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42 Years Trainmaster - the source for American Model Railroading (1977 - 2019)

added / updated: May 20, 2019

Big City - Calvinsville
City Scene Layout in 0 Scale 2-Rail (1:48) - built by Sandro Arianna
102 Übersicht / Diese Anlage wurde innerhalb von 20 Jahren aufgebaut. Die meisten Gebäude wurden im Eigenbau (scratchbuilt) erbaut. Dabei hat es auch viele Background Buildings an den Wänden entlang. Interessant sind auch die vielen Strassenbrücken und Details an jeder Ecke.
102 - Overview / This layout was built within 20 years. Most of the buildings were scratchbuilt. There are also many background buildings along the walls. Also interesting are the many road bridges and details on every corner.


Part 1 = Overview / Part 2 = right half of the layout / Part 3 = left half incl. loop
Part 4 = trains are rolling / Part 5 = History & General Info about this layout (just scroll down)

 for bigger size photos just click on the 3-digit number under each photo

Part 1: First, we show some special views taken by Sandro Arianna
We can see some spectacular views from the camera of Sandro, the builder of this one of a kind layout.
280 - spectacular City scenery 281 - Sandro, the builder within his empire
270 - City of Calvinsville is really a railroad town 279 - busy railroad town with plenty of tracks
287 - looking toward Calvinsville Station (in the middle) 300 - every square meter is occupied with structures
283 - tracks behind the Calvinsville Station 284 - behind the building at right is the entrance to the room
307 - loop track going downhill 314 - 3-track level crossing
272 - Signal relay box 273 - another relay box
303 - great details with Hobos inside this box car 330 - Steam Loco Memorial at Calvinsville Depot


Ein paar Hindergrundinfos zu dieser sensationellen Anlage finden Sie unter Part 4 (nach den Fotos)

Grösse = 15 x 6 m (90 m2), 2-Leiter Gleichstrom, min. Radius = 1,2 m (nicht sichtbar), max. Radius (sichtbar) = 2,2 m, total Gleislänge inkl. Schattenbahnhof = 400 m, max. Steigung = 3 %, die Hauptstrecke ist eingleisig und die ganze Fahrt einer Runde beträgt ca. 12 Min. Die Ebene 0 liegt auf 1,2 m und der höchste Punkt auf 1,5 m (Schattenbahnhof auf 0,8 m).
Some background infos of this outstanding layout you will find on Part 4 (after the photos)
Size = 15 m x 6 m (90 m2) 2-Rail DC, min. radius = 1,2 m (not visible), max. radius = 2,2 m (visible), total track lenght incl. staging yard = 400 m, max. grade = 3 %, the mainline is single track, the whole journey for a full round is 12 min. 0 level = 1,2 m above ground, highest point is 1,5 m (staging yard is on 0,8 m).

 for bigger size photos just click on the 3-digit number under each photo

Part 2: Now, we make a tour on this outstanding layout (photos taken on May 5, 2019)
We start in the middle of the layout where the control panel is and continue to the right side
103 - overview with control panel in front 104 - city freeways and view toward downtown

