Layout: Mike Swederska

Meramec Valley Lines

The railroad is a company that was started in the late 1800s and operated in the middle southern part of Missouri. This area was passed over by the two larger rail lines of the time. The Meramec Valley competed with the Iron Mountain and Southern for its first fifty years of existence and fought off the attempts of purchase by the Frisco and Missouri Pacific Lines. The Meramec Valley served the industries in the middle southern portion of the state that had lead, iron, logging, farming and livestock. There were also small industries that popped up that manufacturing of furniture, walnut barrels, automobiles, farm equipment and lots of other smaller LCL. The line carried passengers daily and the weekends saw the city people come to the state parks as they Meramec River and the surrounding valley was well known for its fishing and hunting.

But alas, the Missouri Pacific Lines eventually was able to purchase the Meramec Valley Lines and it was merged into the Mopac system. Today you can see the Eagles fly on the old Meramec Valley Lines track age and Jenks blue diesels.  With that all the equipment that was purchased still carry the Meramec Valley Lines logo and slogans as do the house cars even though they are painted as the Mopac.

The layout occupies an average area of 20x30 ft. S scale standard gauge. The minimum radius is 48”, the steepest grade is 2.5% all turnouts are #6 and larger built for the location. Main line is code 100 and some yard track age and sidings are code 70. The layout is designed to be operated by one person but can take two more operators comfortably. The main line is a loop with two yards coming off at the furthest distance on the main from each other. This gives the operation a point to point utilizing the entire main line in either direction. Where the yards leave the main line are return loops incorporated into the main to create the opportunity to leave either yard for an out and back turn with a switching freight. There is a large interchange between the two yards with a wye that allows for a helper to be stationed. The branch starts at the wye and uses the main to branch off at the top of the hill and run to its end. At the branch end is a turntable and some switching. There is another small industrial location along the main to allow for more switching.

Control of the layout is Digitrax DCS100, DB 100 booster, Duplex DT402d throttles. The blocks are protected by DCC Specialties PSX-1, the two reveres loops are protected by their own DCC Specialties PSX-AR1. All the main line turnouts are Tortoise and operate with the DC Specialties Hare ll and Wabbit. They are push button on the fascia, radio and auto throw. All the switching is done with caboose ground throws and uncoupling sticks. Half the locomotives have the Tsunami 2 sound.

The layout track work is 75% complete the staging yard in the back room and engine facilities at the front yard still need to be built. Scenery is mostly trees as this is Missouri Ozarks. Some structures are built but are still in the test fitting period.