The Stanislaus River bridge was a signature scene on Don Ball’s HO scale Stockton & Copperopolis layout. He scratchbuilt the structure following prototype photos and plans. The project was covered in the August 2016 MR article “Scratchbuild a wood trestle and truss bridge.”
The track plan for Don’s 37’-0” x 40’-3” HO scale Stockton & Copperopolis was published in Model Railroad Planning 2011. The model railroad, set in California in 1895, featured a 240-foot mainline run and Micro Engineering code 55 flextrack with handlaid turnouts.
Don wrote “Building a model railroad telephone system” in the November 2015 issue of MR. In the story, Don explained how he combined vintage equipment and modern components to get a working system. Don, using a breastplate transmitter and headset, is shown copying orders at the operator’s desk at Holden, Calif., on his HO scale Stockton & Copperopolis.
In addition to writing about his own modeling efforts, Don also penned features on other modelers. In his June 2019 article “Modern Minnesota short line,” Don shared the story Alan Saatkamp’s 11’-6” x 21’-0” HO scale Twin Cities & Western. In this scene, diesels from the Twin Cities & Western and sister railroad Red River Valley & Western are gathered in front of the enginehouse in Glencoe, Minn.
Don Ball model railroad images
Don Ball model railroad images: Don Ball, a contributor to Model Railroader and Model Railroad Planning magazines, died on January 21, 2022 at his home in Blue Springs, Mo. He was 73 years old. Through the pages of our magazines, Don shared his passion for modeling the 1890s. He wrote about his 11-1/2 x 12-foot Moraga Springs Northern in the 1995 and 2000 editions of Model Railroad Planning. The HO scale layout was inspired by the Sacramento Valley RR in California’s Sierra foothills.
In Model Railroad Planning 2011, Don introduced his 37’0” x 40’-3” HO scale Stockton & Copperopolis. In the years following, Don penned more than a dozen articles for Model Railroader on both his modeling efforts and those of others.
In this photo gallery, we’ll take a look at some of the images Don took for stories that appeared in MR and MRP, as well as the track plan for his Stockton & Copperopolis layout.
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Trackside Photos is a showcase for the work of Model Railroader readers. Send your photos (digital images 5 megapixels or larger) to: Model Railroader, Trackside Photos, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612; or upload them to fileupload.kalmbach.com/contribute. For our photo submission guidelines, contact Senior Associate Editor Steven Otte at email@example.com.