Short Track Railroad – N Scale Layouts

Donner Pass Exhibit (DPE)

A mountain pass in the northern Sierra Nevada, located above Donner Lake about nine miles west of Truckee, California. It has a steep approach from the east and a gradual approach from the west.

The pass has been used by numerous transcontinental and regional railroads, including the First Transcontinental Railroad and the Southern Pacific RR. The pass is a prominent feature along the California Zephyr passenger train route.

The DPE runs from Roseville CA to Sparks Nevada, and features Colfax, Truckee, and the Donner Pass. Look for the snow sheds along the pass, the Truckee River and I80 as you view over 36 scale miles of track

DPE track power is supplied by Digitrax. All 190+ turn outs were handlaid. We estimate over 40,000 trees will be on the layout when it’s complete.

NTRAK Layout

Our Club began in 1991 with a membership of four. Our initial goal was to build and show NTRAK modules at various model railroad exhibitions throughout Southern California and surrounding areas.

After some initial successful showings the club started to grow and as time went by became a prize winning outfit of fun-loving model railroaders, winning six first place and two second place honors.

After joining the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California and building a permanent club house, the modular railroad was put on permanent display and is a functional part of our Saturday open house and monthly switching sessions.

Our NTRAK modular layout includes 36 of our award winning modules. It is on permanent display and interchanges with the DPE Layout. It can operate in either DCC or DC mode.

Be sure to participate in our scavenger hunt while you explore the modules on display. Get them all and get a souvenir button.

Scenic Ridge - Kids Layout

In the early days, the club built a hands on, 3′ X 6′ model from a Western Scenics kit that was donated to the club. This small railroad was built during an NTRAK show with the help of visiting children. When complete, the model was given away by drawing. The new owner had no room for the layout, so he donated it back to the club. It has been a fixture in the new clubhouse for children to play with since the clubhouse was opened to the public.
In the Spring of 2012, one of our newest club members asked to revitalize the layout in order to practice scenery skills and to display it at a local elementary school during their Summer Carnival. It was a hit at the local school and the model received a satisfying makeover in the process, as well as its official road name, the “Young and Victorious”.

Visiting kids love to operate the Scenic Ridge. It’s meant to be run by the little tykes. Make sure your young ones (and the old folks, too) get a chance to run it.

Track Plans

The diagram shows the track plans of our two major layouts as they are situated in the exhibit hall.

The NTRAK layout is shown in green.

The permanent layout, the Donner Pass Exhibit, and the portable NTRAK layout are connected by a manually operated lift bridge.

Trains from either layout can traverse the lift bridge to the other layout. A train may then operate the combined length of both layouts without interuption.