The Longview, Kelso & Rainier Model Railroad Club is located in the Three Rivers Mall in Kelso, Washington.

We are OPEN to the public during the following times:

TUESDAY: 4:00PM - 7:00 PM
WED-SUN: 1:00PM - 5:00 PM

Club meetings are every Tuesday at 7 PM. 

We have four separate operating model train layouts to enjoy.

HO-Gauge Legacy Layout

The club originally built this 13'-6" x 21' layout in the 1990s.
It was sold in 2001 and was reacquired in 2016. It features a single-track main line, a single-track branch line, a point-to-point logging line, an industrial park, and a large yard with turntable. Scenes include a town, a farm, a sawmill, & a logging camp.

HO-Gauge Small Layout

This 4' x 8' layout sits in the main display window and features a small town scene. It is a good example of a layout that could be built in most homes with a modest space commitment. Two trains can operate on this layout at one time.

O-Gauge Layout

This layout features 3-Rail O-Gauge trains, such as those made by Lionel and other manufacturers, and measure approximately 12' x 14'. Scenes include towns and an airfield. With tracks on two levels, up to four trains can operate on this layout at one time.

N-Gauge Layout

This layout was originally built to fit in a home attic. We acquired it in 2018 and we have adapted it to fit our space, in an "L" shape measuring approximately 12'-4" x 19' with a depth of up to 6'-6". We are building a new yard and return loop to increase this layout's operational potential. Scenes include a towns, a coal mine, a wharf, and a sawmill. Multiple trains can operate on this layout following a variety of routes.

Videos




Click the button to see a playlist of videos of our layouts.



Link Button by: Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator


Steam Engine Whistle Signals

When you visit us, don't forget to try out our train whistle. Here are some common whistle signals for you to practice.

One SHORT blast: Stop

One LONG: All aboard or train is coming to the station

One SHORT, one LONG: Dinner Time

One LONG, Three SHORT: Flagman protect rear of the train.

Two SHORT: Signal received or train is moving.

Two LONG blasts, one SHORT, One LONG: Stop! Train is coming to the crossing.

Three SHORT: Train is backing up.

Four SHORT: Give me a signal!

Four LONG: Return to the train.

 Photo by Dave Dahlberg

Model Railroad Scales and Gauges

Model trains are available in many scales and gauges. The words “Scale” and “Gauge” are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different measurements. “Scale” is the proportional ratio of the model’s size to that of the real thing. For example: O-Scale is 1:48, meaning an O-Scale model train is 1/48th the size of a real one. “Scale” can also sometimes refer to measurements. For example, O-Scale is 1/4-inch scale, meaning that 1/4-inch equals one scale foot. Not all model scales have measurements that convert so evenly, however. “Gauge” is a measurement of the distance between the rails (the two outer rails in the case of three rail track). In O-Gauge, the rails are 1-1/4-inches apart to represent the standard gauge of 4’-8-1/2” of most real railroads. The gauge can be changed to model narrow gauge railroads (such as On3, for 3’-gauge model track) but the models are still the same scale. In some cases, the tracks of a smaller scale can be used to represent a narrow gauge of a larger scale.

1-1/2” Scale Live Steam

The phrase “Live Steam” typically refers to large model trains that can be ridden on. These trains are typically built to 1-1/2”-Scale, where 1-1/2 inches equals one scale foot, and they operate on track with a gauge of 7.5 inches. In this scale, the steam locomotive models are actually steam powered, while the diesel locomotive models are powered by small gasoline engines or battery-powered electric motors. These trains are generally too large to operate indoors, though they are sometimes operated at large model train shows.

#1 Gauge

#1 Gauge is the largest common model railroad gauge, with the rails 1-3/4 inches apart. There are technically larger gauges, such as #2 and #3, but they are rarely used. Three-rail #1 Gauge is typically referred to as Standard Gauge; it was mostly manufactured before World War II, though reproductions have been produced more recently. Two-rail #1 Gauge is sometimes referred to as “G-Scale,” but is actually used for several scales. #1 Gauge track represents the standard 4’-8-1/2” gauge in 1:32 scale, however some manufacturers use other scales for their trains, and some even mix scales. For example, Aristo-Craft and USA Trains build models to 1:29 scale; this is sometimes called A-Scale. LGB builds models to a scale of 1:22.5, which is considered the “true” G-Scale as LGB first coined the term; in this scale, the track represents meter gauge. A similar scale is 1:20.3, where 15 millimeters equals one scale foot, and #1 Gauge track represents 3-foot gauge; this is sometimes referred to as Fn3. Another scale is 1:24, where 1/2-inch equals one scale foot, and #1 Gauge track represents 3’-6” gauge; this is sometimes referred to as H-Scale.