112 - inbound traffic on left bridge

113 - outbound traffic on right bridge

002 - the station is just next to the outbbound bridge 009 - 4 lane outbound traffic
008 - Dodge Charger Daytona on Auto Carrier, Beetle w/special trailer 004 - heavy inbound traffic thru a big city
006 - below the inbound bridge is a fire ladder truck in action 005 - rail and road traffic below the inbound bridge
043 - the Deuce's Bike Shop is just left of the control panel . . . 003 - . . . and between the freeway bridges
201 - even a Harley Davidson Truck is delivering some bikes 202 - lots of details inside the fence, outside: men at work
011 - Calvinsville Depot (Passenger Station) 012 - Amtrak Surfliner is waiting for passengers
015 - train station in the foreground 016 - below is the staging yard
046 - huge industrial area 045 - most buldings were made out of cardboard
014 - cars are parked near the depot 013 - lots of background buildings
309 - today, we got a mixed freight passing here 310 - this track is not used anymore and it does not disturb trains
017 - old abandoned track is crossing the mainline 018 - elevated road with gas station
019 - different angle of gas station 020 - there are some activities behind the gas station
022 - an old SOO Line Caboose on display 021 - huge billboard on top of yellow building
023 - another elevated road between yellow and gray building 024 - we continue our layout tour to the right side
025 - just below the bridge 027 - looking back on the left side going to the depot
026 - street level crossing 028 - UP locos in storage close to Neptun Cafe
118 - RR Xing at left and Neptun Cafe at right 119 - this bridge goes right thru the building
029 - the Neptun Cafe is just below this bridge 030 - corner section with bridge (people under he trees - see 321/322)
293 - Greyhound Station 031 - there is a busy scene around the Bus Stop
294 - waiting for the next Greyhound bus 292 - looking at the clock and the cat is doing the same !!
321 - there is an unidentified group hanging around 296 - taking a rest on the bench next to the Greyhound station
322 - it seems, they came with the blue van 033 - CN and Amtrak Locos in storage
044 - looking toward corner section w/bridges in the foreground 032 - bridges on different levels and angles
120 - city style with tall buildings 180 - below the bridges is a road with shops
165 - huge Burger King billboard 166 - here you can go to the dentist or fitness center
263 - there is a train rolling over the bridges 257 - looking to the right side
271 - people, cars, action under the bridges 288 - nice detail with the RR Xing signs
101 - busy road under the bridges 100 - oh yes, there are shops like this 7 ELEVEN
097 - at the end is a mirror - the perfect illusion ! 099 - excellent details, there are even street lights
098 - a combined gas station and garage repair shop 096 - behind the little shed is a food truck
121 - we continue from the left side to the right side 122 - here is the connection to the other part of the layout
198 - the elevated road has a track in the middle 235 - below is a Amtrak train while the road is busy as usual
081 - looking to the left side 233 - looking to the right side
038 - we look to the left below the road bridge 034 - same signal bridge looking to the right side
298 - just after the signal bridge we enter the 2 bridges 299 - different view from the outside (upper track visible)
318 - red light business is also home at San Isidro Junction 175 - a UP train on the upper track
323 - details bring a scene alive 083 - nice detail w/speeder inside the shed
236 - Tower of San Isidro Junction 035 - looking to the right side
188 - Graffiti is getting common also on this layout 189 - more Graffiti along the wall


Part 3: We continue our tour on this outstanding layout (photos taken on May 5, 2019)
We start again in the middle of the layout where the control panel is but continue to the left side
047 - overview with control panel in front (looking to the left side) 042 - we are in the middle of the layout (looking to the right side)
193 - Control Panel of Calvinsville Layout 196 - the master layout builder in person (Sandro Arianna)
197 - the building in the middle can be folded up 195 - Sandro in the middle of his "one in a lifetime" layout
051 - tracks on 2 different levels 048 - the section in front can be folded up to get access to the door
049 - every space is fully occupied 079 - street level crossing
050 - Downtown of Calvinsville w/2 RR bridges . . . 110 - . . . going over the street level tracks
052 - two bridges are used to run trains on diff. levels 070 - most building were made of cardboard
068 - rear corner of left side w/downtown 069 - every square meter is covered with tracks or buildings
142 - rear corner w/D&RGW Locos 143 - rear corner with another road bridge over RR bridge
054 - after the bakery we can see the part on the left side 053 - the bridge over the bakery is the one on photo 143
149 - even the back yard is full of details 151 - Bakery with their own truck for delivery
147 - the road bridge becomes a street level Xing 137 - under the bridge are 3 tunnels
138 - left and center 055 - traffic on and under the bridge
057 - overview of left corner and rear side 056 - two tunnels
058 - overview of left corner with foreground 063 - Westwood Station

