The R&D railroad models the Southern Pacific Coast division in 1941 and is designed and built for operations. It resides in a purpose- built 24’ X 36’ building, with a double deck lift gate for easy egress. The railroad is double-decked, with the Southern Pacific Coast Division from Gilroy to Salinas on the lower deck and the Monterey Branch on the upper deck. The decks are connected by a single- track 5 level, custom built hidden helix that is equipped with sensors to indicate the location of a train.
The railroad has a 12 track staging yard. Each track is a through track, with the South representing Salinas/San Luis Obispo/Los Angeles and the North end representing San Jose/ San Francisco /Roseville.
The layout currently has 98% of the track in place. 76 FastTrack turnouts have been built and installed. Scenery has just started but many scenes are mocked up with models and temporary structures.
The railroad is NCE DCC controlled with wireless throttles, and hand thrown turnouts. Dispatching is done using Track Warrants via FRS radios. Concise documentation of all train operations is provided to assist operators in stepping into a new job.