Prairie Scale Model Railroaders is an HO Scale model railroad club in Lombard, Illinois. What makes us different from most model railroad clubs is that while we have varied interests and skill-sets, we're primarily interested in prototype modeling and prototypical operations.
We occupy a 7,200 square foot space that, a few decades ago, once housed an 8-lane bowling alley. The size and shape of this space will ultimately allow us to build a railroad with a mainline run of roughly 2,000 feet, with broad, sweeping curves and passing sidings that will accommodate 40-50 car trains.
At present, we have completed bench work construction and the "Upper A side" has approximately 400 feet of mainline track laid with a reversing loop on each end. The "Upper B side" adds another 400 feet of mainline running along with a secondary branch line. The Upper A and Upper B sides can be run as one continuous trip around the upper sides. Drywall back-drops have been installed and painted on the upper level and scenery is progressing along the main line.
The yards have been completed at both ends giving us 12 tracks for train classification and storage that can be accessed from both ends. The first turn of the 15' diameter helix is complete. When finished, the helix will reach the Lower A and Lower B sides. These sides will offer another 800' of mainline. Current projects include, building the suburban line around the outside walls which will connect the main layout with the club meeting room. The club room will include a large urban passenger terminal as well as a switching district and staging tracks. Also progressing is the installation of more industry sidings along the main to allow more switching/local operations. Our first operating session was held in June 2014.