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"Two Railroad" Town from MRP 2012

Reedley, California was served by the ATSF and SP in the 1950s 

Reedley, California featured the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe running side-by-side through town in the 1950s. Some industries were between the two carriers' tracks and served by both, others by either SP or ATSF. This makes it a great subject for a layout, described in my article in Model Railroad Planning 2012.


A mid-sized room was available for this design. But since the client wished to reflect both the SP and ATSF tracks through town, there were really no options besides an around-the-room arrangement. The design reflects the real-life locations reasonably well from the doorway along the top wall and about half-way down the right wall. From there, we freelanced more liberally to incorporate some other desires, such as engine service.


The final design included an unprototypical interlocking crossing that was necessary to allow trains from staging to run on the correct line, ATSF or SP. The client felt that was an acceptable compromise in the modest space available.

Staging is below the layout, reached by ramps that are a bit steeper than I would like. In order to avoid crossing the door again for through-staging, we opted for stub-end staging, but with an “X-Factor" connection between the two yards to allow for quick re-staging of consists between (or during) sessions.

You may read much more about this layout and see a number of prototype photos in the 2012 issue of Model Railroad Planning.

And if you’d like help transforming a portion of your favorite real-life town into a model railroad layout in a manageable space, please contact me.

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