Allen Keller is with owner Gary Hoover to introduce his Missouri, Kansas and Quincy Model Railroad. Hoover designed the layout as a railfan, he wanted to create a model railroad that was just as much fun to operate and photograph in HO size as it was to view in the full size. Hoover’s desire to create the ultimate railfanning experience has made the Missouri, Kansas and Quincy one of the most photogenic layouts that Allen has seen. Hoover will tear out scenes that he knows he can model better than what was originally there. It is evident that his skills have kept improving since the model was started in 1985.
The modern HO railroad runs from near Chicago to California with two divisions – the Northern and the Central. These immense distances are covered by varied scenes like stand-alone modules. Motive power from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which has taken over the MK&Q, plus Rio Grande and a few Southern Pacific units can be seen on the layout. Scenery and photography are Hoover’s favorite parts of the hobby, he frequently backdates scenes for photos and may permanently backdate the layout to the mid 1950’s. The layout occupies Hoover’s 24 by 64 foot basement. The minimum radius is 30 inches and the track is code 100. All visible turnouts are manually operated. The layout has hidden staging yards built under Sedalia and Castle Gate. The operation will begin just outside of Chicago at Oak Grove.