The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society (WCMRS) runs the Diablo Valley Lines (DVL) model railroad, one of the most mountainous models in the United States and one of the largest model railroads solely on HO scale. This model railroad features standard freight and trolley lines, narrow gauge, and interurban (overhead electric). This museum, run by a group of volunteers, is spread over a large hall containing model railroad Diablo Valley Lines (DVL). This railroad model spans 4,300 feet (1310 meters) of hand-laid rails, featuring meter gage, broad gauge and narrow gage. In a simulated environment, a variety of trains run concurrently and all of this can be seen from an elevated platform for a radius of 160 degrees. For an offbeat experience, a must-visit.
The two-story building in a public park in Walnut Creek, California, is the headquarters of the ominously called Diablo Valley Lines (DVL), one of the United States ‘ largest model railroads. The founders of the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society have been working on their incredible 1900 square foot model for countless hours since 1974, with around 4300 feet of track laid by hand using 175,000 toothpick-like ties and railroad spikes the size of staples.
Not only is the DVL considered to be one of the longest continuous tracks in the world, but it is believed to have the highest rail elevation, with tracks around 7 feet above the rest of the layout on a mountain peaking about 15 feet off the ground.
While it’s located only a short drive from the organization that introduced SimCity and Spore, the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society has stuck with these ancient methods and still makes the old-fashioned way of believing. Members run one of the largest train lines on an exclusively HO scale in the United States and have been serving at their current location since 1974.
The control systems of the world are a steampunk fantasy: a roomful of magnetic relays from the retro 1930s that used to route phone calls, clacking like mechanical dominoes with every step that amateur engineers make. A complete 30-member complement that runs 10 individual trains at the same time on the layout, but only a dozen or so are needed for basic service.
Nearly a mile of track winds through the miniature landscapes and small towns of the model, featuring replicas of a wide variety of buildings and sceneries. Craggy, yellow hills, made of a mesh of wood and wire, rise high above the head.
Although the terrain is not directly modeled on any spot, its dusky hues invoke what Ted Moreland member calls “freelance western railroad.”
Image courtesy of Jeffreymendel Jeffrey Nash – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50308966
This amazing landmark is located near the following must-see sights in Walnut Creek, California:
- Lesher Center for the Arts
- Lindsay Wildlife Museum
- Mount Diablo State Park
- Old Borges Ranch
- Ruth Bancroft Garden
- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
- Shadelands Ranch Museum
- Walden Park Disc Golf Course
All of these landmarks are located just a short distance from our location in downtown Walnut Creek, Spaulding Concrete on Locust Street.