It turns out Jason Shron of Rapido Trains isn't the only guy with a real train in his basement. Dr. Nick Muff has one, too. In fact, he was two real trains in his basement.
Muff, who lives in Washington state, models KCS in the late 40s to early 50s in HO scale. Entrance to his basement layout is through an entryway that looks like stairs leading down to the tracks at Kansas City Union Station. Entry to the layout room itself is through a KCS passenger car.
|View from the cab.
The car, which Muff describes as a mock-up, is a third of the size of a real passenger car. Inside, it features items from a real car.
Entry to car is through an operating sliding door; the car itself contains a roomette, buffet-lounge (complete with a table set with authentic KCS Roxbury pattern china and flatware), restroom (that apparently works) and a small museum. The exterior of the car also looks like the real thing.
|Interior of the passenger car.
Exiting the car through another sliding door leads visitors into the layout room itself, which is home to his magnificent model railroad--and to a real (as in life-size and not a mock up) KCS F7 cab. Nick rescued it from a scrap yard and had it lowered by crane into the basement when his house was under construction.
You can read more about Muff's amazing layout and layout room in the August, 2011 issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist. You can also see a slide show of the layout and layout room on YouTube. A video interview with Muff by Model Railroad Hobbyist, with lots of footage of the passenger car, can be found here.
|Layout and F7; Photo by Charlie Comstock from MRH.
Unless otherwise noted, credit photos on this page to Dave Hikel, who took them during a 2008 visit to Muff's layout and posted them on a Model Railroader forum.