The Paradise Valley Railroad is an 11 foot by 14 foot HO scale model railroad. It is located in the Pacific Northwest and replicates the cities of Centralia and Chehalis Washington.The time period is spring of 1976. Burlington Northern and Union Pacific are the dominant trains on the system but you will also see Milwaukee Road, Amtrak, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Southern Pacific along with a few other roads.The bicentennial was a huge event in 1976 and we celebrate here with red, white and blue paint schemes on several locomotives.There are many industries including a large mint factory and potash storage.Engine facilities include a large turntable and roundhouse as well as a locomotive repair building with gantry crane.The mountain area includes a waterfall and river scene on one side with a farm and small town on the other. There is also a lighthouse scene perched atop a cliff with an ocean at its base. The layout has a double track mainline so a minimum of two trains can be ran for display, usually more.Trains are controlled by DCC which means microprocessors are installed in the locomotives allowing individual control as well as special lighting effects and sound.
Paradise Valley was founded in 1969 with a train set given to me by my parents for Christmas. It was manufactured by A.T.T. and is currently on display in the train room. Not long after, the track was mounted on a 3’ x 6’ plywood board by my Dad and I. It was stored under my bed when not in use. That lasted for several years before I claimed space for a fold up layout in my parents garage. My expertise grew leaps and bounds with that layout. The current layout was started in June of 2003 and is a passion of love. Thanks to my Dad, I am comfortable and enjoy electronics the most but I have fun with all aspects of the hobby.
Currently there are over 1,000 individual people and animals roaming around on the layout along with 200 plus vehicles.The locomotive roster hosts over 30 diesel locomotives and 1 steam. Rolling stock includes over 120 different types of train cars and cabooses.The mainline is 64 feet long which in HO scale is a little over a mile.Minimum radius is 26 inches with a maximum grade of 3.9 percent.The layout height varies between 42 inches and 48 inches.Each building has it’s own lighting as well as numerous streetlights, traffic lights and crossing lights.Trains and turnouts are controlled with a Digitrax Digital Command Control Empire Builder station.