SDSoNS Club Constitution


Club Standards and Procedures Pacific Desert Lines
First DCC Operating Session Video (its a large file)

Members Awards

SoCal, N Scale Event

Members Equipment
Layout Tour Progress on the Layout by Locations Goat Canyon Trestle

How To's

by Jim Bence

SDSoNS Active Roster Membership Applications
Western Prototype Modelers and Railfans Meet Proto Type Photo's Phone Video's,  New 10-22-2013
Article on a trip to the Carrizo Gorge by Chris Gurnzler More pictures of the Gorge by Chris Gurnzler New Video of the Layout and members equipment 2
Railroading and Modeling links of interest Installing LokSound Decoders by Jim Bence New Videos 2018
New Loads Friday Nights at the Club Something New


   The San Diego Society of N Scale (SDSoNS) is located in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum at Balboa Park, San Diego, California. The road name for the layout is Pacific Desert Lines (PDL); road colors: maroon and gray.  It is a volunteer organization with about 30 active members who spend their Friday evenings enjoying scale model railroading. The layout occupies an 85 by 16 foot area in the basement of the Casa del Prado building.  


Click to enlarge the Club picture.


Membership for SDSoNS is open for all to join!  

Interested in model railroading. Children under 16 require the supervision of a parent or adult sponsor. The club welcomes beginners and modelers at all levels of experience. Please fill out an application, and come and join the fun.  We also have memberships for people not living in the area.  Its called;  Member at Large ($15 dollars a year).  This way when your in the area,  you can come down and run trains.  (with an active member of course).  You will also get the minutes of all meetings, to keep you informed of all the goings on.  Any question please email us and we'll get back to you,  soon.  Or you can fill out the Membership Application.

SDSONS meet at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum every Friday evening between 6:00 and 7:30 till whenever...........to work  (play) on the layout.  And have some fun!!!!

Many club members are expert modelers whose award winning works have appeared in National Magazines. We are happy to pass along tips, techniques, and information.



Current Activities (09-16-2018)

Club site is up and running ................progress is happing?

        1) We are now working in Escondido located on the Branch Line.  Most of the track is completed, only feeders need to be installed.  The wire buse is being installed.  Soon we will be able to run some trains.

        2) Plastering around the trussle bridge near high pass is coming along nicely.

                                              Old News below, moving foreword.  Getting photos!


SDSoNS meet at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum every Friday evening at 5:00p.m. to work on the layout.  Visitors are always welcome; come through the rear door.

Business meetings are held on the third Friday of the month. All are welcome to attend and join.  The club dues are $15.00 a month.  With a initiation fee of  $20.00 when your voted in.  That covers the cost of the clubs shirt with logo, used by all members during club operations.  Member at Large dues are $15.00 a year.

For additional information e-mail me.


Club History:       

The whole thing started with an ad placed at the San Diego Whistle Stop train store by our founding father Terry McCann. Our first meeting was held at Terry's house with Marty and Jan Young, Clyde Farrell and Bill Fannon in the spring of 1972. Not much took place for awhile - a lot of talking and comparing notes - while a train ran around a circle of track taped down on the table. Things continued on like this, meeting at each other's houses until one night it was decided to form a club called the Southern California N Gaugers. Then came the task of finding a place for a layout.

After about a year or so of running a small layout built in Marty's garage, some space was acquired at 26th & B St. This was used for about 6-8 months with a large amount of bench work built, but nothing was in operation.

In 1974 the club moved to a location at 50th & Trojan. We started with modules that were used in the N-Trak modular layout at the 1974 N.M.R.A. Convention in San Diego. When we began a permanent layout, the construction was slow with only 5 to 6 members. After the layout became operational and about 50% of the scenery completed, a plumbing mishap set us back. With an all hands effort at 1:00 A.M., as much as possible was salvaged. The layout was soon back in operation as the Camelot and Westbend.

In late 1979 we were asked to be part of the new San Diego Model Railroad Museum in the new Electric Building in Balboa Park (now called Casa de Balboa). The club decided to disassemble the Camelot and Westbend and build a modular railroad to help promote N scale model railroading and recruit new members. We were now up to fifteen members with an 8' by 28' modular layout. The modules were displayed at the Toy Train Association meet in San Diego and at several NMRA - PCR meets.

In 1980 the club was joined by an Escondido, CA group (The Gandydancers). They brought with them some nicely detailed modules that were added to ours. Their club also brought some very talented people, which were a welcome sight to our members. Later in the year, the club decided to incorporate under the new name of San Diego Society of N Scale (SDSoNS). In January 1981 the club was awarded incorporation as a California tax exempt corporation. Other activities in 1981 were taking the modules to the N-Trak display at the San Mateo, CA convention and a Christmas display at the Bonita Mall in Bonita, CA.

With the beginning of 1982 the modules were on display at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Casa de Balboa. They were used for operation during the early construction of our current layout, the Pacific Desert Lines. We have approximately 1500 sq. ft. for construction of this California prototype railroad (roughly 16 ft. by 85 ft.). The route modeled is the original 1855 route surveyed and planned for the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad. This route stays inside the US, but was not the final route chosen. The present route that was finally built goes through Baja California, Mexico. Portions of the route we are modeling are the same as those of the present route, such as the area through Carriso Gorge.

Send questions about SDSONS to: SDSONS


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Monday, 23 October 2017


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