|O Scale - History -|
|Updated: January 28, 2014|
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History in EmeryvilleThe O Scale layout in Emeryville started in the late 30's in a building owned by the Santa Fe Railway. It ended in 1986 when Santa Fe decided to make other use of the property. During that period O Scale operated a point-to-point operation with a reversing loop at each end, representative of Santa Fe operations in California.
History in Point Richmond
Like the HO and N scales, O Scale's first Richmond operations began in the early 1990's. Unlike the Emeryville, which was more 'city' oriented, the designers of the Point Richmond operation opted for longer runs with more country and mountain motifs. The initial plan called for three distinct layouts separated by partitions. The north end of the layout was a 2.5' narrow gauge, the middle section a 3' narrow gauge (which never became operational), with the south end of the layout in standard gauge. A trolley layout was incorporated into the standard gauge operation.
By 1996 most of the members with an interest in narrow gauge had either moved away, or gone on to other things. As a result, we undertook a major layout redesign that removed the artificial barriers between the three sections, allowing the standard gauge to run the full length of the available area, with plans to incorporate narrow gauge should interest there once again arise. Today (Jam 2011) we are about 95% complete with our new track plan, and about 75% complete with our scenery modeling. There are three separate layouts in the O Scale area.
The Santa Fe Western O scale layout measures 164' by 25'(30' on ends, 20' in middle) and occupies over 4000 square feet of our building. Unlike the HO an N scale layouts, O scale is not a model of any particular region, instead it is intended to capture the flavor of the West while providing us with as long a mainline run as possible. We currently have a mainline that is about 21 scale miles, or 2300 feet long, plus over 2450 feet or yard trackage including over 90 turnouts and two double slip switches. Not much by prototypical standards, but certainly respectable for a model railroad.
The On3 Eureka & Empire scale layout occupies over 400 square feet of our building. It is intended to capture the flavor of the western mining and logging railroads.
The Oakland, Antioch & Eastern Interurban layout occupies over 400 square feet of the O Scale layout. The layout is not a model of any particular region, instead it is intended to capture the flavor of the interurban areas of the West while providing us with as long a mainline run as possible. We currently have a mainline that is about 4 scale miles, or 400 feet long, connecting the Chrurhill yard area and Barstow, plus over 200 feet or yard trackage.
See these pages Historial Pictures for a look at some early -1947 and later- club and O Scale layout pictures and documents.
If you are interested in learning how to become an O Scale member of the East Bay Model Engineer's Society click here.
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