Rich Randall's Milwaukee Road at Avery, ID
- 301 Forrest Drive
- Gated Community
- NMRA, BSME
- NMRA Division:
- Sub Division:
- SOUTHERN PA
The Milwaukee Road
Avery Division Point
Approximately 40’ x 34’ O Scale Model Railroad
This standard gauge (O5w) model railroad under construction attempts to portray the Milwaukee Road prototype equipment and operation at Avery, Idaho on or about September 1973. The overall layout is a single track, dogbone with passing sidings. The center of the model is the Avery yard, much compressed, but laid out generally like the prototype. Models of prototype buildings are intended to capture the essence of the area.
Traveling east from Avery, the 2.5% climb up the Bitterroot Mountains to Montana is simulated in the model with a grade up to the ceiling, through a 3-track passing siding, and terminating in a 3-track return loop. Only a few tunnels, and one large steel viaduct will be modeled to represent the near dozen on the prototype. This line was electrified at 3400 volts DC from Avery to Harlowton, MT. Some catenary is installed. The wire has to go up in stages, after completion of scenery.
Traveling west from Avery, the Idaho and eastern Washington area is simulated in the model with a flat run of track with a 3-track passing siding, and ending in the other 3-track return loop. There is provision for a takeoff here to a 5-track storage and staging yard below the layout.
The layout main line is operational using NCE DCC, with scenery started in many places.
There are five “industrial” sites under development where local trains (called “patrols” on the Milwaukee) will switch cars.
Additional features planned for completion some day are:
Expansion of “Idaho” 3-track passing siding, and Montana return loop to 5-tracks each;
Incorporation of an interurban line, analogous to the prototype Spokane and Inland Railway (S&IR), that ran in the area until the 50's. This will be an excuse for a trolley museum with all kinds of electric railway equipment for display, and for railfan excursions;
Incorporation of a narrow gauge line, with no particular prototype in mind.
Incorporation of a quarry line.
A branch line to run from Avery East Yard to a distant Gypsum Plant. Much modeler's license is exercised here to include typical Milwaukee Road branch line customers from a half dozen different prototype branches in the West.
Prototype time and place will be violated often with equipment that ran in a different era or never ran in the west. Examples are the famous Milwaukee Road Hiawatha steam engines and passenger trains. (Justification = Remember the “Chessie Steam Specials”?>
It is anticipated that one day the railroad will be operationally interesting, featuring through freights, through and local passenger trains, power changes at Avery, patrols switching at five modest industry sites and the branch line, and blocking of cars at Avery. My intention is to have enough staging to permit an operating session to be conducted without returning trains through the scenes.