SSPRR Run Room

Playing with Toy Trains

Pre 2004 Layout

This 24' x 11' layout preceded the SSPRR Run Room and was located in what is now the south end of the Run Room.

Photography and original article by Jim A and Ron G.


Track and Switches   This layout used Lionel 031 and 072 track and switches.  Gargraves track and  Ross dual curve turnouts with NJI switch machines wired for non derailing were used for the inside track of the double-track helix.


Power   The initial power was Lionel postwar ZWs. The final setup was Lionel postwar ZWs and MTH Z4000s on individual blocks for all main track with Lionel's TMCC remote control or MTH Remote controlling the MTH Z4000. Lighting and accessories were powered by Lionel postwar Zs. All 120V duplex receptacles in the train room were wired with bottom half switched and the top plug power on all the time. Shutting off the train room wall switches shut off the complete train layout.


Features   The double-tracked helix was 6' in diameter and 4' - 4" tall. One of the best "train buff" views was from inside looking out where you could see an engine on one round, and a string of cars and the caboose right before your eyes winding down the next round of the helix. The day the photographs were taken, the Big Boy was running with a 47 foot (yes foot) string of cars down the hallway into and around the recreation room (photos below).

Diagram of the Layout


West Tables                                              East Tables

Overall view of the East table
Note the movable connecting bridge to the west table.

East End with Lift Bridge

Another view of the east table

Six foot Diameter Helix

The double track helix showing access track at bottom

Helix Access Track at Bottom

Close up of the helix

Helix Tracks Close UP

Scratch built motorized turn table

Motorized Turn Table

Intermodal crane with helix in background

Mi-Jack Intermodal Crane

Photo of the west side table

West Area Tables

West control panel with MTH Z4000 on floor for Big Boy track

West Area Control Panel

The MTH 20-3021-1 Big Boy ready to roll down the hall

Big Boy Ready to Roll

The Big Boy going up and down the hall on carpet

Big Boy Down the Hall Big Boy Up the Hall

The COO at the controls

Chief Operating Officer at Controls


Please  any questions or comments.