History of the OI&GN Railroad

The Overton International & Great Northern Railroad was established October 3, 2003.

The conception to build a railroad was started during Jonathan Vetsch Eagle Scout project in March 2003. Part of Jonathan’s project was to repaint the stage area in the Overton City Park used for the Overton Bluegrass Festival each year. Helping with Jonathan’s Eagle project were Clint Phillips stage manager for the Overton Bluegrass Festival, Carl Vetsch Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 319 Overton, TX and Keith Parsons Mayor of Overton at the time.

Overton International & Great Northern RR

"Where The Eagle Still Flies"

During a visit to the Overton I&GN Model Railroad, we shot some video during an operating session.  With radios in hand and dispatcher at his station, the engineers and conductors of the OI&GN RR operated their trains without mishap.

Let’s do some rail fanning on this HO pike and take a look at the OI&GN Model Railroad from track side.

MoPac Locomotive
MoPac eagle hearld logo

The layout’s bench work is constructed using 2 x 4 and 1 x 4 for framing. The top of the bench work has 5/16 plywood covered with two inches of foam. All track is Atlas code 83 laid on H/O and N cork road bed. The layout is controlled with a North Coast Engineer Digital Command Control wireless system.

The layout is designed for operations sessions, with block control and train orders by local dispatcher. Switch lists and set out list of rolling stock are issued to members running local or thru trains during an operating session.

A Mini History about the I&GN Railroad

The International & Great Northern Railroad (I&GN) was a railroad that operated in the State of Texas . It was created on September 30, 1873, when International Railroad and Houston and Great Northern Railroads merged.

Originally, the I&GN operated 177 miles of track from Hearne to Longview, Texas, but at its peak it owned 1,106 miles of track. As the railroad expanded, it reached Rockdale, Texas in 1874 and Austin, Texas on December 28, 1876. The line extended to San Antonio, Texas in 1880 and finally to the US-Mexican border town of Laredo, Texas on December 1, 1881.

While painting was being done a conversation about trains and modeling was started. Keith Parsons made the suggestion that he would see about getting a location if Clint Phillips and Carl Vetsch would take care of planning and building of a layout. The first location was to be located above the Overton Chamber of Commerce building.

Due to access and liability issues concerning the second floor of the Chamber of Commerce building.  Clint Phillips and Carl Vetsch acquired the flower shop located at 122 Commerce St. Overton, TX.

The layout of the OIGN is H/O scale with point-to-point concept and have tie back for continuous running. Time frame of the layout is between 1960’s to 1984.  Modeling the region from Palestine, TX to Longview, TX on the Missouri Pacific, Longview, TX to Texarkana, TX on the Texas & Pacific. Tyler, TX to Jacksonville, TX on the Cotton Belt.

MoPac buzz saw hearld logo