The Milwaukee Road Hastings & Dakota (H&D) Division models a portion of the old Milwaukee Road’s H&D Main Line between Minneapolis, Minnesota and Aberdeen, South Dakota in August of 1954.
Operation consists of various scheduled time/way freights & passenger trains, plus numerous extras and locals (called respectively "Dead" freights and "Patrols" in Milwaukee Road parlance). Scheduled trains are consistent with the actual H&D Employee Timetable for the period. Almost all trains do some work en-route, even passenger trains.
East of Minneapolis, trains from the LaCrosse & River (L&R) Division, as well as some thru trains off the H&D, run to/from St Paul, Minn (staging yard for trains to/from points east & southeast). West of Aberdeen, trains run to/from Roscoe, So Dak (staging yard for trains to/from points west & southwest). There is also a "live" branch line to Fargo, North Dakota, and interchanges with two other branch lines en-route.
The numerous way freights and "Patrols" perform lots of switching duties at major terminals and towns along the way. All together, there are 163 car spots at on-line industries and en-route branch line staging/interchange tracks have another 21 cars spots. A realistic demand based car card and waybill system is used. Scenery is underway and almost all structures are in place. There are over 425 freight cars and 90 passenger/express cars in service.
Crew lounge, refreshment area and restroom are all adjacent to the layout room with a full library of railroad books and videos to peruse between trains.
Layout Photos (click to enlarge):
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