Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
Home of the "Northern Trackers"   
35170 County Road 3   •   Crosslake, MN 56442            
phone: (218) 692-1900            
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Outside G Scale Layout
When a long time member Ted Martin passed away, his wife gave N.M.R.H.A. his G scale equipment. We resolved to set up a layout on the north side of the building in his honor. We called the underground cable marking company to make sure we wouldn’t run into a problem. We then set up our plan to avoid the incoming gas line. Joe Duerr marked the gas line location.


It was decided that crawling on the ground to set up the track and scenery was not feasible to most of our older workers. The solution was to develop an elevated system that could be adjusted, similar to a layout we had visited in Tuscon Arizona. Jerry Creighton drew up the plan and material list. We set up the basic loop and outlined the route in the sand. WE have a two pipe system. The five foot outer pipe goes four feet into the ground to attempt to avoid frost problems. The four foot inner pipe slides down into the outer pipe and is held in place with hose clamps. We rented a power auger and the crew went to work. Members Dick Elmquist, Gary PhillipsWayne Vaught, drilled most of the holes.



We utilized a flexible plastic board material to form the road bed. The 1x4” track base is bolted to the inner pipe. 1x2” boards were then fastened with glue and screws to the central board. Fast work was needed to clamp and screw the boards. Jeremy Nielsen, Dick Elmquist, Joe Dueer, Bob Moengen, Dennis Olson, Butch Sommers and Dave Jakubiec worked hard and fast to follow the cuves. Careful planning avoided the gas line that was buried under the area.



By the end of the day, the base for the roadbed was completed.

railroad train

The next step was to lay the track on the painted ballast roadbed. To allow for expansion and contraction from 90-100 degrees to minus 35 below, the track is held in place with plastic ties.  The ties also hold the main buss lines for power.

railroad railraod

Each piece of track rail has a drop line soldered to it, and then to the buss lines.  Wayne Vaughn and Jay Simon worked on the soldering all the connections with the NMRHA resistance soldering machine.

Finally, after much work, the Great Northern test engine was placed on the track.  With some hesitations and jerking because of the dirty track the operating goal was witnessed by Joe Duerr and his granddaughter, Butch Sommers, Clem Maust, President Dennis Olson, Gary Phillips, Wayne Vaughn, Bill Goenner and his grandson.  After a quick track cleaning, everything ran fine.

outsidetrain train

Bill Goenner and Dick Elmquist coorindated the leveling of the 109 foot main line loop and inner sidings and cross track.

Wayne Vaughn, Dick Elmquist, Bill Goenner and Ted Anderson began the layout of the road base for the crossing track area.  Note the lower area in the background that shows the start of the wall that will form a creek with flower water. The creek will go under the east end through a seven foot trestle bridge being built by Dick Elmquist

train modeltrain
We didn’t nail in a golden spike, but there was much jubilation when the Durango special pulled into the passing siding.
In addition to the layout the members built a storage shed for the G scale equipment. The walkways are ten foot sections of cedar dock for the walking comfort of our many visitors.
modeltrain gscale
The onset of cold weather has stopped work for 2013.  However, Dick Elmquist has continued to work on the river bed tht will go through the trestle that he has constructed.



Sixteen inches of snow can present a bit of a problem for good railroad operation. A power blower helped clear the main line, followed with some work with a paint scraper to remove the ice particles on the track and in the switch mechanisms.

After a couple hours of track work, it was time to test
our efforts. Despite the cold and the wind, our fast
freight cleared the main line.
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