Sand Systems — Model Railroading

Drake & Lawton

This is the first railroad we built that we invited people to operate. It was N scale in a room 20' x 13'.

We'd discovered Linn Westcott's book on benchwork so the $DLRR (pronounced dollar) was built on L-girder benchwork with plywood tops using the cookie cutter method of making grades. Most of the grades were gentle ones but the one from the Fremont main down to the warehouse district was 9% Fortunately, the lead down there was short which limited the number of cars you could take down the hill at any one time and the engine was always on the down hill side of the cars to prevent runaways. It was fun to watch those cars dive down that hill, though.

We'd already learned a lot from friends about what to do and not do on a model railroad but we were still heavily influenced by model railroading standards of the day. Thus the $DLRR had a continuous run loop to be used for showing the railroad to visitors. (One end of the loop was under Drake and the other end under Atwood and Karsted.) We'd discovered we like industry switching so the $DLRR had lots of industries--36 of them--but they were the short tracks to small buildings you saw so frequently on model railroads built then. And we were still using block control although we had graduated to walk-around throttles designed by Bruce Lindsay specifically for N scale operations.

This was a fun railroad and we hosted monthly operating sessions on it for quite a while.

Track Plan



Drake & Lawton Fictional History

$DLRR Operator Guide

Assignment Rotation Sheet


$DLRR Mechanics

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