Union Pacific Niles Canyon, HO
The layout is set in the East Bay Area in 1999. The railroad represents the former Western Pacific 1st and San Jose Subdivisions, which had become the UP Niles, Oakland and Milpitas Subdivisions in the era modeled. The railroad is a secondary main and a branchline which supports an Auto plant (NUMMI) and a number of smaller industries.
The layout is built in a 450 sqft purpose built room. Construction is single level. Dispatching is by TCS (using CATS) which replicates a Digicon console. Signal control is by CMRInet, including cpNodes made by Seth's company, Model Railroad Control Systems. All signals are repeated as color lite signals on repeaters above the layout. There is a complete writeup of the layout in Volume 52 of the Layout Design Journal, publication of the Layout Design SIG and a cover story in RMC January 2018.
The layout is about 95% sceniced.
A unique feature of the layout is that there is no yardmaster, only a Clerk. This is because the prototype Milpitas Yard has no permanent switcher. The Clerk is assisted by a working RFID reader which prints "track lists" of cars in order as a switch job pulls cuts over the reader. The RFID system appeared in Modeler Railroader, December 2014, page 46. The clerk is responsible for managing yard and the neighboring NUMMI complex by writing switchlists to instruct the crews where to place cars. All crews do their own work when passing through the yard.
A typical session runs about 5 hours and uses 8 operators. Jobs include: Dispatcher, Clerk, NUMMI Job (2 crew, 2 shifts), UP LRV54 Local, BNSF trackage rights local, and the Mission Bay local which inlcudes a utility job called "The Critter Wrangler".
NCE DCC with wireless throttles, all mainline engines have sound decoders, FRS Radios, 2:1 fast clock, switchlists. Uncoupling 100% manual using pics.
Schedule Notes: Seth runs from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. He is about 12 miles from San Jose International Airport and 30 miles from SFO, for your Sunday getaway.
Here is a nice video layout tour from TSG Multimedia...
Here's a video briefing that should help you get oriented before operations, so we can spend a little less time talking and more time running
You can download the Employee Timetable here
You can download the Aspect Chart here
You can download the rules and train briefs here