Winter on the Old Town Model Railroad Depot Layout (part 2)

 Winter comes but once a year here.  Usually lasting from Mid-November until Mid-January.  This photo essay is part 2 of a 2 part Winter special.

Created in 2014 by an enterprising, experienced, and motivated group of friends, headed and financed by O gauge enthusiast Gary Hickock, the layout at the Old Town Model Railroad Depot (OTMRD) was in danger of being scrapped forever at the end of 2019.  Then in walked a family, David, Mana, and their son Miles.  To their dismay Gary explained to them in his normal introduction to everyone who walked in, that the Depot was closing at the end of November, just shy of Christmas!  This couple ended up making an offer days later, saving the Depot, and along the way finding me to help run the business, and the layout.


2020 has not been nice to most every model railroad club, museum, and group worldwide, OTMRD none the less faced shutdown after shutdown.  From Mid-August until the first few weeks of November, we enjoyed some visitors "like normal."  Once again we added snow to the city scene as had been done for the previous 5 years, but we don't get to share it with the public!  Read along in this multi-part series showing some intricate scenes on our 'normally open to the public' O gauge layout.


As with any museum, OTMRD depends on the generosity of the viewing pubic.  Please, if you can do so, made a donation though OTMRD's website, or purchase some products!

"Get your news paper!" Even with the winter weather, the local newspaper men are still out!

One of the most favored views from the back side of the big city in OTMRD is main street.  Dozens of vehicles were customized with headlights and taillights.  All the stop lights function with an MTH traffic light controller.

Shotgun Tom Kelly is a local legendary radio DJ from San Diego.  Tom himself is a model railroader, and often stops in to relish in the details and catch up with the staff of OTMRD.  He has a building dedicated to him on our layout, and is often one of the first things visitors see when entering the city side for the first time.

Most O gauge model railroads have one more operating accessories.  OTMRD is not without!  Mel's Diner greets visitors when the enter the City side.  Operation of the accessory is on request, activated by train operators.

A row of elaborately decorated hot rods are gathering in front of Mel's Diner.

Mr Floyd's barber shop is right behind Mel's Diner.  This exemplifies the numerous structures located in the big city.

Welders are active near the entrance to the local Roadway trucking yard.

Classic Semi trucks and Roadway trailers populate the yard, with forklifts and yard workers in abundance.

The Roadway yard features a siding where warehouse employees empty boxcars full of freight for loading into Roadway's delivery semi trucks.

Downtown Big City features dozens of illuminated signs from Miller Engineering.  The tall building next door to Big City Police Department features this amazing American flag!

While this was a brief, but detailed look at some intricate scenes on the OTMRD layout, countless others await visitors.  While the ongoing pandemic has indoor museums locked up and closed, we at and myself, Manager of the Old Town Model Railroad Depot as my full time employment, wish to continue to share the layout with you.

Old Town Model Railroad Depot can be visited in person:
2415 San Diego Ave, Suite 107
San Diego CA 92126

Please note that with the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, visiting hours are drastically reduced, and can change often.  Check the website on the day of your planned visit for current hours.

Stay tuned for more articles in the days and weeks following Christmas!  My initial photo edits identified 20 winter photos, with countless non-winter scenes to come soon. Read Winter on the Old Town Model Railroad Depot Layout Part 1 here.

© 2020, Photos and text by Josh Baakko, Layout property of Old Town Model Railroad Depot