Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
Home of the "Northern Trackers"             
Home    Events  •  Train Layouts   Photo Gallery    Member Projects   Trackers on the Road   FAQs/Links  Area History 
In Memoriam  Publications     Membership    Founders Page  • Contact Us

trainsHO Historical Layout
Lionel O Scale traintwo
G Scale Layout
Lionel Kids Train Layout

Outside G Scale Layout - Something new in the works for our thousands of visitors.
Click here for more information!

"HO Scale Layout:



The HO layout fills a 30’ x 30’ room. It is multi-leveled, generally depicting the route that was developed by the Minnesota & International railroad that existed from the 1890’s until being taken over by the Northern Pacific. The M&I was basically a logging railroad that eventually ran from Brainerd to International Falls, MN. Many of the towns that were served by the “Mike & Ike” between Brainerd and Bemidji, MN have been replicated. With the development of iron mining in Minnesota, several lines developed the industry and are incorporated in the layout for diversity. Thus the layout incorporates the operations of the M & I, Northern Pacific and Soo lines. The time era for modeling is from 1905 to 1940, which allows levity in road cars and scenes.

The layout is set up on frame work which was covered with homosote that was clued down. All track is nailed down. Digitrax DCC powers layout with four divisions.

Click here or on the photo for further photos and more information


gscale   The G scale train runs around the upper perimeter of the 30’ x 30’ HO layout room.  The track is powered.  The original layout track was laid on plywood, which turned out to be very noisy. Read more to see how membrs solved the problem.


Click here or on the photo for further photos and more information


gscaletrainlayoutSomething new! This is an Outdoor G Scale Layout.


The picture below shows the torck wall that ha been completed and he plumbing for a waterfall that is also completed. The water-wheel water is gravity fed. It will have its own source of ater and will drain down into the lake that forms belowthe waterfall.

Click here for more photos and a video of the G Scale Layout .




O Scale

ogaue The O gauge layout is 53’ x 13’. The bench work is constructed on independent tables connected with bolts and electrical plugs. The tables can be easily separated and move about if necessary. The side rails are steel, (as in 2x4 steel walls). The platform is OSB plywood with Homosote glued on the sections. The track is nailed to the Homosote.

The layout is blocked to permit mixtures of control choices. Lionel’s TMCC is the power source utilizing Trainmaster units or ZQ throtties.

The O gauge layout traces its origins to a major donation of equipment by the estate of a model railroader. Utilizing the donated equipment the layout follows a terminal railroad system. This allows running trains from different intercity roads on the same track. The layout is free-lanced with no attempt to model a specific geographic location or time period. Further donations through the years promoted new scenes on the layout. Many Lionel attractions have been incorporated with strategically placed power buttons to activated the attractions by the public. Construction began in 2006.

Click here or on the photo for more information.

oscleAmong many of the Lionel O scale operating displays is a rotating coal hopper and unloaer needed to have an upgrade. Through the ingenuity of member Joe Duerr and his helpers coal is now unloaded and moved mysteriously by a set of conveyor belts from the cars to the electrical power plant.

Joe utilized several motors, including one from a rotating table in a microwave to power the belts. The belts were made from nylon straps to which pieces of wood were attached with CA glue to form the "lift" pockets.




oscaleJoe then figured out a way to motorize a bulldozer that pushe the coat into a drop pocket. From there the coal taken by anothe conveyor up and dumped into the power station. Using a set of pipes, and another conveyor belt, the coal moves fromt he power plant, back up into the coal pile to be recycled by the bulldozer.






Gary Phillips is shown working on the chimney part of the power station. A friend ofthe museum donated a smoke unit that Gary placed inside the building. It is impressive to see all three stacks belching smoke. Jokingly, one member suggested that a lot of time and labor could have been saved converting the power plant to gas.

   There is a Lionel 027 gauge model train layout typical of model trains many kidstrainyears ago. Visiting "children", young and old can operate this layout by themselves. It is decorated for the Holiday season for this picture. Joe Hampl is leading the discussion. This layout is portable and has been used at train shows.

Also note in the background the display windows featuring locomotives and cars of all scales. This room is also our "store" area for the sale of used equipmentand track.

We caught up with President Dennis Olson giving "Thing 2" a thing or two on the operation of the 027 layout.
The young lad, Simon Tepley, was a visitor from Champlin, MN.
Home  •  Events  •  Train Layouts  •  Photo Gallery  • Member Projects  • Trackers on the Road
Membership  •  FAQs/Links • Area History  •  In Memoriam   • Publications  •  Founders Page  • Contact Us