway 49 continues in the distance northerly to Coulterville. Details in this scene including the free-standing Flying A gas sign and gas pump as well as the period Highway 49 traffic sign were all modeled based on prototype period photos of this area. The pickup has a 1939 California license plate.

A train of empty ore cars (called "rock" cars on the YV) approaches Emory, site of a limestone quarry. The two-story building at Emory in front of the train stills exists today and can be seen from Highway 140 on the opposite side of the Merced River.

A log train rolls downhill in the Merced River canyon.

The El Portal Locals leaves Incline as the sun starts to set in the canyon. The Local will continue working westward, picking up loads and empties and won't tie up until after midnight.

A loaded log car comes down the incline at Incline. A wire rope is attached to the end of the car to lower it down. The prototype incline was 8300' long and provided a way to get harvested logs out of the woods west of Yosemite Valley National Park.

It is a hot, August day at Incline as a Local rolls by some loaded log cars.

Locomotive No. 28 works the yard at El Portal. The grey building in the background is one of the railroad cottages which still exist in El Portal while the white building is the Standard Oil office. This building is now owned by the National Park Service.

Looking east at the yards at El Portal. The building on the right was called the Government Warehouse and was located where the El Portal post office is today.

The logging area worked by the Yosemite Sugar Pine Lumber Company in 1939 (near current-day Highway 120) is represented by a section of the layout which is 77" off the floor. This is the truck reload area.

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