O-Scale

O-Scale is 1:48, or 1/4-inch Scale. In some parts of the world it may be referred to as #0 Gauge. Standard O-Gauge track has a gauge of 1-1/4 inches, and is available in 2-rail or 3-rail. 3-Rail O-Gauge is commonly associated with Lionel trains. While nominally built to O-Scale, they are often compressed in length to negotiate unrealistic sharp curves. 2-Rail O-Gauge is usually used with full-length O-Scale trains. While nominally the same scale, 2-Rail and 3-Rail trains cannot be interchanged; 2-Rail trains use DC power while 3-Rail trains use AC power. On30 is a narrow gauge using HO-Gauge track to represent 30-inch gauge in 1:48 scale. Other O-Scale narrow gauges include On3 and On2, which each use their own track to model 3-foot gauge and 2-foot gauge, respectively.

S-Scale

S-Scale is 1:64, or 3/16-inch scale. Standard S-Gauge track has a gauge of 7/8-inch. It was popularized by A.C. Gilbert’s American Flyer after World War II. Many die-cast toy cars, such as those by Hot Wheels and Matchbox, are approximately this scale. S-Scale is also used for narrow gauge, such as Sn3, which uses its own track to model 3-foot gauge.

HO-Scale

HO-Scale is 1:87.1, and is the most popular scale. In HO-Scale, approximately 3.5 millimeters equals one scale foot. Standard HO-Gauge track has a gauge of 16.5 millimeters. HO gets its name from being approximately half the size of O-Scale; outside North America it is often referred to as H0 or h0 Gauge. HO usually uses 2-Rail track and DC power, but some European manufacturers, such as Marklin, use 3-Rail track and AC power. A related scale is OO, or 00, usually called double-O. Mainly used by British manufacturers, OO uses the same track as 2-rail HO, but was built to a scale of 1:76.2, or 4mm scale, making the trains slightly larger than normal HO Scale. HO-Scale is also used for narrow gauge, such as HOn3, which uses its own track for 3-foot gauge, h0m, which uses TT-Gauge track to represent meter-gauge, and HOn30 or h0e, which uses N-Gauge track to represent 30-inch gauge.

TT-Scale

TT-Scale is 1:120, where 1/10-inch equals one scale foot. Standard TT-Gauge track has a gauge of 12 millimeters. The name TT stands for Table Top, as the trains are small enough to fit a circle of track on a typical table. TT-Scale has been around longer than the smaller N-Scale, but N-Scale has become much more popular. TT-Scale is fairly rare in North America, but is more popular in Eastern Europe and Russia.

N-Scale

N-Scale is 1:160. It is named for its track gauge of nine millimeters. N-Scale was first popularized in the 1960s and is now the second most popular scale, after HO-Scale. A short-lived competitor to N-Scale was OOO, or 000, called treble-O, which was manufactured briefly in Britain using the same scale.

Z-Scale

Z-Scale is 1:220. Standard Z-Gauge track has a gauge of 6.5 millimeters. Introduced by Marklin in 1972, Z-Scale was named because it was believed there would never be a smaller model train scale. While that is no longer the case, Z-Scale is still the smallest scale to have a large selection of equipment available.

ZZ-Scale

ZZ-Scale is 1:300. Standard ZZ-Gauge track has a gauge of 4.8 millimeters. ZZ-Scale was used by Bandai for models of Japanese trains, and is rarely used otherwise, but it was notable as being the smallest commercially-available model train scale for a time.

T-Scale

T-Scale is 1:450. It is named for its track gauge of three millimeters. Introduced by Japanese manufacturer KK Eishindo in 2006, T-Scale is the smallest commercially-available model railroad scale. T-Scale trains can be powered by three AA batteries, and have magnetic wheels to help keep them on their steel rails.

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