HIGH RAIL LAYOUT
Here is an overview and then a selection of photos from around the layout.
This is the modeled portion of downtown Douglas. The buildings have names from real businesses of the '50s, but except for the Grand Theater, there was no attempt to model the exact buildings. In the foreground, you can see the east end of station platforms.
As you go around the corner in the Douglas yards, you pass the roundhouse, the building with the largest footprint on the layout. This area stood with its tracks on naked white Celotex for three years, so I was excited to see the reaction I got when our local train club met here for the first time after finishing the building.
Not one person noticed!
After regaining my composure and pointing out the small addition, I was told, "well it just looks like it has been there all the time". Anyway, that is me enjoying my own trains with Mary Jane and my stepmother, Hazel.
Rock Springs is up in the hills above Douglas and is connected to it with a suburban rail line. Amtrak usually provides service, but as explained in the introduction to this section, when the Harmonics are right at Bell Rock, we can see most any railroad plying the Seligman and Paulden Lines. Today it is the neat Lionel Pennsy electric commuter cars. Since they are operating on Harmonic Energy, no cantenary is needed!
Here is the far end of downtown Douglas showing the trolley line serving town. From here it ducks into a subway to provide direct service to Union Station. Please don't ask if there ever was a subway in Arizona.
The west wing of the layout contains three towns, Rain Mountain, shown, Seligman and Aguila. Rain Mountain and Aguila are primarily industrial areas and provide lots of traffic and switching opportunities when running freight trains. At Rain Mountain you can see the oil field and oil depot, cattle pen and lumber loader. Right now, the Santa Fe's Chief, led by the ATSF #3751, is roaring through town while in the background a freight is heading westbound on its way towards Paulden.
Below, on the shelves, are displays of some cataloged sets from the 1940's and 1950's. It is wonderful to contrast those icons from my youth with the scale beauties running on the layout.
On the wall are some of the railroad paintings I have been fortunate to have collected over the years. The near one was commissioned to artist, John Cooker, to do a scene of a 5000 series SP steamer passing in front of the real Douglas station. You can see the photo of that loco in the Railfanning in the 1950's section of this site.
Here is a close up of one end of the postwar set displays. It was great fun to put them together, researching the catalogs to make sure I had the right consist for each one. It is also a reminder that despite my enjoyment of the current, scale like production, it was these trains that sparked and maintained my interest in toy trains.
The Lowell branch line leaves the main line outside of Aguila. It then crosses an aisle on an Atlas bridge and climbs into the mountains to the town of Lowell. On the way, it crosses Hell Canyon on a bridge I scratch built after a photo session at the real bridge, which is located about seven miles north of Paulden. Check the Lowell Branch page for a description of building this new part of the layout.
Now, here are some shots from around the layout
Layout Photo Album
American Flyer Layout