Several years ago, inspired by the popularity of 'horizon pools', where the water appears to run right over an edge, I coined the phrase 'horizon layout' to describe a layout whose 'model horizon', if you will, merged visually with an unobstructed view of the real horizon. Ray Turner's MYSTIC MOUNTAIN RAILROAD is probably the most impressive example of that idea that I've ever seen.
So if you'll bear with me, we'll end July 12th with this layout, and pick up on Wednesday later on. First I'll give you an 'establishing shot' that doesn't really show the layout! (Be patient... you'll see!) This is an immense courtyard at the back of the house, and out there in the distance is San Jose - just about all of it. And two lines of track run back and forth across that stone brick wall; just part of 1200 feet that can be switched to run as a single giant loop, or two smaller loops. If you look down at the foreground left, you can see track emerging from a tunnel and running past a water tower and several buildings. (and way out there on the bench is me, videotaping an oncoming train that just shows up as a smudge of color!)
It's that configuration of track on the edge of the courtyard that enforces a panoramic point of view; and when combined with the setting sun, it allows 'horizon shots' like these!
That red building you saw at the beginning of the sequence belongs to the "Mystic Mountain Mining & Manufacturing" Co. I'll bet they call it "4M" for short. Here's a wider shot that shows where it is in the layout, but it sort of gives the magic away, doesn't it?
The layout doesn't begin out on the edge of that courtyard, and neither does some great modelling. Here, near the entrance, a train has already climbed one mountain and is crossing over to the next.
Here's a view from the base of the mountain.I got a kick out of that incredible stairwell climbing up to the town!
And here's the town on the top of the mountain.
Another photogenic angle of the floor of the mountain -
Down there in the shadows, a couple of fellows are going to try to stay warm through the night.
This wharf is a recent addition.The "Mercury Fish Canning Company" offers you "A Full Measure in Every Can."
On the dock, a rowboat is ready and waiting for the rising tide.Do you suppose these fellows have been eating too much of the Cannery's product?
This handcar shed is full of detail.
In fact, it's worth taking a closer look at that shed 'addition.' Looks like a blacksmith's shop or a small foundry?
A boxcar is being loaded with a lot of perishable goods!
This MoW caboose shows off it's elegant "Mystic Mountain RailRoad" logo.
There's also a separate "Fairy Train" layout on the grounds.
As the sun sets over San Jose, Ray Turner continues running his Mystic Mountain Rail Road.