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January Layout Tour
by San Diego Webmaster
Contact layouts [AT] sandiegodivision [DOT] org

San Diego Division - January Layout tour

Duncan McRee's Donner Summit RR
Southern Pacific 1953, HO/HOn3
The San Diego Division of the NMRA invites you to the January Layout Tour, one of our monthly model railroad activities.

The Donner Summit is an HO/HOn3 layout representing the Southern Pacific crossing of the Sierras (HO) and its interchange with the Nevada County Narrow Gauge (HOn3) at Colfax around 1953.

The layout is a 3-layer multi-deck housed in its own building behind Duncan’s house. It features mountain scenery with steep grades and numerous tunnels. The motive power is all completely dead-rail with power coming from Li-polymer on-board batteries with DCC control over radio. The dead-rail was self-designed by Duncan who has high level expertise in electronics which he teaches to grad students at UCSD. 

The layout will be operating during your visit and is housed in a shed in his back yard.  The layout scenery is 100% complete with hand-painted backdrops and has numerous structures.

Note that this may be your last opportunity to visit this layout because Duncan has plans dismantle it.

There are 10 stairs down to the layout and it is not, unfortunately, wheelchair accessible.

Additionally, Duncan’s company Tam Valley Depot, is also located on the property. Duncan has offered to let us visit his Tam Valley Depot manufacturing area. 

Duncan is the designer of the famous Frog Juicer, manufactured by his company Tam Valley Depot.  Tam Valley Depot was established in 2008 by Duncan who has been building model railroads since he was 14. Duncan sells the boards and controllers he originally designed for his own use.