Great Northern Railway, Cascade Division

The Great Northern Railway, Cascade Division, begins in Tacoma, Washington (staging), runs north to Everett and Seattle, and then east through the Cascade Mountains to Spokane (staging). It is constructed as a large point-to-point main line on three decks. Operation through the Cascade Tunnel requires helper service up the long grade and changeover to electric engines from Skykomish to Wenatchee (the heart of the apple district); then it's back to steam for the trip to Spokane. The Milwaukee Road, Northern Pacific, and Union Pacific all interchange with the G.N. There are three freight yards, a classification yard, an interchange yard, and a coach yard. Operations feature a 4 hour session with a 1/2 hour briefing, a 1/2 hour nid-session break and a fast clock of 2:1 which yields 6 hours of "train time". Several jobs can be handled as sit-down jobs but most are not. The layout has most track laid and operational. Although there are buildings, much scenery has not yet been started. We use Operations Road Show flagmen in multiple uniforms for each different road and subdivision.



Division or Location: 

Cascade Division of Great Northern Railway


Walk-in plan features freight and passenger trains on long mainline runs with switching


HO, standard gauge

Size of Railroad: 

34' x 52'; 870 cars


Mid - 1950's


Track: 99%; Scenery: 5%; Electrical: 90%

Control System: 

DCC, Digitrax simplex radio, telephone system

Number of Crew: 

Minimum: 10; Maximum: 20 (participants - OPSIG), 24 (actual)

Length of Session: 

4 hours, flexible end time, with snack/meal break

Scale Clock Speed: 


Traffic Control: 

Dispatcher, TT/TO, car cards, waybills

Radios Required: 


Listed Jobs: 

Total number of jobs: 24; * filled by local crewing;
   typically 2 person crews on locals
* Dispatcher
Interbay jobs
   * (Supervisory) yardmaster
   - A/D yard crew lead, A/D yard crew
   - Class yard crew lead; Class yard crew
   - Coach yard crew
   - Hostler
Wenatchee jobs
   - Yardmaster (crew lead)
   * Car Agent (yard crew)
Gold Bar
   - Yardmaster
   * Power desk operator
Road / local crew
   - A #1, #2
   - B #1, #2
   - C #1, #2
   - D #1, #2
   - E #1, #2
   - Milwaukee Road person

Additional Information: