Librarian E-Mail:

Great Model Railroads By Allen Keller Vol. # 15


Volume 15 - The Yosemite Valley of Jack Burgess
The Yosemite Valley of Jack Burgess is as close as you can get to having a time machine that will transport you back to August of 1939. Jack is a stickler for historical accuracy not only as it relates to railroad equipment, but to life in general. Everything on this multi-level HO layout: the signs, the structures, the people and the automobiles are stamped with authenticity.

Being this accurate requires extensive research into the railroad and the era. With this detailed knowledge, his structures and rolling stock are scratchbuilt to exact dimensions.

The YV duplicates the passenger, logging, and mining operations that made the railroad possible.

Jack will show you little-known sources of prototype information that you can apply to your own railroad. The California Golden Hills are Jack's specialty and he'll show you how he gets the right look for his scenery. Contest winning models grace the layout, and this master will share some of his prized models with you.

The Yosemite Valley is a Great Model Railroad because of Jack's unswerving devotion to accuracy and to high modeling standards. Both Jack and his wife, Jacque, enjoy sharing the YV and the fun they have modeling a prototype railroad.


By George Ardwin
Jack Burgess has built one of the most authentic model railroads that I have viewed to date. His YOSEMITE VALLEY R. R. follows the prototype as accurately as one can do it.

His research has been exhaustive, and Jack has over 1100 photographs to authenticate his work, plus many books. This HO scale layout is multi-level and is 20' X 14' in size. The era is set at August 1939. The season is summer, which explains all the "Golden grass" that can be seen in California at that time of year. The track is all handlaid. The structures, rolling stock and just about everything else is SCRATCHBUILT.

The motive power is all steam. There is both freight and passenger service, plus some mining and logging. Jack shows some of the fantastic detail that he has built into some of his freight and passenger cars. You have to see it to believe it. One passenger car even has a desk that the drawer opens on it.

This layout has been seen in the magazines several times over the past few years. Jack is a civil engineer by trade and is very detail oriented. That's why his award winning models do so well in competition. His beautiful wife Jacque is also very supportive and helps whenever she can.

Here are the demos on this tape.

Review a video

vcr tapesWe are looking for volunteers to submit written reviews of the videos in the Division Library. No special qualifications are needed. Just check out a video, watch it, give us your written opinion - good, bad or indifferent - and you're an author! We'll publish the reviews in the Call Board as they're submitted, and post them in the on-line database of the library! Contact the Librarian or any BOG member for more information.