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Bob Johnson’s Pseudo-Soo Line HO Model Railroad Layout

photos by Richard Schumacher

The Pseudo-Soo Line (PSL) is set in north-central Wisconsin in June of 1953. It represents the Third Subdivision of the Gladstone Division of the “Soo.” The HO scale PSL is in an approximately 50’x16’ area using an around the wall design with a long center peninsula. The mainline is a closed loop with two single ended staging yards that represent Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (“The Soo”) and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The backdrop features over fifty feet finished with stamp art by Prue Johnson. Designed for operation, the layout’s traffic features iron ore, local forest and agricultural products, passenger, and a variety of freight runs.

The modeled portion of the railroad runs from Rhinelander to Cameron, in north-central Wisconsin. The three online yards at Rhinelander, Ladysmith, and Weyerhauser are each operated by a two-man crew. A branch line at Ladysmith represents the Wisconsin Central routes to Superior, Wisconsin and Bessemer, Michigan (iron mining). The layout uses Digitrax DCC, card cards and waybills developed by Bob Johnson, and a 6:1 fast clock for operations. Dispatching is by verbal authority. There are typically three one-man road crews running trains in addition to the dispatcher and yard crews. These photos were taken during an operating session on the Pseudo-Soo.

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