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When we arrived at John & Pat Bomberger's Moss Rock Canyon Railroad, John was discussing possible plantings with Don Herzog of Miniature Plant Kingdom, now retired, but still willing to answer "to scale" plant questions. The railroad meanders back and forth behind Don's shoulder, with comfortable viewing from a circular patio.

This canyon of moss rock gave the railroad its name.

Or perhaps the railroad is named for the National Forest it runs through...

Two loops of track travel a double-crossover, two bridges, a trestle AND a tunnel next to a gentle waterfall.

Let's take a look at Moss Rock Canyon as it rambles across the landscape. The canyon twists and turns at its head, then straightens where the river has worn a path.

Back at the Fire Tower, the Shay makes its way up the grade and out of Moss Rock Canyon. The rangers have a work railtruck parked by the water tower.

The tourists who ride in the observation car get to look back to where they've been as their train passes over the track in the canyon.

A freight passes by on the outer loop as the tourist consist reaches the stop at the Water Tower.

The tourist consist wanders across the switches to cross over to the return loop.

Just down the street from John Bomberger, (literally walking distance away) is the home of Gary Grenfell, Virginia Vandermeer and the Mistiwood Railroad.

In Garys' words, the layout "had no pizazz," so they enlisted John's help. The end result is interesting, especially when compared to Bomberger's "Moss Rock Canyon." Many similar design elements are used, but to different effect here on the Mistiwood RR, resulting in a layout with its own unique sensibility.

We'll start with this more-or-less overview -- the Mistiwood is a close-to-ground-level layout designed to handle long mainline trains. There's an irregular oval of track all along the perimeter, but the track just inside of it, where the yellow U.P. streamliner is running, actually dips down into a more complex portion of the layout.

Here's a shot from the exact opposite end of the layout. Right now there's a freight consist on the outside track. A fire tower is keeping watch over the greenery, allaying the jumpy nerves of us Californians in these drought-stricken days. And as the entire layout slopes down to the right, you can see that the interior trackage seems to be following a figure eight --

No, it's more complicated than that. SWMTP was able to sneak a look at the track plan. With apologies for the distorted perspective --

It's a folded dogbone! (SWMTP & I both think that there are some 'extra bits' going on in the actual layout, but this is basically what's going on.) This leads to some incredibly twisty over-unders, just the thing for an excursion train.

And as you can see, the freight and passenger trains can do their visual 'dance' around the layout without having to interrupt each other. No switching necessary.

The yellow streamliner passes by Sasha's homestead out in the country.

And here's where the whole 'kit-and-kaboodle' gets tied together, where the dogbone and the perimeter loop meet at the bottom of the grade. This double-crossover and the looong inside siding form an elegant way to switch any train onto any track in the layout.

The port-holed A-B-A lashup pulls its passengers past Sasha's Bed & Breakfast one more time.

And as we take leave of the Mistiwood Railroad, Sasha waves goodbye.

--One last part and two layouts left to go -- but you'll have to wait til we get back from the Summer Steamup! -

· Old Senior Member
1,543 Posts
Very Nice layouts photos.. tk's for post it..
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