Wednesday, August 22, 2012

TRAIN TIME: BandR Railways Layout

Vegas is not a train town. Those of us who are really into trains - scale, toy, or real - and have lived in places that were really 'into' the train scene and then moved here, can attest to that. Having been here since 1991 I've seen the rise and fall of so many hobby shops I've lost count. Perhaps it's because there are so many other activities that tug on people's wallets. Located in the Southwest, Vegas is relatively near to so many outdoor activities.  'Relatively' here in the Southwest means distances are measured by hours - not miles. The Grand Canyon is just 4 hours from here: Lake Meade is about 1 hour from here; Death Valley is only about 3 hours from here; Bryce Canyon National Park is only a few hours from here. Closer to home is Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, Bonnie Springs and more. The weather here means that people can enjoy various R/C hobbies most of the year making them a popular pasttime. We now have the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for racing enthusiasts and there are a gazillion vintage and classic cars roaming the streets.

We've never had large train mega-stores like California and Colorado. The layout featured here today was located in 'B&R Railways', at one time one of the largest train stores here in Southern Nevada, but still small by many standards. When B&R folded, the store changed hands and became 'JW Railways'. These photos were taken in 1999 when the store was called 'JW Railways' and by 2001 (or so) they too had folded. There has been no store of comparable size to take their place.  This layout wasn't built by the owners but by a local artist and railroad modeler who's name for some reason I could never remember. If any of you out there knows please tell me! The layout itself is multi-gauge, having loops for N scale, HO scale, 3-rail O-gauge, and LGB. I always enjoyed the way the builder made use of vertical space and really liked how he incorporated caricatures of several local landmarks into the design. Well, enough said, on to the pics - Enjoy!