265 - Westwood Station from above inside above) 266 - Westwood platform / below) 267 - Timetable Check
268 - Westwood station is in the middle below 269 - bridges all over
285 - lots of industrial buildings all over 286 - going to the right to downtown Calvinsville
067 - corner at the left side 064 - behind along the wall
065 - RR Xing on street level 066 - cool cars bring life to the scene
157 - most buildings are scratch built 136 - road crossing with 4 tracks
061 - Tom's fast food Restaurant, but all home made 072 - Tom's is just across the Hotel
315 - 3 diff. convertibles are parked in front of Tom's 316 - Tom's with full interior and lights
071 - RR Xing with 4 tracks 060 - Tom's fast food at left and car dealer at right
159 - Krazy Ken's car dealer 158 - looking for a nice muscle car?
073 - a crashed '59 Cadillac as a warning sign 074 - a VW Golf broke down on the tracks
172 - they stay under the bridge and enjoy 075 - taking care after an accident
076 - we are inside the loop 077 - MoW speeder
170 - right side of garage 171 - rear side of garage (yes, there is junk)
168 - front of garage and gas station 169 - cool cars from the 50's and 60's
036 - small control panel in the middle of the room 289 - loop tracks below and on the bridge
037 - there is always a space for a small scene . . . 167 - . . . with a pickup truck and a speeder
040 - under the loop bridge is always something going on 041 - every corner is used, even just to park some cars


Part 4: Trains are rolling - we follow several trains on different locations including the loop


Amtrak California Surfliner Passenger Train going around the whole layout
347 - The Amtrak California Surfliner is leaving Calvinsville Station 348 - Surfliner cars are rolling over the street crossing
080 - the Surfliner Commuter Cars are passing Downtown 082 - 2 GE Dash8-32BWH are pulling this train (near San Isidro)
084 - the train is slowly entering the Calvinsville Station 085 - almost at the final destination
086 - Passengers are already waiting to board this train 087 - in a few seconds, the train will stop
304 - Amtrak California Dash8-32BWH at the station 305 - passengers will go in and out
108 - last chance to enter the train for the next ride 114 - it is again ready for departure


Amtrak Streamliner with 3 GE Diesels going the opposite direction
204 - leaving Calvinsville Station 205 - rolling along the industrial buildings
206 - view from above 207 - these are GE Dash8-32BWH diesels
208 - rolling under a bridge along the houses 211 - passing a railroad crossing
213 - of course, the RR Xing signals are working 212 - cool paint scheme of the Dash8-32BWH loco
216 - as seen way from above 215 -
217 - modern UP Dash9 locos 219 -
224 - on the move round the corner 220 - going under a bridge
222 - passing some CN diesels 223 - and old Amtrak locos
226 - 227 -
229 - 228 -
231 - Amtrak cars on a bridge 230 - now passing under the road bridge
236 - passing San Isidro tower 237 - end of train with Dome Observation


NJT Commuter and Amtrak Electric on North East Corridor
276 - New Jersey Transit Cab Car 282 - Amtrak AEM-7 under overhead wires


13-Car California Zephyr with Rio Grande F7A/B/B/B (total length = 10 m)
125 - 4 D&RGW F-Units are powering the CA-Zephyr 126 - the long bridge connects from the loop to the city
128 - the CA-Zephyr on the loop (upper level) 127 - on the way to downtown Calvinsville
130 - CA-Zephyr cars made by Atlas 129 - Dome Cars are always something special
132 - now, we are inside the loop 131 - car accident happened on this bridge
133 - lots of things to see on diff. levels 134 - the engines are coming from the loop
145 - on the way to downtown 135 - CA-Zeohyr is rolling around the loop track
139 - the bridge in the foreground is going downhill 146 - busy city scene
141 - passing downtown Calvinsville 144 - looks impressive on the bridge
148 - huge Coca Cola sign over the road bridge 153 - the CA-Zephyr is now on the downhill loop track


Union Pacific train with Overnight Box Cars
160 - rolling around the upper loop track 161 - did you see the details inside the box car?
162 - passing the Santa Fe Caboose 164 - continue the journey
088 - rolling thru the staging yard 089 - UP Overnight Box Cars


Umion Pacific mixed freight train (manifest)
173 - UP mixed freight coming from Calvinsville 176 - passing San Isidro Tower
175 - 174 -
182 - passing San Isidro Tower 177 - loaded with John Deere Tractors
181 - going under the road bridge 183 - big load for a Wheel Loader
184 - cool loads make flat cars interesting 185 - special loaded flat cars
186 - Bulkhead Flat with special load 187 - another special load
179 - the train will soon make a left curve toward the city 180 - D&RGW Box Car rolling thru the bridge
190 - the train did already reach Calvinsville Depot 191 - who will get these John Deere tractors?
192 - passing the Control Panel 194 - as seen from above
200 - one round on the loop 199 - and thru the City of Calvinsville


