Monday, October 12, 2009

Slim Rails in Stages

It is great to see another of my custom layout designs published in the commercial press. The latest article in Model Railroad Hobbyist October, 2009 (issue #4) describes an HOn3 layout based on S.P's famous narrow gauge Keeler Branch (former Carson and Colorado). The track plan had to be designed in stages, since the room could only be occupied a bit at a time. Model Railroad Hobbyist is always free to download here.

Click here for a better view of this this track plan. For the full description of the track plan and operations, and great photos of the real-life railroad, download Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine, October 2009 (issue #4).

The article is thoroughly illustrated through the generosity of railroad historian and author Joe Dale Morris. Mr. Morris has recently published an extensive history of the last decades of the real-life line, Southern Pacific's Slim Rails in the Sunset: 1940-1960 (Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society, 2008). The book is again available from the SPH&TS site or at dealers.

Unfortunately, I completed the design quite a while before Mr. Morris' book was available, it would have helped with some nagging questions. He is truly an expert on the topic.

The Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site in Laws, CA has preserved some of the equipment and buildings of the S.P. narrow gauge, and also generously made photography available.
The approval to publish photos of long-gone railroad scenes is sometimes very difficult to obtain. But when the copyright holders are as generous as they were in this case, it wonderfully enhances the final product.