The club was founded as an HO scale club and became operational in 1971. It has occupied its current site since then. The basic layout design for the approximately 360’ mainline has been in place since 1971. Many sections of the layout have been changed over the forty-five year existence of the club.
The layout is set in the transitional period of steam changing over to diesel. So the period modeled is late 1940’s plus or minus 20 years for rolling stock and motive power. The bi-level yard on the known as Wauconda (upper) Palatine (lower) of the layout was added in 2002. The upper section of the peninsula was added in 2014 called Youngstown and has a stock yard and coal mine.
As members come and go the layout goes through changes. When first started the Soo Line railroad had a major influence on the structures and town names used on the layout. By the late 70’s the railroads operating in the Pacific Northwest held influence. In the mid 90’s the railroads operating in the front range of the rocky mountains of Colorado had their day. Today, railroads operating out of Chicago hold influence. The layout today reflects an operation from the town of Wauconda Illinois to Madison Wisconsin.
The layout is a single track 360’ mainline with six passing sidings averaging 20’.
Bench work is of L-girder construction. Homasote is used as a railroad base. Parts of the layout have hand laid track and hand built turnouts (switches) built in code 83 rail. Code 70 is used in yards and sidings with a few sidings in code 55. The layout has 149 turnouts of which 35 are controlled electrically. There are 3 off mainline staging yards and 3 interchange yard points on the layout. The minimum mainline radius is 48 inches. The maximum mainline grade is 1.25%.
The layout was converted to Digital Command Control (DDC) for train operation in 2000, in early 2016 the layout underwent JMRI integration to control the signal system to be completed in 2017
Lake County Model Railroad Club 2017