Alameda County Central Railroad Society

 

About Us

Welcome to the ACCRS FAQ page.

During run days, the visiting public asks lots of questions. Some of the more common are answered below.

What gauge are the layouts?
How long did it take to build/set up?
Can I run my Lionel equipment on your track?
What does admission cost?
How fast do the trains go?
How much did it cost/how much is the layout worth?
What's my x worth?
When are you here?
Where's the third rail?
Do the trains ever collide?
How many people does it take to run the layout?

What gauge are the layouts?

We have HO, O and On3 gauges, but only O and HO scale. For reference, O scale is 1:48, or 1/4 inch = 1 foot. HO is nominally 1:87; strictly speaking, it's 3.5mm to the foot. Trivia note: O scale "standard gauge" measures 1-1/4 inches between the rails, making it a scale 5 foot gauge instead of a prototypical 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches.

How long does this all take to set up?

The layouts are a permanent exhibit at the Fair, and as such, don't actually get "set up" for each show. However, we do spend a sizeable amount of time in the months before the fair checking all the trackwork and controls, in the hope of reducing unxepected downtime while we're open to the public. As you can see from the photo, there is quite a bit of wiring to keep an eye on. The photo presented here represents the wiring behind one of the at least nine control panels on the HO layout. There is also a considerable amount of track hidden from view, and as you can imagine, this trackage must be in especially good repair to ensure good running during a show. It has taken us close to 20 years to get to the stage you see when you visit, and work continues in fits and starts as someone comes up with a new idea to try and we build it. We also spend a significant amount of our time on maintenance and repair of the existing railroads.

Can I run my Lionel ® equipment on your layout?

Probably not. The type of rail, the type of track and the type of power the "three-rail" or "tinplate" Lionel trains use are different and incompatible with ours. However, Lionel has produced lines of "two rail" models in HO and O scales that can be used on the club layouts. Unfortuanately, there are rumors circulating that Lionel has recently abandoned the HO market.

What does admission cost?

No. We are a free exhibit any time we're open. That said, we gladly accept donations. We use donations to pay for most of the material used in the construction and repair of the layouts. Club members are volunteers- none of us get paid for any of the time or effort that we put in. In fact, we each pay yearly dues to help support the club.

How fast do the trains go?

How much did it cost/how much is the layout worth?

What's my x worth?

When are you here?

Where's the third rail?

Do the trains ever collide?

How many people does it take to run the layout?

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