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John and Connie Coy's Glacier Line Layout


The Glacier Line Crew


Things are not always what they may seem to be. And, that is precisely the case with the Glacier Line Crew.


The Connie Coy and John Coy built-and-owned model railroad (O scale with the evil 3rd rail) is named: “The Glacier Line.” The reason? It is based upon the rail line that follows along the southern border of Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. Our railroad is freelance, but is based heavily on reality.


Connie and I (John) love Glacier National Park and have vacationed there often. Therefore, we captured pieces of reality and scaled them down to fit on our layout.


In 2010, the idea for this layout was born. It was built between 2011 and 2016. In late Summer of 2016, I started inviting people to come and see the layout. Several of those people are now on the Glacier Line Crew—our layout operating team.


Honestly, I never thought it would be anyone other than Connie and I running the layout. However, the Crew has eight (8) core Members now (2021), including Connie and me. In addition, there are 7 to 10 other people who on occasion operate the layout as well. We operate every Sunday night or every other Sunday from September to May basically.


In addition to the Glacier Line, I (John) constructed a Timesaver Layout—with the evil 3rd rail. A year after the Timesaver, Connie constructed her own Inglenook Sidings layout (yes, evil 3rd rail). We enjoy showing these layouts off at train shows or other public events.

After I had taken my Timesaver to several shows, I got the idea I wanted to create a “Glacier Line” shirt, because I really liked the look of Club shirts at model railroad shows. BUT we, the Glacier Line Crew, are NOT a club! 


Outward appearances are deceiving and one would logically assume we are a club. However, we are nowhere near to being a club! Just because we have a shirt or two—the 1st one was blue and our second shirt which was recently created is primarily orange in color—we are absolutely NOT a club!


We like our shirts! We enjoy our camaraderie. But, we are NOT a club! What are we then?


Connie and I are a benevolent self-appointed dictatorship.

She always wanted to be: “Queen” and I “The ruler” of my model railroad world! Ever heard the old: “My railroad, my rules!” saying before?


Clubs have elections. Clubs make decisions based on a democratic vote from Members. Clubs have a lot of organization and rules. None of that applies with respect to the Glacier Line Crew.


Connie and I truly value, respect and appreciate the friendship and input of our core group. Some of these folks have years and years of model railroad experience. Connie and I have incorporated many of their thoughts, ideas and suggestions into this layout. 


Many of these folks have taken part in major projects on the layout, including multiple operating sessions, but ultimately, at the end of the day, only Connie and I decide what happens with the layout.

I have kind of scolded a crew member (or two) a couple of times for using the word “club.” I've been involved in clubs before, including the NMRA Midwest Region where Connie is the Regional Secretary and I am a Director at Large. But, in no way, shape or form is the Glacier Line a club. It is a gathering of model train enthusiasts who love the hobby! 


Some of the crew model in other scales or are interested in other scales; not having an evil 3rd rail! All of us are friends. In fact, half this group, is a band named: “The Glacier Line Jammers Band.” Yes, really!


Clubs have many advantages. But, in the case of the Glacier Line railroad Connie and I constructed, with assistance from Core Crew Members, she and I wanted to be the decision makers, because we knew exactly what we want and do not want on the layout.


Therefore, our layout is truly our layout, although the Core Members play a HUGE role in making the layout the success that it is. This layout has been professionally videotaped twice by different production companies and has appeared in a host of publications and on-line. 


Connie and I cannot begin to share with everyone how much of an honor and privledge it is to be associated with this group of people! We are really proud of everyone as the entire core group of the Glacier Line has just earned their Achievement Program Chief Dispatcher certificates!


Currently, many of the Crew are working on volunteer hours for the Achievement Program. I believe there is a very good chance that 4 of Crew members are going to earn their Master Model Railroader certification in about the next three years. 

That would really be something to have four members of our relatively small group be MMRs!


So the next time you are at show and see us Glacier Line Crew Members, either in our blue or orange shirts, be sure to say hello, and remember, we are NOT a club! And, if you need some advice or assistance in earning points or hours for your MMR, we can help you out too!

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