LIFE ON THE ECRR
Currently, the Eastern Cascades Model Railroad covers about 1,200 square feet with approximately 1,933 feet of mainline and secondary track, yards and sidings. The railroad follows no particular prototype but it does have its own color scheme. Members often bring in their own equipment, so the line sports a variety of continuously changing road names and vintages.
The mainline is a double-track folded loop with a number of crossovers. Leaving the mainline is a single-track mountain line with reverse loops. Branching from the Mountain Division is a single track logging line with an interchange that is still under construction. The main yard in Charlestown has 5 classification tracks, 2 departure tracks and 1 receiving track. The passenger station has 3 storage tracks and 3 run-through tracks. Steam and diesel service facilities include a 2-track diesel service island and engine house and a 3-stall round house with 7 garden tracks. A freight car and diesel back shop have also been added to the layout.
The club owns 68 locomotives, 455 freight cars and 43 passenger cars. There are 171 manual and 43 power turnouts on the layout to service 9 towns and 52 industrial sidings. There are 2 main line engineer cabs and a dispatcher along with 9 town operators. The railroad requires a minimum of 8 people for full operation and the current operating schedule takes about 2 hours to complete.
The railroad operates to a schedule. Freight trains leave the yards with full consists for delivery to the towns along the mainline. Each town operator must set out his own cars and cut his town's shipments into the train before its departure for the next town. He then uses his local switching crew to spot the arriving cars at the town's industries.
As of December 2018 we started the conversation process to convert the layout to DCC. We chose to use Digitrax for our system and will post updates and conversion steps we've taken to help others in their conversion process.