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Great Northwestern Railway
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Model Railroading is Fun!

Great Northwestern Railway

Providing Conestoga Service to the High Desert and Rocky Mountain States

Route of the LUXURIOUS San Juan passenger trains

Welcome to the
Great Northwestern Railway

A freelanced HO scale switching layout.


The GNW is an OPERATING model railroad.  That means we run trains as if it were the real thing... within reason.  These don't cost millions of dollars, don't require 10 years of seniority to operate, and no one dies if there is a mistake!  But operations on a model railroad is a lot of fun.  It's a chance to enjoy the layout, meet new people, and feel like you are actually moving freight.  

Planning to Operate at the GNW?  Download and Review the GNW Operator's Orientation (Now UPDATED to VERSION 7 incorporating the Phase III Buildout!)

What are the rules of the game?  Check out the GNW GENERAL CODE OF OPERATING RULES and Operator's Handbook.  Two versions are offered: One for printing as a booklet with each sheet printed double sided, the other for conventional (flat) printing and on-line reading, either single or double sided.


Want to set up operations on your layout?

While it may seem daunting, setting up ops is simply thinking through a few key areas, deciding how you want to proceed and then thoroughly documenting it.  The key to creating a believable operating scheme is maintaining a consistent concept and execution.  The success is dependent on how well you communicate the vision.  The link below takes you to a clinic presented at the 2020 Rocky Mountain Train Show outlining the process of developing ops on any layout.


Stories from the Shops

A collection of clinics, tips and techniques.

Layout Command Control

Integration of LCC onto the GNW

Layout Command Control, a.k.a., LCC, is a data highway for the control of layout accessories, such as turnouts, signals and other accessories. It can also accept data inputs like block occupancy and push buttons.

LCC Logo

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