Over the weekend we had an opportunity to visit an incredible O scale 2 rail layout, the Milwaukee Road Iowa & Dakota Division built by Ted Schnepf and crew. I’ve seen photos of this layout, and between my wife and I, we took several hundred photos while we were there, but photos do not do justice to the sheer size of this incredible layout. This layout can operate with 7 people, but Ted said that 30 people could comfortably be accommodated in operating trains.
Ted was an incredibly gracious host who gave us a tour of the massive, “multi” deck layout. I say multi because it runs, depending on where you are, between 2 and 7 decks high. There is staging above and below, and the layout seems to go on forever. Prototype size yards, 7 tracks, 13 tracks, and more, are spread around the layout, and O scale structures that are built to match the originals exactly are seen all around the layout. The rolling stock runs the gamete between Atlas O and scratch built with Intermountain, and some of Ted’s on RailsUnlimited brand mixed in. There are simply too many cars for me to fathom, but Ted could tell us who, when, and how, each of the cars was built.
We had an fantastic time visiting, came home with some kits to build for the Yosemite Valley P:48, and plan to go back to join Ted and his crew in operating.