Boyd Bender is an avionics design engineer and a former computer systems analyst, which means that he approaches projects in a logical and systematic manner. When he began his model railroad around 2010, he had already used computer-assisted design (CAD) software to run through thirty-five (that's right, 35!) different layout designs.
During the first few sessions with The North Atlanta Rail Barons, the benchwork for a 5-1/2' x 12' HO layout was almost complete. The subroadbed is 1/2" sandply supported by a 1" x 4" cypress frame. The layout is mounted on casters in order to easily move it around the basement when necessary.
Boyd's railroad has taken shape since then mostly because of his own efforts, but the Rail Barons have had several operating sessions on it, and only a couple of trackage problems were identified. Operating sessions are a great way to locate trouble spots that need corrective action. After discussions with several of our more experienced members, Boyd has made four track modifications to correct them.
Like most of the model railroads in our members' homes, Boyd uses Digitrax DCC, and his wiring schemes and techniques are both logical and elegant. His routing of the wiring is very clean and smartly laid out. The railroad utilizes 175 feet of Code 100 Atlas Flex-track on a cork roadbed, 36 Peco turnouts, three crossings, and one reversing loop. The mainline is double-track, and the layout features a five-track yard, two sidings, and thirteen spurs. Two of the spurs may become engine storage.
Locomotive power is mostly Proto 2000 GP-7's, GP-9's, GP-18's, GP-20's, and GP-30's. Switchers are Stewart VO-1000's and SW9/1200's. Road names are CB&Q, BN, GN, FRISCO, and Santa Fe. Rolling stock is mostly Atlas Blue Box Kits, and every rail car is equipped with metal wheels and Kadee couplers.
Finally, you will notice in the pictures below that Boyd has created foamboard models of the model buildings that he plans to use on his railroad. He created these "models" to help ascertain whether the track plan and spacing will work for his planned operations.
At this time, the railroad doesn't have a name, but Boyd says he is working on it.
HO, Code 100
|Track||Peco turnouts, Atlas Flextrack|
|Control System||Digitrax DCC|
Charlie Crawford, MMR was a Charter Member of NARB and former Superintendent of the Piedmont Division. He was the third member of our group to earn the award of Master Model Railroader. He is now participating in another local operating group.
Larry K. Smith, MMR was a charter member of NARB and now lives in Kentucky where he completed the requirements to become the fourth Master Model Railroader from NARB.
Louis Gomes was a long-term member of NARB, an excellent modeler, guru of the CV's and DCC decoders and wiring design. He was the group's first webmaster and is responsible for the design of our logo. Louis recently completed his education and was rewarded with a new job in Houston, TX.
Philo Hutcheson left us when he accepted a position with the University of Alabama Birmingham. He had built an excellent HO-scale railroad depicting the Maine coastline in the 1940's/50's era.