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Now this is a train layout, 1,800 sqaure feet of it. It’s the pride and joy of the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society, Walnut Creek, CA, who’ve been at it since 1975. I like how the piece on Wired.com opens:

Before SimCity — even before Dungeons and Dragons — back when “computer” was a job title, people still found ways to vaporize countless hours of free time designing and maintaining private universes. In the analog world, such parallel realities were built with tweezers, glue and a spouse’s permission to cover the basement with papier-mâché massifs and plywood plains.

And this, on the system that runs the layout:

The society’s control systems are a steampunk fantasy: a roomful of vintage 1930s magnetic relays once used to route phone calls, clacking like mechanical dominoes with every move the amateur engineers make. A full complement of 30 members can run 10 individual trains simultaneously on the layout, though only a dozen or so are required for basic operation.

Giant Model Railroad Is an Analog SimCity [via Boing Boing]

More:
Rod Stewart in Model Railroader Magazine