GM&O (Gulf Mobile and Ohio) with UP Coal Cars
238 - GM&O locos are passing the Calvinsville Depot 240 - now, the engines are under the road bridge
241 - even Coal Trains are passing in front of the depot 242 - third engine is a L&N U-Boat
243 - UP Caol Train is passing Calvinsvilel depot 244 - Railfans are looking at Coal Cars passing
245 - rear end DPU (Helper) leaving Calvinsville Depot 246 - the engines are on the upper loop track
247 - loop bridge leading to the city 249 - the coal train is heading for downtown Calvinsville
250 - on a bridge in the middle of the city 251 - now, the coal train is passing San Isidro tower
253 - the train is going downhill toward the bridges 254 -
255 - passing under the signal bridge 256 - and rolling over the first bridge
257 - spectacular bridges on two levels 258 - the coal cars are winding the way
259 - 260 -
261 - below is a road with shops (action everywhere) 263 - after the bridge it will go into a tunnel to the staging yard


CP Rail Ore Car unit train going around the loop
109 - CP Rail Ore train on the loop 111 - some scenes can be seen above (040 and 041)
092 - bright LED lights 093 - the special loades cars on the other track can be seen later
094 - check the interior of the box car 095 - CP engines are passing the caboose


Canadian National 3-unit consist
278 - CN locos in 3 diff. paint schemes 277 - the RR Xing signals are out of service


AT&SF / CP Rail / UP
290 - AT&SF F7A/B/A is entering Calvinsville 308 - CP Rail is passing UP Diesels


The President of the United States of America came for a visit by train
274 - the presidential car passing San Isidro Junction 275 - Mr. President Obama and his wife


The "Final Run" was celebrated with the Northlander on May 19, 2019
Sandro will soon start with the disassmbly of his layout because his renting contract for the room was terminated. Therefore, he made the final run with the Northlander which was actually the former Swiss TEE Train.
328 - Sandro is putting his Northlander on the tracks 329 - everything has to be connected for the final run
332 - All Aboard - Passengers for the final run 331 - ready for departure at Calvinsville Station
337 - Leaving Calvinsville in crossing 3 tracks 338 - going uphill just above Westwood
339 - coming from the loop going over the tracks 346 - unique elevated bride over all tracks coming from the station
340 - at Westwood, the RR Xing is under repair w/MoW workers 341 - at Westwood on the high line
342 - at Westwood on the high line 343 - Crossing a freight train above San Isidro on the loop
344 - above San Isidro on the loop 333 - passing San Isidro Junction
335 - 3 stored CN ALCO diesels at San Isidro 334 - passing stored steam locos and cars of the club „Friends of the Rail Calvinsville“.
336 - the Northlander will arrive at Calvinsville in a few seconds 345 - Arrival at Calvinsville Station - end of the final tour


