click for prev

click for next

back to top

Joe Green
C&O Ryder Gap Subdivision
Bonus session only

The C&O's Ryder Gap Subdivision is an HO scale, proto-freelanced switching layout set in the mountains of Virginia in May 1974. Four crews work the subdivision's industries, including Back Creek Paper, Mill Gap Lumber, and Highland Chemical. In addition, crews switch the yards and run the locals necessary to support the operation. A typical operating session lasts 4+ hours.

Scenes, track plans, and modeling are heavily inspired by the railroad's operations in Covington VA, Thurmond WV, and Cass WV. Compression within scenes is 2 to 1 or less in a 930 ft.² room. This allows track lengths, numbers of tracks, and train lengths to be reasonably close to the prototype.

It is May 1974 in the mountains of Virginia. No one is in a hurry. Come and enjoy the challenges of prototype switching operations in a relatively low stress environment!

Published sources:
Model Railroad Planning (2021), Railroad Model Craftsman (April 2023), and Model Railroader (October 2023)

Basic information:
A. Scale: HO
B. DC or DCC: NCE wireless
C. Dispatching/control method: TT&TO, most of layout is within yard limits
D. Car control: Switchlists and station agent instructions
E. Mainline: 150', single track, with 40' branch line
F. Room size: 30' x 31'
G. Percent sceniced: 60%
H. Handicap accessibility: none
I. Maximum number of guest operators: 6

Click here for photos.

It takes about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours to get from SeaTac to our house. I think it takes roughly 3 hours to get from our house to Bellevue using the Bainbridge ferry, depending on what time of day is of course. My assumption is that operators will want to spend the night in Sequim or Olympia the night before the Thursday session and then drive to Bellevue after we finish.