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Campbell’s Scale Models “Tall Curved Timber Trestle” times two

Displaying Campbell’s Tall Curved Timber Trestle with 2 kits arranged end to end was my first scenery project for the new layout. Many modelers built at least the single span in the 70’s but rarely seen anymore as the hobby has changed. Kit instructions have templates for a radius up to 36″ of which this is. The scenery is just roughed out so the main line could be completed around the room. Doubling the length allows a wider canyon floor that I wanted in this corner of the layout. A very subtile scenic effect is to make the canyon walls with different slopes so the trestle flows with the scenery.The extra trestle kit gives you two bridged openings that in this case allow me to have the lower mainline pass underneath into the next room. The left opening is for a mountain stream (Puerco River) that will run along side of the foreground tracks. This area will be included for incorporating our fictitious town of “Puerco” in the Puerco River Canyon.

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Where all the trains in the system are at 9:30 AM on any given day on our historic Santa Fe model railroad.

Seligman engine service and Work Train siding
When the “Work Train” is needed, it will be assighned a number by the dispatcher and run as an “Extra”.

Phoenix Junction in Ashfork
Train” #220″ is at the end of its run in Ashfork and is positioning passenger and express cars brought up from Phoenix with Engine #301. These cars must be ready in time for pick up by the East Bound Grand Canyon Limited and East bound Fast Mail.

All the passenger equipment has American Limited operating diaphragms as seen on the express baggage car.

Home of Escalante Harvey House and Santa Fe Freight Station
RDC “Extra” is used to shuttle fresh train crews either East or West to replace any other train crew personal that become “Dead on the Law”. Ashfork is a crew change town anyway for some trains.
The Ashfork yard has been re-graded for “Humping” cars out of Phoenix and other East Bound trains that need to be re-blocked with those trains. West bound trains are never humped here as they just pass through.

Home of the Frey Marcos Harvey House.
Train “#412” East Bound Mixed Freight waiting in the “hole” (inside passing track) for the West Bound Chief.

Grand Canyon Junction at Williams with Gorre & Daphetid “#240”
The Gorre & Daphetid Railway was sub contracted to serve as a tourist line between Williams and Grand Canyon.
A hillside scene will be built where the tunnel portal is to give the illusion that trains actually come from the Grand Canyon

Flagstaff AZ
Train #202 is an East Bound Reefer Express and being “iced” as we speak before it heads out across the High Desert on the Colorado Plateau of Arizona and New Mexico. The conductor is missing paper work on a few cars but they will get iced anyway.

Apache Railroad Junction at Holbrook AZ
Used as a return loop track for any direction just for now. Any train can be parked there and held for staging.

Winslow AZ
La Posada Harvey House
Major fuel stop and crew change town where #4 the East Bound Super Chief is stopped right now. Too bad I don’t have a larger area to model this facility better, but accept the two tracks and move on.

Gallup NM
El Navajo Harvey House
Train meet

123 Grand Canyon Limited West Bound 22 El Capitan East Bound

Yatahey Coal line Junction East of Galup #401 Coal Train West Bound

We created a fictitious “Navajo” railroad engine for for working the mine.

Albuquerque NM
Alvarado Harvey House 10 Fast Mail East Bound. This is a 12 car train headed by F7A-B-A on the main line. A passing track is on the left and used for switching industries.

Trailer Train siding Albuquerque NM#251 Trailer Train will be a West Bound after switching piggy back trailers. The model of the trailer train facility was from “Bridges and Buildings” book from Kalmbach publishing. The article stated that the prototype was a Santa Fe structure in Kansas City The lead unit of the Fast Mail is in the background.

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Cal’s City Transfer, Rail Truck Terminal

This is a scratch-built I made and forgot about. It’s called” Cal’s City Transfer, Rail Truck Terminal”, named after my cousin with our Model Railroad Ballast.

