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El Dorado and El Reno Schoolbug

Doodlebugs, Grandpa and Me

One of the great rewards in this hobby has been the friendships I have made. This Doodlebug is special because it represents both my childhood and a very good railroading friend....
Cab instructions and switchlist.

Developing an Operations-Focused Model Railroad: How We Did It

Venita Lake explains how operations were developed for the El Dorado & El Reno Railroad, the waybills, track warrants and switchlists used, and the evolving role of their dispatcher's desk....
Gene Coffman's Mound City & Western Model Railroad

Gene Coffman’s Mound City & Western Model Railroad

Gene Coffman has spent 10 years creating a layout based on his childhood experiences. His 20x30 foot HO scale Mound City & Western represents the areas around St. Louis, East St. Louis, and Rolla....
John Russell's O Scale Rock Island Lines Model Railroad

John Russell’s O Scale Rock Island Lines Model Railroad

John's 2-rail, O-scale Rock Island Lines captures the St. Louis to Kansas City route through the Ozark Mountains of 1948 to 1952. Using an around-the-walls with peninsula Walk-in with duckunder design, the layout has a 170-foot, single-track mainline that regularly runs 35-car freight...
Bill Giese's Beautiful Rock Island HO Model Railroad

Bill Giese’s Beautiful Rock Island HO Model Railroad

Bill Giese's Des Moines Area Rock Island HO scale model railroad features highly detailed city and industrial scenes filled with cars, trucks and people. The railroad, set in the late 1960s to early 1970s, is a walk-in design with a 76-foot single track main and 24-foot branch line us...
Rick & Venita Lake's El Dorado & El Reno HO Model Railroad

Rick & Venita Lake’s El Dorado & El Reno HO Model Railroad

This golden era layout is a free-lanced shortline railroad with heavy Rock Island influence, running northwest from Lillie, Louisiana, to El Reno, Oklahoma, with the modeled portion ending at Howe, Oklahoma. It also serves as a bridge route for the CRI&P Railroad through El Dorado, Ar...

Quarterly Gateway Division Layout Tour

text and photos by Mike Thomas It’s always fun to see what other modelers are up to, and the best ways of doing that is by going and seeing their layouts. It can be especially eyeopening to visit a layout you’ve never seen before, or one that’s had major improvements made since last y...
Rock Island Aerotrain Restoration

Aerotrain Restoration

The cosmetic restoration of the historically significant Aerotrain in the collection of the St. Louis Museum of Transportation is well underway. This project was funded by a donation from the Gateway Division NMRA....
Gateway NMRA Donates to Aerotrain Restoration

GM Aerotrain Restoration

The Gateway Division NMRA donated $10,000 to the National Museum of Transportation for a cosmetic restoration of the historic Rock Island GM Aerotrain which is part of their collection....
El Dorado and El Reno Railroad Logo

Prototype Railroading and a Freelance Railroad

Designing a freelance model railroad with heavy Rock Island influence....
Trackside on the V&O

Freight Yards and The Human Factor

As my layout moves from concept to design, one of the major hurdles is the creation of the main yard. An important part of the plan is creating a yard environment that looks real....
Modern Train Yard

Freight Yards: What Are All Those Tracks?, Part III

This article focuses on the task of the yard crews in getting each type of freight train ready to depart....