Part 5 A: Deutsch (German) - Detaillierte Geschichte und Infos dieser Anlage
(scroll down for English version)
Entstehung, Geschichte: Ich schaute schon immer interessiert über den Gartenzaun, wie funktionieren andere Bahnen?? Das Thema SBB als Modellbahnthema befriedigte mich nie wirklich und ich schwimmte schon immer gerne gegen den Strom. Im Jahr 1991 weilte ich für ein paar Monate für einen Sprachaufenthalt in Los Angeles, USA. Ich hatte schon immer ein Faible für nordamerikanische Bahnen. Als ich dann das erste mal in Kontakt kam mit Amtrak auf einer Fahrt von Los Angeles nach San Diego hat es mir entgültig den Ärmel reingezogen. Ich liebäugelte schon immer mit der Grösse Spur 0. Für mich der ideale Massstab, nicht zu klein und nicht zu gross. Als sich dann die Gelegenheit bot mit meinem Onkel zusammen im Jahr 1997 in Hinwil einen Hobbyraum zu mieten gab es kein Halten mehr. Nach zwei Jahren zügelten wir dann die Anlage nach Kollbrunn im Tösstal, in einen grösseren und viel schöneren Raum. 20 Jahre lang konnte ich an meinem US-Spur 0 Modellbahntraum bauen bis kürzlich die Kündigung kam. Was weiter geschieht ist noch offen, auf jeden Fall werde ich der Spur 0 und den nordamerikanischen Bahnen die Treue halten. Das Thema ist und bleibt faszinierend mit unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten.
Warum ein Stadtthema: Das Layout ist knapp 90 m2 gross.Das Thema ist eine Vorstadt einer grösseren City irgendwo in Nordamerika, ähnlich wie Chicago wo verschieden Bahngesellschaften zusammen kommen. No Name and the big five. Somit kann ich so ziemlich alles rollen lassen was mir gefällt. Das geht über UP, BNSF, CP, CN, L+N, Gulf Mobile and Ohio, CSX, Amtrak, Santa Fe, NS, SP, Rio Grande, Pennsy, etc... Der Name der Vorstadt ist Calvinsville, ein Fantasiename. Unter engeren Kollegen habe ich den Übernamen Calvin, vom Comic Calvin and Hobbes. Voller blühnender, oft absurder Fantasien und manchmal eine grosse Klappe, daher der Name. Ein weiterer Ort ist San Isidro, eine Dienststation mit Spurwechseln und dem anschliessenden Amtrak Depot. Dann gibt es noch den Haltepunkt Westwood, ähnlich wie Zürich Enge. Der Zug kommt direkt aus dem Tunnel und verschwindet wieder in einem solchen nach der Haltestelle. Spur 0 mit dem Thema US Bahnen und dann noch Landschaft finde ich eher schwierig. Man bräuchte eine Turnhalle um das Thema einigermassen glaubhaft zu gestalten. In einer Stadt dominieren die Hochhäuser. Die Züge verschwinden zwischen den Häusern und tauchen irgendwo wieder auf. Das macht es spannend und ist irgendwie einfacher umzusetzen. Die Ebene 0 liegt auf 1,2 m ab Boden. Der 8 gleisige Schattenbahnhof auf 0,8 m. Der höchste Punkt ist auf einer Brücke mit 1,5 m.
Gebäude: Die meisten Gebäude sind Eigenbauten. Einige Gebäude konnte ich von Dani Wehrli übernehmen und an mein Layout anpassen. An dieser Stelle nochmals vielen Dank an Dani! DIe Gebäude bestehen aus Graukarton, Finnpappe (Holzkarton), Pappelsperrholz, Northeastern Holz und Fotopapier. Ein paar Kunststoffbausätze sind auch dabei.
