Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Boulder City Branch of The UP

In 1930, the Union Pacific built a branch line from a junction on its Los Angeles & Salt Lake mainline, just south (west) of Las Vegas, to the construction site for Boulder Dam. The branch passed through Henderson to Boulder City at the end of the line.
A separate US Government railroad was built from Boulder City to the actual dam construction site on the Colorado River. The dam was completed in 1935, and the US Government line was abandoned at that time. Much of the right of way of the Government railroad is underneath Lake Mead.
The UP continued to actively use its line as far as Henderson, and still does today. In 1985, the UP donated the Henderson-Boulder City segment to the Nevada State Railroad Museum. This segment is still in place, although the grade crossing near Railroad Pass is paved over (see photo below). Some of the track has been upgraded, and a station platform and engine shed were built. There are plans to start operating tourist trains within a year or two.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

For my train buddy Tom in Anchorage!

Tom has to travel for business between Anchorage and Fairbanks and doesn't fly, he always takes the train and it's awesome from all his reports.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Nothing like The Santa Fe in New Mexico

This kicks off another great railroad weekend on SCALE RAILS WEST - The AT&SF in New Mexico was boiler-plate Santa Fe railroading.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

ATSF and SP operations in The Central Valley of California

I stumbled across this cool link. Check out this great detail of SP and ATSF operations in Central California.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

UP way out west....

You gotta love the UP work horses, even though they swallowed up my beloved Southern Pacific, they still keep the spirit of railroading in The West alive!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Over the trestle....

I need to build a trestle for my SD&AE layout. The New River Bridge at Seeley, CA.

I found this great website while searching for ideas on how to build trestle bents: Make and Take Trestle Building

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What color is track?

Everyone will chime in and say, black, brown, grey, rust...It depends on what part of the country you live in. I was train watching on The BNSF mainline through Fresno on The Fig Garden siding yesterday and realized it was brown with purplish-black tints to it. So I'm testing weathering track with a brown flat color.

Old school SP Bakersfield, CA

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blowin' through the windmills of my mind

From Lee at The Yuma Model Railroad Club: A Union Pacific train stopped for a brief spell while passing through Yuma Tuesday morning and its strange-looking cargo had many guessing what it might be. As it turns out, it wasn't alien spacecraft or some other type of equipment for exploring the universe, but rather windmills being shipped in pieces, to be assembled at a wind farm going up in the Barstow, Calif., area, said a Union Pacific spokesperson.
Photo by Randy Hoeft/Yuma Sun

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SP The Early Days from Chris Guenzler

This is a great page with some tremendous shots from the 70's and 80's, some great West Colton, Taylor Yard and various SP shots including the 1985 Olympic lettered unit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tour Route Finalists Named in Union Pacific Railroad's Great Excursion Adventure - You Route the Steam Contest

Omaha, Neb., January 04, 2011 – Fans of Union Pacific's legendary steam locomotives will determine the winning tour route in online voting that starts today in the final phase of Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure - You Route the Steam contest. Voting concludes January 17.
The four finalist tour routes were determined by steam locomotive fan voting November 9 through December 6, 2010.  The final four segments are:
  • The Tuscola Turn: Starting in Boone, Iowa, the tour segment travels east through Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, Mt. Vernon, De Witt, and Clinton. It continues toward Chicago through the Illinois communities of Rochelle, DeKalb, West Chicago, Glen Ellyn and Proviso, turning south to Woodland and Villa Grove before concluding in Tuscola.
  • The Little Rock Express: Starting in Kansas City, Mo., the tour segment travels east to Boonville, Jefferson City, Chamois and St. Louis before heading south to Cape Girardeau, Dexter and Poplar Bluff. It continues through Bald Knob, Ark., before concluding in Little Rock
  • The Baton Rouge Rambler: Starting in Dallas, the tour segment runs east through the Texas communities of Mesquite, Wills Point, Grand Saline, Mineola and Longview. It continues in Louisiana through Shreveport, Natchitoches and Alexandria before concluding in Baton Rouge
  • The Boise Limited: Starting in Salt Lake City, the tour segment travels north in Utah to Ogden and Brigham City. It continues to Pocatello, Idaho, where it heads west to American Falls, Shoshone and Mountain Home before concluding in Boise.
The winning tour route will be announced January 18.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

SP Branch Lines - Holtville Interurban Railway

I am a huge fan of Southern Pacific's branch lines here in The West. They weaved a spider web around Los Angeles and took on The San Joaquin Valley. Check out this cool site: SP BRANCH LINES  The page is part of David Coscia's great SP website. From Abandoned Rails, this is a cool branch on The SP. The Holtville Branch. I am modeling just one leg of the wye in El Centro of this branch.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lonely grade crossing on The SJVRR (former SP West Side Line)

This is in Kerman, CA just a few miles from the small yard

Poles to Prototype

Railroad telephone poles are one of the simplest and toughest elements of a model railroad to model. Some look toy like and others really look prototypical. In HO, I have used Atlas and Walthers poles and in N,
I have The Osborn Models poles, which look great, I just soaked the laser cut wood poles in a solution of water and black dry pigment paint. They look like creosote. I dabbed a bit of Polymark Medium Green Shiny paint used for painting shirts in a bottle with a small applicator tip to the insulators. They will be ready to install once I began detail work on my SD&AE HCD layout. I am getting the door, foam and frame up this weekend and hope to begin laying track.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Caleb Austin - 18 years old and a modeling master

Caleb models the Chessie and live back East, but what a modeler. He is only 18 and his small layout looks better than some club or museum layouts. Check out some of his work: Caleb Austin

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mark Lestico's got it going on!

