The San Diego Society of N-Scale's Pacific Desert Lines is an N scale (1/160 actual size) model railroad. It is based on historical plans and documents which detail a turn of the century proposal for building a major railroad from San Diego to the east.
Meticulous craftsmanship has gone into the creation of the structures and track work in this exhibit. Club members have won awards for their painstaking efforts. The model of San Diego's Santa Fe depot was constructed using the actual blueprints of the building. The adobe roof tiles were cast with epoxy resin from hand carved moldings. The Carlsbad power plant has fiber optic strobe lights atop its chimney. Many buildings have detailed interiors, right down to the napkin dispenser and place mats on the tables at the corner cafe. If you look real close, you'll even spot some surfers in the water off the coast. A word of caution, however, beware of the pool shark!
The track work is all code 40 rail, each piece is only 0.040 (forty thousandths) inches high. Every fifth tie is copper and the rail is soldered in place by hand. There are 10 scale miles of mainline track on the layout. Turnouts are also hand made.It takes about an evening's work to complete one turnout and there are approximately. 500 turnouts on the 1200 sq. ft. layout.
The railroad is computer controlled and several trains can run completely unattended. In addition, a single operator can control the layout with the click of a mouse button. The San Diego Society of N-scale meets Fridays at 8pm.