First, we lay the track using our 122 Yard mix Ballast. Then we laid out the ground cover with 101 red cinder powder with some 100 industrial dirt and 1030 Black Cinder powder. Mixed in we place some of the n scale ballast to add some rock to the mix. We use our of your Green Foliage & Blended Grass Foliage( No long selling).

On the building we use our 14 pigment kit to add color. On the roof we used 1410 (Sunset Orange) 1420 (Supai red) 1440 (White) and 1450 (Black). On the sides we use 1430 (Earth) and 1450 (Black).


Cal's City Transfer, Rail Truck Terminal with Model Railroad Ballast

Choose the size and color appropriate for your scale, locale, and complement your scenery colors. Many real railroads use the rocks available in the local area as ballast. So it’s good to know what color ballast your prototypical railroad uses for their tracks in the area you are modeling. If you’re freelancing, this won’t matter much. You can pick whatever color of model railroad ballast that looks good with the rest of your scenery. If you don’t like any of the available colors, you can mix the different colors to get the shade you want.

Experiment with this first using a small amount of the ballast, e.g., 1 teaspoon of one color mixed with 1 teaspoon of another color, and see if the blend is what you are looking for. If so, then blend larger amounts in the same proportion to use on your layout. You may wish to vary the shade of model railroad ballast you use in different areas of your layout. For example, you may use a darker shade around freight yards. Engine servicing areas than you would on the mainline between towns. However, I wouldn’t use too many different shades or colors on the same layout—the technique for applying model railroad ballast. When you’re finished fixing your model railroad track to your sub roadbed and painting the rails and ties, you’re ready for ballasting.

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A couple of wood frame houses

A couple of wood frame houses
Our foreground model was just built and the dwelling to the right was constructed forty years ago. Now does it make any sense to build a brand new abandoned house? Yes, as this is a quirk of a model railroader or any model builder. Next, I’ll install lights and do a night shot to emphasize the holes in the walls and roofs.


Both of the dwellings have been unoccupied for years, so the neighbouring flagstone company has taken the liberty of spreading their stone rubble beyond its boundaries.

Neither structure is a piece of cake to build, however, the abandoned house was the most challenging.

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You must admit, those brass engines host a lot of detail. I bought one to see what all the ballyhoo was about them. My first curiosity was to compare its performance against those die cast clunkers. Second, is the detail applied neatly? Third, Is it worth the extra money over reworking one of my clunkers? The answer is yes. What disappointed me was it makes the sound of an electric train and not a steam engine. Even with sound injected into the atmosphere, you hear the mechanical noise that would be ok if it were a diesel. Accept the fact it’s a good toy and enjoy it. The fact that its brass, I’ll use it for a “favorite train” and pull the “company special” with the first-class varnish and a couple of private cars if it whims me.

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Our fleet of city buses was very worn out by the time I was old enough to ride. Russell and I were 7 years old when he suggested we take a ride over to Laurium (3 miles) from our neighbourhood in Calumet. We scrounged up the fifteen cents and a nickel for a transfer if needed to get back home. It was a daring adventure at the time as our parents had no clue what us kids did in the summer roaming around town. We got home an hour later and none knew the difference until we bragged about it. Looking back, I’m glad we did it because the bus service was shut down a year or so after that.

The three ladies are going to catch this bus. Sitting on the bench are a couple of old scoffers betting on whither the bus would even make it to this stop. They know this particular unit has a bad right rear axle bearing, a wrist pin knock in the engine and chattering clutch. In the waning days of operation, it’s called “break down maintenance”.

And the dog, he’s been caught sneaking on the bus before.

This is a people-friendly bus stop with a newspaper dispenser, mail box, bench and phone booth. If you have a long wait, the diner can provide a quick bite to eat and/or something to drink.

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A 1950’s scene

A 1950's scene
A 1950’s scene

I like the looks of masonry structures for my 1950’s scenes with only a few wood ones as in reality. Most of them burned down by then. This angle of the scene is not appreciated as the viewer. You would have to lean over the layout to see it this way. The streets are laid out at an angle to the layout edge. To avoid those parallel lines that make scenes boring.

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