Amazing limited production model trains.

City of Prineville Railway: A new chapter

On January 14th Barb and I celebrated 40 years of marriage. On that day, we moved the last truck of household goods from our home of 27 years in Portland, to the Central Oregon town of Prineville. You may have heard of the ‘City of Prineville Railway’.


You may have been wondering ‘what happened to Lowell’ as you have not heard from me for a while. This is the first time we have ever moved any distance like this and if you have ever done it, you know the epic undertaking it is. Especially after you have been on the same house for many years.
Why Prineville you ask? Barb and I have always loved Central Oregon and vacation here every year. This house, on a few acres, became available. Barb and I looked at each other and said, ‘we are not getting any younger if we are ever going to do this’.  And Boom!  Well actually I wish it was as fast a ‘boom’.  I will tell you for sure, I never want to move again, and never plan to.

Population here is around 4000. Sitting in the Crooked River Valley (where there is great fly fishing) and at the base of the Ochoco Mountains, Prineville is a quiet little town. The fact that the City of Prineville Railway still operates trains connecting the the BNSF on the Oregon Trunk Rwy, (catch the connection of my model railroad), is just a huge plus.  To have the quietness of the area (we are not in town) broken by the wonderful sound of a train horn echoing off the canyon walls is like heaven. And on special occasions, the steam whistle of the Mt. Emily Shay!!
Oh and by the way, there was also a family connection here that made the decision easier.  I thought it was great timing that Atlas released N scale CoP boxcars the same month we were moving. A good sign.
Now getting things back in order, the future looks like a green light ahead!
Share This:
Posted in ,

Lowell Smith

A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon. Read more

Share This:


  1. Michael Campbell on March 10, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Congratulations on the move, Lowell and Barb! The area sounds fantastic (especially the steam whistle). Please let us know if any lots open up nearby… you may get a neighbor soon!

  2. Lowell Smith on March 10, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Thanks Michael,
    We have had several friends say the same thing. It would be great to have our own rail community here! And, Prineville is only two hours from TRAIN MOUNTAIN!

  3. David Grundler on March 12, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Congrats! Dawn and I are so happy for you two. Prineville is a beautiful area.

    • Lowell Smith on March 21, 2018 at 9:15 am

      thanks David! It was a big move. Hope to see you again sometime.

Leave a Comment

What They Say:


Thanks for all the great trains – it’s nice to have such wonderful rolling stock on the layout.

S. S.

I got my new Santa Fe business cars, they are superb and worth the wait ten times over.

J. LaBoda

To say the least this is a HUGE development for N-scale and I, along with a number of others, are indebted to you for making these cars possible. Thanks so very much!!!

Rick S.

Every new release from your Signature Series gets me revved up for the rails.

K. Lyons

Thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you do for the modeling community. I can honestly say that my enjoyment of the hobby has benefited greatly because of you.


The thing I love about all the things you do is the fact that everything is so well thought out, so beautiful and so unique.  


My kids absolutely love the Christmas cars! The C.K. Holiday, along with the Carolwood and Disney cars makes a wonderful Christmas train. It made many a loop under our tree this year.

Jim and Jo Ann K.

Every aspect of the trip was professionally done.  You and Barbara were on top of every change and your matter-of-fact assurances speak highly of your professionalism.  Jo Ann is a retired chef  and we know what good food is, and the meals provided on the CZ trip were stellar! BRAVO to you and Barbara for…

Linda and Pete B.

Just wanted to thank you again for the opportunity to be with you and the many other happy folks who experienced the Feather River Canyon trip.  I know you put a lot of work into making this special trip a reality and it all came together extremely well!


Aside from the quality, creativity and originality, you are to be commended for your ongoing commitment to this (GAC) series, and all of your series of trains over a period of so many years.  There is always something to look forward to. Keep up the great work!’ D. K.

Hot-Off-The-Press Updates, New Products and Events

Don't miss out on the exclusive previews, new product progress reports, special invitations and Lowell Smith insider updates.

I'd love to have you on board via your email inbox. Sign up here and get the scoop!

Thank you for subscribing to the Lowell Smith Signature Series e-newsletter! We'll be in touch soon!