John Rieken's Transcon Four (HO)

New on Tour
Contact Information
John Rieken
371 E. Coker Rd.
Homer, GA 30547
1-706-677-1589
Wheelchair Accessible: 
No

Layout Tour Dates

Saturday, October 21, 2017
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

When completed, this layout will feature a transcontinental network stretching from Philadelphia to Seattle via Chicago. Presently, I have the Pennsy running from Pittsburgh to Chicago. PRR hands it off to the Belt Railroad who hands it off to the Burlington who runs to St. Paul. This is a double-deck layout with a manual elevator between levels. 

I designed the layout for operation. Our large operating group operates the Transcon Four every quarter. This group involves anywhere from 12 -18 people. A complete operating session takes about 6 hours, depending on the number of operators.

The central point of activity is Chicago where trains are yarded, broken-up, cars interchanged, and cars spotted at industries. I have five yards in Chicago: The 12th Street Coach Yard, Jacob’s Yard, Pennsy's 59th Street Yard, Burlington's Cicero Yard, and Belt's Clearing Yard (East and West). I have a two-track Union Station which also acts as the room divider in Chicago.

Roughly 80% of the operation is freight, and the remaining 20% passenger. Dispatching is done by one Chicago dispatcher (BROC), and two tower operators - one at West Pullman, Chicago (PRR) and one by Aurora Tower on the Racetrack (Burlington). All dispatching is done by verbal track warrant (rather rudimentary - screaming at each other, actually) at this point.

Scale

HO

Size

30’ X 40’

Prototype

Pennsylvania, Belt Railroad of Chicago, Burlington, Great Northern

Locale

Pittsburgh to Chicago to St. Paul

Era

1967

Style

Point-to-point

Len. of Mainline

340 Feet

Layout Height

42” to 69” lower to upper level

Benchwork

Standard L-girder

Roadbed

Precut Cork

Trackwork

Atlas Code 100

Turnouts

Atlas Mark 4s - #4 and #6s

Min. Radius

24”

Maximum Grade

1.0 %

Scenery

5%

Backdrop

10%

Controls

Digitrax DCC

Wheelchair Accessible

No

Directions 

Go north on I-85 to exit 154. Take exit and turn left onto Rt. 63 (Martin Bridge Road)and travel north. Go past mile marker 4 about three-tenths of a mile and see E Coker Rd on the left. Turn left onto E Coker Rd and go about .5 miles to black mailbox on left with “371” on post. Turn in to gravel drive and go about 200 feet to split. Turn left on split and go uphill to house. Park in upper field which is to the left as you come up to the house.