The Willoughby Line  
line decor
line decor

Join us for a quick tour on the line. There is a good drawing of the trackplan in this MRH article here.

NOTE: These images are from 2007. There have been lots of changes to the layout since that time. I chose to show these images to let you see the skeleton of the layout in progress.

In this tour we will run from staging level to the first deck and on up to end of the line at Groveland on the second deck of the Willoughby Line. The run from Willoughby to Groveland would be a typical run that one might make during an operating session on the railroad. Before we begin the tour here are some long views of the Layout.


On the left is Willoughby Yard on the right lower is Modesto far end lower is Arvin. Upper deck has Mather on the far end with Mountain King mine on the right

View on the other side of the peninsula. Mokelumne is on the bottom left with Incline above. Helix is at the far end. Track loops out over the top above the helix to end the run at Groveland upper right. Below is La Grange.


Moving from West to East in RR geography.  Locations of areas below given to actual compass location in the train room.

West side of peninsula lower deck (third deck) is a staging yard. Trains leave staging and run around the peninsula to climb up to the lower deck



On the back side of the peninsula, SP mainline trains come up from staging here and run around the end or the peninsula to enter Willoughby yard.  Here the train is running through La Grange and the Canyon around the peninsula towards Willoughby.


Front side of peninsula.  Four stub ended sidings (ttl. 28’/56cars), two arriving and departing tracks (6.5’/13 cars, 12’/24 cars), one passing track (13’/26cars), Oil dock, small engine terminal with small turntable, wye for turning larger locos.  Reversing loop for turning trains back East.  SP mainline continues east with Willoughby line sharing trackage rights.



Passing siding (7 ft/14 cars), Scene includes: WP trackage – runs down middle of 9th street across door to WP hidden staging along HWY 99 and connects with SP mainline on other end of street.  Industries include: canneries, Icing dock. Train is passing a reefer block in Modesto heading around the lower deck towards Arvin and Hwy. 99

:Running along HWY 99 the SP mainline continues.  Passing siding (4.5’/9 cars), junction with level 1 hidden staging siding 20’/40 cars) at east end of town.  WP line runs around and East along backdrop down to hidden staging.  Industries include: produce packing shed, milk stop, Grain elevator Train is waiting in the hole at Arvin for a cab forward to pass.



Mainline climbs along river canyon to the helix entrance on the far end. Continuous loop option - helix runaround to loop back to La Grange.  Industries: mining Train is climbing Mokeleumne Hill towards the second helix.

Helix entrance on this level.  Double tracked up. Inner track is for serial staging (45’/90 cars).  Outer and inner join at top of fourth rotation switch out for high line.  There is a hidden wye formed at the east side of the top of the helix.  Mainline continues around to Hetch Hetchy Junction. Train is entering the second helix heading towards Hetchy-Hetchy Junction.




Interchange Sierra RR here.  Stub line into hillside represents Sierra Interchange.  Passing siding (8’/16 cars).  Industries: construction storage. Train is arriving at Hetch-Hetchy Junction emerging from the helix.

Mainline continues up in the mountains. Passing Mountain King mine from YV fame.  Small stub siding at east end (2’/4cars).  Industries: mining




Mainline continues through mountain meadow.  Passing tracks (5’/10 cars), Continuous loop running/return to helix/staging at end of town. Stock yards in foreground, passenger station and freight shed.  Peach Growers Association sawmill is at east end of town.  Industries:  Logging/lumber, cattle, freight

Branch line begins at the western end of Mather, ending at Groveland.  Line climbs through steep cliffs arriving at Incline mine.  Mainline cutoff continues hidden and runs around helix to Hetch Hetchy Junction or cuts out to enter helix back down to Mokelumne or to serial staging on inner helix track.  This track work creates the wye at the top.  Industries:  Mining



End of the line.  Small turntable and engine facilities.  Passenger station, mine and logging spurs out over helix  Mini Westside scene, dual gauge trackage disappearing into the woods.  Oil dealer.  Industries: Oil. LCL freight, logging, mining.  Locos turn on turntable (El Portal Version) for trip down the hill.


© 2012 by Guy Cantwell
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