Silicon Valley Lines: Layout Tour - Bakersfield

Bakersfield is the "lowest" level of SVL. Bakersfield is the source and/or destination for a lot of SVL's trains. The fact that this area is a large staging yard is only part of the story. The entire yard is built on a movable platform in order to allow cars to be spotted without reaching into tight quarters. Not satisfied with manually rolling the yard in and out, some of the members of SVL decided that Bakersfield wouldn't be complete without a fully automatic system to reposition the yard at the flick of a switch. Because of the sheer amount of testosterone involved in building such a beast, we almost named the area "Binford" in homage to the 1990s Tim Allen TV show Home Improvement. For the rest of the story about Bakersfield, a.k.a. the MegaDrawer, click here. Since some time in 2006 Bakersfield has been de-mechanized to allow for the development of Bayshore. In the near future (winter 2008) Bakersfiled is slated to be re-mechanized. On the plan is the reinforcement of structural members and the installation of new wheels. To be more environmentally friendly a lower db prime mover will be installed. Additionally there may be some track expansion in the form of track extensions and possibly the addition of an "A" block adjacent to Bakersfield in the under-bench-world.

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Layout at a Glance

Size
Double deck, 23'x 72'
Scale
HO (1:87)
Theme
Freelance
Period
Transition Era to Modern
Height
Lower: 48"; Upper: 60"
Benchwork
Plywood box frame on steel supports
Roadbed
HomabedTM over homasote over 3/4" plywood
Track
Code 83 mainline Code 70 branchline, Code 100 in staging
Minimum Radius
36"
Turnout Minimum
No. 6
Control:
NMRA DCC via NCE PH PRO