Strecke, Gleismaterial: Als ich angefangen habe gab es hauptsächlich nur Peco und Roco. Mittlerweile habe ich auch Gleise verbaut von Atlas und Lenz. Gute Erfahrungen habe ich gemacht mit den simplen Roco Weichen. Die Weichenantriebe sind von Fulgurex. Robust und zuverlässig. Die meisten verrichten schon fast 20 Jahre problemlos ihren Dienst. Die Hauptstrecke ist einspurig. Es sind zwei verschachtelte Einspurstrecken mit einer separaten Einspeisung. Ein Zug hat ca. 12 Minuten die ganze Strecke abzufahren. Beginnend im Schattenbahnhof schlängelt sich der Zug durch den Haltepunkt Westwood um dann wieder im Untergrund zu verschwinden. Nach einer weiteren Schleife im Untergrund kommt der Zug ans Tageslicht um in einem grossen und steilen Bogen (ca. 30 Promille Steigung) auf die Ebene 0 zu gelangen. Die Fahrt geht durch San Isidro nach Calvinsville. Dann weiter über eine grosse, gebogene Rampe und Brücken über Calvinsville, zwischen den Häusern durch um schlussendlich in einer langen Abfahrt im Schattenbahnhof wieder zu verschwînden. Ich fahre Analog, zweileiter Gleichstrom. Es sind zwei Stromkreise vorhanden. Ich habe keine Blockabschnitte und fahre nur mit einem Zug dem ich meine volle Aufmerksamkeit widme. Es können sich zwei "Lokführer" beschäftigen und ein Fahrdienstleiter / Weichensteller in C-Ville und San Isidro. Der kleinste Radius ist 1,2 m im Untergrund, Im sichtbaren Bereich ist der grösste Radius ca. 2,2 m. Die Schienenlänge mit allen Abstellgeleisen ist ca. 400 Meter. Angrenzend an den Bahnhof C-Ville ist auch ein kleiner Güterbahnhof, allerdings alles Stumpengleise.
Modelle, Züge: Der California Zephyr ist fast 10 Meter lang, mit 13 Wagen, dem Vorbild entsprechend und vier F7 Dieselloks der Rio Grande. Verschieden Zuggattungen sind im Einsatz, je nach Lust und Laune. Es bieten sich auch viele Rangiermöglichkeiten auf dem Layout. Der Broadway Limited der Pennsy hat 12 Wagen mit einer dreiteiligen F3 Diesellok. Der Road Railer Zug der NS hat eine Länge von 12 Meter mit zwei Dash8-B der NS. Ich lasse alles mögliche rollen. Doppelstockzüge der Amtrak (Surfliner), Doppelcontainerzüge, Erzzüge, gemischte Güterzüge, etc, der Fantasie sind keine Grenzen gesetzt, selbst der Northlander (ex SBB TEE RAm) ist unterwegs. Der längste mögliche Zug ist ein Kohlezug der Gulf Mobile and Ohio mit vier Loks, 40 Kohlewagen und einer GP35 als Helper am Zugschluss. Der Zug mit einer Länge von fast 16 Meter fährt problemlos über das ganze Layout. Sehr gute Erfahrungen habe ich gemacht mit den Atlas Loks. Ich habe auch fast nur noch Atlas Triebfahrzeuge. Die Zugkraft ist enorm und in all den Jahren ist noch kein einziges Getriebe kaputt gegangen.
Beteiligte Personen: Die Anlage habe ich gebaut. Mein Onkel, Thomas Camenzind, zweiter im Bunde, war für das Fahrgerät zuständig oder wenn es mal ein Problem gab im elektrischen Bereich. Er als Stromer war da dankend gefragt. Dani Wehrli konnte mir auch manchen wertvollen Tipp und Ratschlag geben in all den Jahren. Ebenso mein Kollege Roy Genkinger der mit guten Ideen und Ansichten mich oft wieder auf das richtige Gleis brachte als ich vor lauter Bäumen den Wald nicht mehr sah. Ihnen allen gebührt mein aufrichtiger Dank! Viele schöne und lustige Stunden konnten wir beim Layout in Kollbrunn verbringen die ich nicht missen möchte. Leider geht alles mal zu Ende. Ich bin sehr dankbar konnte ich meinen Traum verwirklichen in all den Jahren und viele, sehr wertvolle Erfahrungen sammeln. (Text by S. Arianna)


