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                                              Our Mission
" This will be a site that is for the beginning HO modeler.  A needed resource during the design, building, maintenance and running of your layout.  As we have traveled down the path of learning it has been difficult at times to find a place that can offer information to one that is just starting.  That is our vision for this site and we hope you enjoy your visit. "


 Recent News & Updates:

4/13/09  Bigger Trains .. Bigger Curves
2/9/09  Grizzly Gulch Truss Bridge
2/4/09  Grizzly Gulch Truss and Gluing track How-to


  Who, What, Why and How:

Who we are:

We are Jay and David …

I am Jay and I am the “J” of the J & C Western Railroad.  I am a husband and a father of four.  I grew up in the Midwest which influences my vision of pieces of the layout which you will see.  My father working on the Rock Island for a portion of my life and also introduced me to model trains.  Bouncing back and forth from HO to N to HO I have found there are different pluses and minuses of both of the scales.  For the time I am sticking with HO and hope that during my adventure with the layout that space will be able to accommodate the visions that I have.  Now that I call the Great Northwest home my appreciation for the mountains, trees and scenery all around mixes well with experiences of the Great Plains.  It also does help me visualize, at least a little, what David is trying to see.

I am David the “C” of the J & C Railroad. I have grown up all over the west coast and my interest in railroading started with Jay pulling out a big box of older model railroad pieces, (more in “How we started”). After we started the HO drive I started collecting N scale pieces but haven’t started a layout… yet. My choice of rail lines is based mainly on what I have seen with a bit of Northern California hometown history.


What we offer:

We offer our experience, sometimes limited but none the less experience and the true trial and ERRORS for those who are just starting out or restarting in some cases. We have used several different methods of most applications and offer our results and opinions.

Why we started:

We started… well, because we wanted too… call it a hunt for our missed childhood, no really it was a new adventure to keep us away from the TV and becoming a lifelong couch potato.

How we started:

The story of our start and now where we are now is often a comical one, well to us anyways.  I (Jay) had always enjoyed model trains but it took many years before I would have the room to see my dreams of the rail line show itself.  One evening my friend and neighbor, David and I took some time doing pretty much nothing.  It all began innocently enough as we were down in the garage talking.  The subject of model trains came up and I broke open the boxes of stored trains that I had from a failed attempt at a layout some 14 years prior.  With that and a 2’ x 6’ sheet of plywood the J&C Railroad begins to take on its life.  With the layout growing 3 years to what it is a now 9’ x 15’ corner/side of the garage, that small sheet of plywood a center piece of the layout we work on now.  As I think back at my first beginning thoughts 14 years ago it seems amazing on how far the hobby has gone.  And with that I also find it amazing on just how far we have gone with the layout now. 

Where we are now:

From the start, a 2’ X 6’ piece of plywood to today we are at a 9’ X 15’ continuous loop to some degree triple loop with the switch back areas with DCC. We have grown to include a Roundhouse, Grain Mill, Industrial Shipping/Distribution center, Repair facility, Town, Staging yard, Dominant River, Mountains, and soon Lumber Yard/Mill.

Lessons learned:

I (Jay) would say the first lesson, just as anyone would probably say is planning.  But as I think of that, all the planning in the world could have been done but I don’t think the J&C would have grown to what it is now.  Sometimes with extensive planning one begins to over plan and then nothing gets done.  Also too much planning can cause one not to look outside of the box at new ideas.  We have gone through many ideas in our time and some were bad and some proved to work really well.  As we look back at where we started and where we are now a semblance of a better plan would have surely helped us along the path.  I do agree it is an important step and process that is needed. (David) And to add just a bit, from where we started the size of the layout has changed 8 yes EIGHT time so our initial plans we blown out the first step and each time we grew the plan changed drastically. But we remained flexible to this day. I (Jay) would just caution not to wrap ones plans so tightly that you can’t change in midstream a little (or allot in our case).  Always remember that no matter the changes …”Ballast will cover it”.

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