Current Layout by Bob Werre

Layout Name:

"Great Plains Northern"

Layout Status:


Track Type:


Layout Space:

20' x 24'

Layout Style:



100% complete



Railroad(s) Modeled:


Control System:

DCC (Digitrax)

Featured In:

NASG Dispatch, Feb 1994, pg 17

YouTube Channel:


Back in the 1980s, Bob, along with a number of the Houston S Gaugers club members of the time, raised the roof of his two-car garage to build a dedicated space for his layout. An external, but enclosed staircase was added on to gain access to the space. A horizontally-mounted door covers this staircase, so that one can walk around the room without falling down the stairs. A simple knock is all that's needed for someone to open the staircase door. The layout was built before DCC, and so it has seen many electrical upgrades over the decades. Bob is a professional photographer, who, in addition to his industrial clients, also photographed many layouts of all scales around the country, which have been published in many magazines over the years.


(copyright © Bob Werre; used by permission)

(copyright © Bob Werre; used by permission)

"Thunderhawk Mine", which was built up from a B.T.S. "Cabin Creek Coal Tipple" kit.

(copyright © Peter Vanvliet; used by permission)

The mine, all lit up.

(copyright © Bob Werre; used by permission)

(copyright © Peter Vanvliet; used by permission)

(copyright © Peter Vanvliet; used by permission)

(copyright © Peter Vanvliet; used by permission)

(copyright © Bob Werre; used by permission)

One of Bob's electronic uncouplers stopped working, so it needed to be replaced. He called out his maintenance-of-way crew to do the work on his layout. First, the crew brought out a River Raisin Models Crane to dig up and lift out the old uncoupler (left). Then, an A.C. Gilbert #644 brought in the brand new unit to restore track operation back to normal. Note the supports the crew needed to place under the crane to stabilize its heavy load.

(copyright © Bob Werre; used by permission)

Bob took this photo on his layout, after he had a local modeler help him diagnose and fix the turntable's ability to actually rotate. Bob is a retired professional photographer. He stated that it took him several nights to get this shot, as it required after-dusk settings. He used 6 LED lights, some blue gels for the "mood", and then photo-stacked five shots in Photoshop to bring the whole scene into focus. The 2-8-2 is a custom built model of Southern Railway heritage, but Bob decorated it for his Milwaukee Road. Bob's photo appeared on the inside cover of the March 2024 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine in the NASG promotional ad campaign.

(copyright © Bob Werre; used by permission)
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