John Rieken's Transcon Four [Homer, GA] (HO)

Layout Tour Dates

Saturday, November 13, 2021 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
In-person tour of an indoor model railroad. Host REQUIRES THAT ALL GUESTS BE VACCINATED FOR COVID-19, AND BRING & WEAR A FACE MASK while on their property. Unfortunately, this also means NO CHILDREN UNDER 12.
Transcon Four [Homer, GA]
371 E. Coker Rd.
Homer, GA 30547
Over 5 Years on Tour
Contact Information
John Rieken
Wheelchair Accessible: 
Layout Details

The video above is a replay from our 2020 "virtual" Piedmont Pilgrimage.

For 2021, this will be an in-person tour of this indoor model railroad. 

Layout Description:

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.

A Raspberry-driven "NX" signal system routes trains through West Pullman Tower to Hobart, Indiana on the Pennsylvania mainline.




30’ X 40’


Pennsylvania, Belt Railroad of Chicago, Burlington Route, Great Northern


Pittsburgh to Chicago to St. Paul





Len. of Mainline


Layout Height

42” to 69” lower to upper level


Standard L-girder


Precut Cork


Atlas Code 100


Atlas Mark 4's - #4 and #6

Min. Radius


Maximum Grade

1.0 %






Digitrax DCC

Wheelchair Accessible



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.