Eastern Cascades Model Railroad Club

The Eastern Cascades Model Railroad Club began in Bend, Oregon, in August 1989. With the help of some friends, Ernie George had the HO (1/87 scale) railroad up and running in four months. Over the next 4 years, Ernie planned, funded and oversaw the completion of scenery, landscaping, signaling, railroad scheduling and formation of the club that would ultimately operate the railroad.

In late 1993, the newly formed club, now a nonprofit organization, was moved to its current location on land donated by club member Larry Barker. Ernie funded construction of a 1,650 square foot building on the site and by December of 1994 the HO layout had a brand new home.

During the next two years, the layout was reassembled and put back into operating condition. Then modifications were started, including extending passenger and freight yards. A new larger turntable was installed along with an engine facility and staging yard. The City of Georgetown began to rise out of the desert in the southeast corner of the layout. The area known as Bear Mountain, in the northeast corner, was torn down and reconstructed to reflect a mountain area where a logging line might have penetrated.

During the next several years, club members continued to add scenery, buildings and track. Control panels on the layout were updated with improved wiring. The area known as Rock City was torn out during the summer of 1999 and completely rebuilt for better operation. Early in 2000, the area that was known as Mt. Barker was torn down and a new mountain, Battle Mountain, was constructed as a reload site for the logging railroad.

Since 2001 the HO crew has been working on scenery, wiring improvements, track and rolling stock. Mountain scenes have been painted on the walls behind Headquarters, above Elmyra and behind Indian Ladder. The Camp One siding on the logging division was finally connected after Nick Van Tassel finished a spectacular curved trestle to cross over Headquarters trackage and the mill yard lead. New detection circuits were built and installed for the logging line at Battle Mountain and the reversing loops at Indian Ladder. The Headquarters control panel and surrounding area are currently receiving new scenery cover, and the skyline behind Battle Mountain is finally receiving clouds and trees.