Photos by Dale DeWitt
The HO scale Downe & Audt Line Railroad began as a “J” shaped 12’x22′ layout which has been extended through a tunnel to the adjoining room for an additional 14’x7′ of layout. To facilitate the operation of this two room empire, Dave has installed a Digitrax digital command control radio system. To allow freedom of motion, the throttles use radio transmission communicating with locomotives regardless of which room the engine is operating in. When visiting this layout you quickly realize that the owner has a very dry sense of humor! In the mountains you find a tank car that tumbled into a dry stream bed, but no one in town seems to care. There is a par 3 golf course on the side of a mountain – I wonder how many players live to play the course again? And before we leave the mountains we see a beautiful scratchbuilt queens-post bridge with more nuts, bolts, washers and rods than you can count. In town there is an arrest on the street, while one block over a car has collided with a street lamp. A very upset driver is attempting to explain the accident to one of the city’s finest. Finally, a tourist couple is eyeing a cannonball lodged in the wall of an establishment which mysteriously lines up with the cannon in front of City Hall. We pass through the tunnel to the second room and find a town below in a valley. This beautiful town features expertly assembled wooden craftsmen kits. Each structure is unique in style and color. And yes, this town warms the heart of every railroader because every firm located in town is a railroad customer.