324 - Workshop - everything is in order 302 - Workshop - 5 UP weathered box cars are ready for service


Part 5 B: English - History and in deep infos about this layout
Genesis, History: I've always looked interested over the garden fence, how do other railroads work? The topic SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) as a model railway theme never really satisfied me and I always liked swimming against the stream. In 1991, I stayed for a few months for a language course in Los Angeles, USA. I have always had a weakness for North American railways. The first time I came in contact with Amtrak on a drive from Los Angeles to San Diego, it finally got me cought for good. I have always played with  0 scale trains. For me the ideal scale, not too small and not too big. When the opportunity arose with my uncle to rent a hobby room in Hinwil in 1997, there was no stopping. After two years, we moved the layout to Kollbrunn in the Tösstal, in a larger and much nicer room. For 20 years I was able to build my model railroad dream on my US style 0 scale layout until I recently got the notice leave. Whatever happens next is still open, in any case, I will be loyal to 0 scale and the North American railways. The topic is and remains fascinating with unlimited possibilities.
Why a city theme: The layout is just under 90 square meters large. The topic is a suburb of a larger city somewhere in North America, similar to Chicago where different rail companies come together. No name and the big five. So I can roll pretty much anything I like. This is via UP, BNSF, CP, CN, L&N, Gulf Mobile and Ohio, CSX, Amtrak, Santa Fe, NS, SP, Rio Grande, Pennsy, etc ... The name of the suburb is Calvinsville, a fantasy name. Among close colleagues I have the nickname Calvin, from the comic Calvin and Hobbes. Full of blooming, often absurd fantasies and sometimes a big flap, hence the name. Another place is San Isidro, a service station with lane changes and the subsequent Amtrak depot. Then there is the breakpoint Westwood, similar to Zurich Enge. The train comes directly out of the tunnel and disappears again in such after the stop. 0 scale with the topic US railways and then landscape I find rather difficult. It would take a gym hall to make the issue reasonably believable. In a city skyscrapers are dominate. The trains disappear between the houses and reappear somewhere. That makes it exciting and somehow easier to implement. The level 0 is at 1,2 m from the ground. The 8-track staging yard is at 0,8 m. The highest point is on a bridge with 1,5 m.
Buildings: Most of the buildings are scratch built. I was able to take over some buildings from Dani Wehrli and adapt them to my layout. Thanks again to Dani! The buildings are made of gray cardboard, Finnpappe (wood board), poplar plywood, Northeastern wood and photo paper. A few plastic kits are also included.
Track layout, track material: When I first started there was mostly only Peco and Roco tracks available. In the meantime, I have also installed tracks from Atlas and Lenz. I have had good experiences with the simple Roco switches. The turnout motors are from Fulgurex. Robust and reliable. Most have been doing their job for almost 20 years. The main line is single track. There are two interleaved single track lines with a separate power feed. A train has to travel for about 12 minutes the whole way. Starting in the staging yard, the train meanders through the Westwood stop and then disappears underground again. After another loop in the underground the train comes to the daylight in order to reach the level 0 in a big and steep arc (approx. 3 % grade). The ride goes through San Isidro to Calvinsville. Then continue on a large, curved ramp and bridges over Calvinsville, between the houses through to finally disappear again in a long descent in the underground staging yard. I operate analog, two-wire DC. There are two circuits available. I have no block sections and only run with a train that I pay full attention to. It can employ two "train drivers" and a dispatcher / pointsman in C-Ville and San Isidro. The smallest radius is 1.2 meters underground. In the visible range, the largest radius is approx. 2.2 meters. The rail length with all staging tracks is about 400 meters. Adjacent to the station C-Ville is also a small freight station, but all dead end staging tracks.
Models and Trains: The California Zephyr is nearly 10 feet long, with 13 cars modeled on it and four F7 diesel locomotives of the Rio Grande. Various types of trains are in use, depending on your mood. There are also many maneuvering options on the layout. The Broadway Limited Pennsy has 12 cars with a three-unit F3 diesel locomotive. The NS road railer train has a length of 12 meters with two NS Dash8-Bs. I let everything roll. Double decker trains of the Amtrak (Surfliner), double container trains, ore trains, mixed freight trains, etc, the imagination knows no bounds, even the Northlander (ex SBB TEE RAm) is on the way. The longest possible train is a coal train of the Gulf Mobile and Ohio with four locomotives, 40 UP coal cars and a GP35 helper (DPU) at the rear end. The train with a length of almost 16 meters runs smoothly over the entire layout. I have had very good experiences with the Atlas Locos. I also have almost only Atlas traction vehicles. The traction is enormous and in all these years not a single transmission has broken.
Involved persons: I built the whole layout. My uncle, Thomas Camenzind, second in the league, was responsible for the control panel and throttle or if there was a problem in the electrical area. His knowledge as an electrician was thankfully in demand. Dani Wehrli was also able to give me some valuable tips and advice over the years. Likewise, my colleague Roy Genkinger with good ideas and views often put me back on the right track when I could not see the forest for the trees. All of you deserve my sincere thanks! We could spend many nice and funny hours at the layout in Kollbrunn, which I would not want to miss. Unfortunately everything comes to an end. I am very thankful I could realize my dream in all the years and many, very valuable experiences. ()written by Sandro Arianna)

copyright by Sandro Arianna - 2019
(photos 001 - 264 by Werner Meer / photos 265 - 348 by Sandro Arianna)

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