My love for Modelling the Santa Fe
Railroad began when I was 7 years old, and was given my first HO scale
model railroad for Christmas from my parents. In fact I still have that
first Tyco switcher and 3 cars in perfect working order today. Dad had
made up an 8 x 4 foot layout for me with hand made station and
overbridge, and oval of brass code 100 rail, along with a river and hand
made overbridge and tunnel.
From that 1st introduction to model railroading, I caught the bug. Next birthday a Santa Fe GP20 arrived, and later some Amtrak Passenger cars that set the scene for me selecting the early 1970´s as my era. The layout grew to two ovals and a siding. Buildings sprung up along the road way, and more and more freight cars were purchased with my pocket money savings.
By the mid 80s the layout still 4 x 8" was now a busy little town, and I worked with dad to extend the layout by a foot on each side to form 6 x 8 feet. Along the outside of the main line I had loco facilities and a tram way that horse shoed around the main line and down the new busy main street. This layout lasted until the late 80´s when finally the chipboard in the baseboard gave way, and layout #2 was under construction.
The new layout had a solid pine frame and 12mm ply baseboard, again 4 x 8", but this time a lot of planning went into the track design, which accommodated longer trains, an entire mountain side and small township with several busy railroad industries. Still all dc powered, there were carefully designed track blocks, signalling and electrified turnouts throughout. The problem I had however was my ever expanding multitude of trains was outgrowing the layout. I maintained this layout until 2003 when I sold it to my good friend Alan.
Layout #3, began construction in
2004. It filled the perimeter of a 3 x 4 metre bedroom. The layout
consisted of a large yard based on the old Barstow yard, and the
township loosely based on Victorville. The main large bridge is of
timber and brass and has been modelled on Canyon Diabolo Bridge on the
ATSF in Arizona. The bridge is hinged and was used as a doorway into the
Recently I have sold off all my 1970´s era equipment, and have changed era to 1952-1954. The idea was to be able to model the late steam early diesel transition, along with the streamlined and heavyweight passenger trains that have a character of their own second to none.
Layout #4 is currently being designed ready for
construction in the second 1/2 of 2009. The layout will be 30feet x
14feet. This layout will be my interpretation of the Santa Fe 1st
District Arizona Subdivision. Inclusive of Needles, Topock Bridge,
Kingman, Hackberry and Nelson, Kingman Canyon and Crozier Canyon. The
layout will be early 1950s era, using NCE DCC, Peco & GT Code 83 track.
I am endeavouring to reproduce scenes based on photos of the area from
the 1950s era, to achieve as realistic a layout as possible. Track plans
have been sought also to copy as closely as possible to the prototype.