Sacred Mountain

This massive structure was one of the first things the visitor saw when entering the layout room and helped set the tone for other things to come when touring the layout. The most common reaction we got is "WOW!" The reason it was named Sacred Mountain was that it appeared in all of the design options first presented by the layout committee, therefore it was "cast in stone". The mountain featured several ravines, an ore mine, a logging camp, and towering peaks that reach nearly to the 9 foot ceiling. Inside the mountain was a turn-of-the-century diorama with a dual-gauge HO & HOn3 line running through it. This diorama was not visible in the main room, but could be seen when opening a door in the meeting room. A little like Brigadoon.

Eight years in the making, this imposing landscape covered nearly 120 square feet. It used 30 square yards of screen wire and over 200 pounds of plaster. The support structure was built much stronger than in flatter areas because of the anticipated added weight. This was, by far, the largest project ever attempted by the Society. Coloring of the surfaces was done by a combination of acrylic and oil based paints and several stains, plus India ink washes on the rock outcroppings. On top of that was several cubic feet of Woodland Scenics ground foam in various colors and textures and hundreds of trees. More than 600 man/hours were utilized in the construction. Not visible to the visitor was built-in access for maintenance of the scenery and the track work within. This made the project more challenging, but was worth the effort.

High up in the mountain region, we find a turn-of-the-century logging camp with cars ready to be loaded with freshly cut timber. These will take the long journey down to a mill and pulpwood plant in the valley.

The Sacred mountain area had with standard and narrow gauge track work on three levels, with a number of tunnels, bridges, and a lot of details with several valleys and striking rock formations. The fascia board was masonite using a gentle curve. All of the corners on the layout were curved for a more pleasing effect.

The scenery was begun at the edge of the layout and progressed inward. This goes against the rules of scenery but is a natural trap that modelers fall into. While it makes the front of the layout look good, it also makes the rest of the work much more difficult to complete. That's part of the reason why the completion of this area took so long because we found out how impossible the rest was going to be. Some of the finished areas had to be done over. Scenery should always be started at the rear and progress forward. Besides being easier, it helps keep the finished areas protected from spills, etc. In this case, because of it's huge size, much of the work was done standing on ladders from within the mountain.

A Daylight emerges from one of the tunnels at Sacred Mountain. The signal bridge employs working signals, as featured all over the layout.


The Wagner Ore Mine, with the capacity to handle many carloads each day, sits halfway up the mountain. This was originally built by the late Al Wagner for his home layout. It was later donated to the Society. A dedicated branch line winds its way up through the mountain region for many miles until it reaches this level.


This is an overall view of the region looking south. The  mountain itself measures 9ft wide and 9ft high. There was built in hidden access to allow for maintenance of the scenery and track work, as well as any troubled rolling stock.


  Click on the maps below to take you to other areas.

Roseville   Roundhouse   Staging Yards   Allenton    Trempe Power & Light   Harvey IndustrialSouth Middleton    Union Station  Devils Gulch     Proviso Yard    Veterans Park

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Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2010