The J.B. Logging & Mining Railroad

The J.B. Logging & Mining Railroad

2022 On30 AnnualBy Josef Bingisser/photos by the author

My modeling started when I was a kid in Switzerland. I never forgot the train ride to my uncle’s wedding in East Germany. It was a beautiful summer day and I frequently looked out the open window at the steam locomotive that pulled about 10 passenger cars. I had on my best clothes, and after we arrived at the destination, my mother had to wash my white shirt that was covered with black spots from the locomotive smoke passing over the cars. That trip impressed me so much that I asked for my first Marklin train set after we got back home, and the rest is history.

My first layout was in HO scale in a 2-car garage, and it was featured on tour during the 2008 railroad convention in Anaheim, Calif. My interest in modular railroading came after frequent visits to the local train store (The Train Crossing) in Costa Mesa where I was introduced to Dain Leese, who had started the California South Coast On30 Modular Group club.

After a few more visits and conversations with Dain, I was hooked and joined the club. All seven modules I built are to CSC club standards so they can be easily joined together with other club members modules and exhibited at 4-5 annual train shows around Southern California. This standard also allows my modules to be linked up with California Central Coast and California Central Valley modular groups.

J.B. Logging & Mining Railroad

In 2014, the company I was working for was sold and closed their headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif. The new owners made me an offer to move to the new engineering headquarters in Lagrange Ga., and after some sad goodbyes I moved and started my own On30 modular layout.

There are no On30 clubs near where I live so I started to brainstorm what kind of a layout I could build that would incorporate the six modules I took with me and continuously run trains. Up to that point I had not built any loops, so over the past 5 years I expanded the layout to 10 modules including the two loops on either end. The size of the layout is 16′ x 22′ and represents the period from the late 1800s to about 1940 in Colorado and California. Although mostly freelanced, it has some structures that still are in existence today….

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This article was posted on: August 1, 2022