You can find all you need to know and more on Mark's Cascade Sub, one of the finest N scale layouts in operation today. Click here As a RAILWIRE member, someone posted one of his great You Tube videos and I was mesmerized on how awesome this layout is. You will be reminded of Joe Fugates' Siskiyou Lines when you see the videos and read the article on the construction and presentation of the layout. Mark is to me a minimalist. Much like David Barrow, scenes are simple and represent a total area and goal to blend the elements together.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sunset Valley - Bakersfield to Taft

This railroad was built in 1901 and ran south out of Bakersfield, west through Maricopa, then northwest into Taft (originally named "Siding Number 2"). It was originally built to haul oil supplies to and haul oil away from the oil-rich area in the southwestern region of the San Joaquin Valley. Interestingly enough, a portion of the line was built atop the existing right-of-way of a former narrow-gauge line, the Buena Vista Reservoir Railroad.
In July, 1907, a 12-mile section of the tracks were washed out when the Buena Vista Irrigation Complex overcame its levee. The Sunset Railroad was consequently rebuilt along a new, higher corridor in just 34 days.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

X2011 from John Sing

Looking back to 2010, below is a handy recap photo highlight / URL reference list of all the 'you-are-there' photo/video model railroad reporting that X2011 West Facebook team and Convention Committee was fortunate to bring to you via the X2011 West Facebook public web page launched July 2010 NMRA National Convention.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Abandoned Railroads of Arizona: The Tucson, Cornelia and Gila Bend Railroad

In the early 1900s, the Phelps-Dodge Copper Company sought to connect their New Cornelia Copper Mine in Ajo (pronounced "AY-ho") with smelters in Tuscon, AZ. Since Tucson was located on Southern Pacific's Sunset Route, Phelps-Dodge decided to build a railroad line north out of Ajo to the nearest point on the Sunset Route at Gila Bend, some 30 miles away. Thus, on May 10, 1915, Phelps-Dodge incorporated their own railroad company, the Tucson, Cornelia and Gila Bend Railroad, to construct a 43-mile line between the copper mine at Ajo and a connection with the Southern Pacific at Gila Bend; the line was completed and opened to freight and passenger traffic on February 20, 1916.
The line saw considerable business, both freight- and passenger-wise for most of its life. However, as copper production at the New Cornelia mine declined in the 1970s and into the 80s, the railroad ceased being profitable, and the line was closed on April 12, 1985, bringing to an end over 71 years of service.
The TC&GB is one of only a few railroads in the United States that has sustained continuous passenger operations for over 70 years.
Both the freight and passenger depots of the TC&GB in Ajo still exist; the passenger station has been renovated into a local business.
The line was re-opened temporarily in 1995-1998 so the smelter in Ajo could be dismantled and removed; the tracks have remained dormant ever since.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Santa Susanna Model Railroad Club

They have a great swamp meet several times a year too!

Welcome to the Santa Susanna Railroad Historical Society’s website. This website is dedicated to the preservation of the historical Santa Susana depot and to uniquely educate the public about California’s rich railroad history and the enjoyment of model railroading. 

This is a uniquely interactive website, and we look forward to you participating in the rewarding experience of sharing with us your railroad knowledge or fond memories of the depot.  

Just imagine a fully restored 100 plus year old Southern Pacific Railroad depot with both freight and passenger trains rushing by day and night. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome to 2011 - Santa Barbara Sub on The SP Blog

Santa Barbra Sub Blog are some modelers doing some great LDE work on their layout.

Layout Facts

Name: Southern Pacific Santa Barbara Subdivision 
Scale: HO
Size: Two car garage 20 x 25
Prototype: Southern Pacific Railroad
Locale: SP Coast Line, California Coast, Carpinteria to Devon
(Possible third level to San Miguel)
Era: 1994 (Possible change to 1964)
Style: Point to Point
# Decks: 2 (possible third)
Minimum radius: 27”
Typical aisle width: 30” (Minimum 25”)
Minimum turnout: #8 main line sidings, #6 off main and in yards, #5 industry spurs
Maximum grade: 2% (3% on White Hills Branch)
Benchwork: L Girder, Open Grid, Shelf Brackets and Thin Walls Also threaded rod supports and laminated 1/8 plywood roadbed for helix

Joe Fugate's Siskiyou Lines 2007

Bruce Petty's Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley

Mark Lestico's N UP Cascade Division 2010

Charlie Comstock's Bear Creek and South Jackson 2010

Mike Danneman's D&RGW N 5x7 layout

David Barrows Cat Mountain and Santa Fe 1999

Fremo group in Europe Southern Pacific