Layout Design and Operations Meet

Doug Gurin

Photo of Tony Koester

Doug Gurin began contributing to the art and science of layout design in 1977, when he helped Allen McClelland prepare RMC’s “Virginia & Ohio Story”. Since 1982, when Doug founded the NMRA’s Layout Design SIG, he encouraged layout designers and owners to share lessons and "make only new mistakes". He published the Layout Design Journal and fostered convention activities such as design exhibits and panel discussions. Doug’s many analytic articles and clinics covered such diverse topics as a primer on helix design, modeling a railroad’s personality, and freight procedure directories.

Before 1968, Doug Gurin built an HO layout, the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Ry, with 1914 scenery, handlaid track, and timetable operation. Subsequently, he has helped friends build a 1950s Pennsy layout set in Philadelphia, a 1950s B&M layout set in New Hampshire, a 1970's E-L layout set in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and an 1863 Union Army railway set in eastern Virginia.

Now a retired transportation planner, Doug is currently designing his own HO layout as a tribute to honor military veterans and the patriotic railroaders around the NY Port of Embarkation who helped win WWII. He’s planning to reenact 10+ Pennsy jobs to switch yards and waterfront piers for freighters and troopships, move homefront civilian and military passengers, and serve “Arsenal of Democracy” industries. Doug’s age and 600+ square foot basement require a simplified route schematic on multi-deck benchwork and the thoughtful selection and compression of signature trackage, settings, 1944 traffic, and finescale operating practices that would clearly convey wartime railroading.