Space limits my comments for this report to just one layout; I picked Edward Laityís Valley and Tekoa layout. Ed is retired and lives and models in Lilburn, Ga.
The Valley and Tekoa Railroad layout is modeled to somewhat simulate the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in the time period of 1895 that ran in the State of Nevada. The V&T was originally constructed to haul ore from the mines to the stamp mills along the Carson River. The towns, structures and even the name of the layout has it's origins from Biblical nomenclature. The main town of Tekoa grew up because of its location in the valley and has the only brick station on the railroad. Other towns on the line consist of Ophir, prospering because it is the location of Solomon's Mine, now producing a small quantity of gold ore and hence the location of the railroads yard and engine facilities which has enabled the citizens of Ophir to maintain themselves and prosper. The other town is Dan. The layout is 14' x 19' in an "L" configuration.
Ed was a most gracious host, taking time to explain to us the process of locating and constructing many beautiful scratch-built structures. His structures are a mixture of scratch and kit built. Rolling stock consists of 5 steam locos, an assortment of old time passenger cars, 35 and 40 foot box cars, gons, and ore and tank cars. Power control is by Dynatrol. Sights of interest consist of unusual names of industries and stores, man using out house, a fire in a barrel, a carpenter resting while building steps, a lady haggling a meat salesman, a dog relieving himself at a stump, etc. Sounds to listen for include babbling water, mooing cows, and the saloon crowd.