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Modular Layouts

Onsite Modular Layouts and Displays

There will be many high quality modular layouts and displays at the Convention Center for your enjoyment.  We are very excited to announce that the Sundance Central Modular Layout will be in Kansas City for the 2014 NNGC!  The other layouts and displays that are coming to the convention will also provide a great environment to enjoy narrow gauge railroading..


To date, the following Modular Layout Groups have committed to be at the 2014 NNGC.  If your group is interested in being involved with the convention, please contact Dale Phetteplace at:




 The Mudhens

The Mudhens are a HOn3 group started in 1982 in St. Louis, MO that features but is not limited to Colorado narrow gauge railroading. The Mudhens are now a multi-state group featuring single track main line operation including multiple trains, switching, passing and staging several different consists. Both the larger original modules formerly operating with block and multiple cab DC (now modified) and the newer smaller tables operating with DCC are combined in current layouts. In Kansas City, a sectional loop with two branch lines will be set up. DCC, sound and interesting operation will be presented.

The members have built modules that recreate some of their favorite locations, such as Doe River Gorge and Cranberry on the ET&WNC (“Tweetsie”), Red Mountain Town (Silverton RR), Rico (Rio Grande Southern), Alpine Tunnel (Denver, South Park and Pacific), Chama and Lake Junction (D&RGW), while others built modules of freelanced locations. This will be the 8th National Narrow Gauge Convention setup for the Mudhens.  

Sundance Central Modular Railroad –              

The Sundance Central Railroad is an Fn3 (1:20.3 scale) modular layout from Odessa, Florida. The modular consists of 400 feet of hand laid code 250 aluminum rails that are hand spiked with individual tie plates onto wood ties with a total of 16 turnouts.
The modular was built by a group of seven model train enthusiasts. This diverse group is made up of people who have a passion of early narrow gauge steam locomotives to modern day standard gauge diesels.

The purpose for forming this modular group was to provide the public a realistic look at model railroading in a large-scale format. The modules are highly detailed from the scratch built supporting structures and building down to surrounding scenery. The trains and rolling stock that will be running on these modules will also be highly detailed and weathered.

Several members of the Sundance Central will be presenting clinics during the convention.

New Mexico Narrow Gauge Modular Group –    

The New Mexico Narrow Gauge Modular Club is a modular HOn3 scale model railroad club. In 2004, three modelers in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area got together and decided to form a HOn3 modular club. The club now has a total of 11 active members with 15 operational modules, more under construction.



The North Texas Narrow Gauge Group - The Elk Canyon & Western Railroad

The ECW&RR is a portable switching style layout using a track plan inspired by D&RGW trackage at Ouray, Colorado.  The layout is an “S” scale narrow gauge (Sn3) layout.  The layout is powered using digital command control provided by EASY DCC from CVP Products.

Being the third layout built by the NTNG, a lot of thought based on lessons learned went into the design of the layout.  The layout was designed to be transported by a small number of group members.  Each module is joined together using pattern makers steel dowel pins imported from Great Britain.  This makes set up a simple matter of plugging the modules together. Lighting on the ECWRR is a combination of fluorescent and low voltage halogen bulbs.

Another idea from Great Britain is the transfer table on the left end of the layout.  Most modelers in Great Britain have very limited space in which to create their layouts.  By necessity, British modelers developed a transfer table or “fiddle yard” to allow them to move trains on and off “stage”. The transfer table represents the “off stage” area of the layout.

One of the strengths of the NTNG group is that unlike other modular groups in which the builder owns an individual module, the ECWRR is a group effort.  A fundamental premise of our work is that the member who has the best skill or talent for the job leads or does that job.  This allows us to build on our member’s strengths.

The NTNG does have formal bylaws (somewhere) but the group has no formal officers or titles. A few members have earned unofficial nicknames.  Decisions about our project come about through discussion, debate and a consensus (most times) among the group.  The common thread among our members is a strong interest in narrow gauge modeling.


The Trout Creek & Western Railroad
From the Boulder Model Railroad Club a small group of folks interested in HO and HOn3 modeling have formed a HO Special Interest Group.   This HO SIG meets once a month to work on the TC&W’s layout, structures and rolling stock.  The layout, equipment and rolling stock is supported and owned by the individual members of the special interest group.  Over the past ten years or so, the layout has developed into its united sectional layout using a DCC operating system and powered by NCE equipment and throttles. 
Sitting between Colorado’s South Park and the Arkansas River valley, just up the mountains above the town of Buena Vista, is the little known Trout Creek Pass.   When mining was at its peak, in South Park ran the Denver, South Park & Pacific railroad, above the Arkansas River ran the Colorado Midland railroad and along the river came the Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad.  All of this was the idea behind the freelance short line railroad called the Trout Creek and Western Railroad with its tag of “Connecting the West”. 
The Trout Creek & Western Railroad short line serves as a connecting line for the western railroads to the mining and tourist mountain areas, the oil industries as well as farming, cattle and ranching businesses during the transition time period of the late 1940's, the 1950's and into the 1960's.    It is not unusual to see tourist, passenger, lumber, cattle, ore, oil, and mixed freight trains running both on the mountain narrow gauge and below on the standard gauge main line tracks of this railroad “Connecting the West”.


The OK O Scale Club

The OK O Scale Club was started several years ago by George Wallace, a retired Air Force officer. He built and displayed at train shows in the Oklahoma City area a standard gauge module layout. Another member, Joseph Grillo, a now retired Orthopedic Surgeon, also constructed a standard gauge O scale modular layout. Both of these layouts were displayed at the Oklahoma City December train show.  Mark Gardner, owner of Monticello cabinets and master joiner, invited George and Joe to his home for discussions on building a dual gauge O scale railroad in an outbuilding at his estate in northwest Oklahoma City. Construction started on this home layout with both standard O gauge and On3 rails on 2 levels. These layouts were based on the DRGW railroad and others, depending of the equipment each member had. This was the spark that started the group's effort to build an ON3 modular layout.
Efforts started in early 2008 to construct the first set of modules. Joseph Norman, CPA, and Ron Trautwein, a retired computer engineer/Information Technology executive, are now in the club with their modules. There are a total of 16 modules depicting the DRGW, Uintah, CS and other railroads with On3 trackage. Joseph Grillo has standard and dual gauge trackage. We utilize Digitrax DCC, tortoise switch machines and radio throttles.
There are plans to expand the layout with 4 more modules as Royce Brown, a computer engineer, and Bud Albert, a retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer, have joined the club. Lift out sections are planned.


The Near Sighted Narrow Gaugers
The Near Sighted Narrow Gaugers (NSNG), a round robin club, was formed in about 1989 in the south Denver metro area.  The original members all wore glasses, though none were near sighted. The club numbers in excess of 20 members now. In 2000 they decided to expand and build a portable layout to show the public what could be done in HOn3 model railroading. The original layout was displayed at the 2003 NNGC. Among other problems, individual module size proved difficult to transport and the decision was made to start over. The current layout is Free-Mo based. It is designed for operations, not continuous running.
Many modules represent prototype scenes, Colorado primarily, but anywhere else a member chooses. The layout can be operated from either side and can be set up in nearly any configuration. It has a large trestle (about 4' long by 16" tall), a representation of the Ophir Loop, complete with grade rising about 16" from the bottom of the big trestle to the top of the layout and most of the prototype bridges in full scale size. The Silverton yards, Cement Creek, Animas Forks, Bilk Trestle, Maddox ice ponds and Stanley Mining Complex are all represented on the layout, along with many freelanced areas. Ophir Loop is under construction, but parts may be present.