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The Diablo Valley Lines: Overview.

June 29, 2008

The Diablo Valley Lines, named after nearby Mt. Diablo in Walnut Creek, Ca, features a 34 year old layout housed inside THE first building in California history built specifically to house a model railroad. It’s a 1970’s era pre-fabricated steel warehouse with a steel I-beam frame that creates an uninteruputed floorspace, which makes for a layout with little scenic compromises.  They’re an older MRR club, having been on operation since 1948.

Visit their site for Show times and visitor information:

The Layout

The DVL is a huge DC (analog) layout with radio-dispatched Central Traffic Control (CTC) style operation. It features one of the most diverse showcases of rail-related (model) transportation in the country with such attractions as:

-A healthy HOn3 layout boasting exciting operation, plenty of track and excellent scratchbuilt buildings along its lines.

– An actual Cog railway with impressive viaduct-style bridges clinging to scenery.

-An aerial tram connecting the cog railway with the summit of the mountain.

-Probably THE most extensive model electric traction system in California, complete with PLENTY of great street trackage and what looks to be working overhead everywhere the trolley line goes.  There’s some insane crossovers, switches and other fancy track work that will be a pleasant surprise to fans of Electric railways.

-Of course the massive Standard Gauge mainline with plenty of track (* Look at the photo below and the track schematic.) 

Here’s a (photo-shopped) overview of the Diablo Valley Lines. I patched over a few distracting access hatches with nearby scenery so you could appreciate the overview without having your eye focusing on non-scenic elements. This is the view you have when you’re running your train, not always the greatest, but it certainly is fun!

This unmodified photograph reveals all the access actually built into the layout. During the show, the layout operates on a day/night cycle. Most of the buildings are illuminated with tiny grain o’ wheat bulbs.

Here’s a very seldom seen or appreciated view from the other side of the room, taken from the highest peak (1,350 scale feet above the floor) revealing the seldom seen major Narrow gauge yard, in the bottom left, an alternate view of the main layout, and a pretty good snapshot of both the Dispatcher’s cabin (The small shingled shack in the upper left) The two guys in white shirts are conversing on the upper staging yard, unseen from the normal visitor.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lindarb permalink
    January 31, 2012 9:15 pm

    I am selling a NEW VHS tape entitled Diablo Valley Lines On Board. Produced 1991 by Entgleisen Studios for the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society. Running Time: 40 minutes. Let me know if you are interested.


  1. Rail Meet City » Blog Archive » A Visit to the Diablo Valley Lines

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