Our Model Railroad

This year's accomplishments were finishing the Fred Harvey hotel, and constructing and installing a train shed to keep our equipment in. We added a yard in front of the train shed, with a "Y" to turn trains around if necessary. By having this train shed, it saves approximately 1.5 hours time in carrying all of the cars out from the garage and setting them up.

Click on each thumbnail image below to see an larger image.

Just running trains on battery power in the winter.

Our train shed is modeled after an old Santa Fe engine facility in Barstow, California that was removed many years ago. I chose this building due to its apparent height (approx. 40'). This allowed me to install shelving above the cars/locos, to store buildings and other pieces of scenery. We built it in the garage.

I hinged the roofs for easy access.

Once the weather was warm enough and I had dug a hole for sub base, the concrete crew came in and poured a 6" slab.

Once the building was done, I invited some friends over, and we hauled the building around to the garden on two lawn carts.

Once in the garden we were able to lift it, set in on threaded rods where it was bolted down, roof sections re-attached, and then shingled.

And this is the finished building. Eight tracks wide, and 15' long.

After 2.5 years worth of work, and 2 trips to the actual hotel, we finally finished our version of the Fred Harvey Hotel, La Castenada, from Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Here is a close up of some of the detail Lorrie has added. We learned from a friend to glue our figurenes to clear plastic to keep them standing.

This was taken from the roof of the house during our annual open house, which was Labor Day. We had approx. 100 visitors that day.

Prior to our open house starting, one of the other club members of Chicago Area Garden Railways brought over his LGB Amtrack set. He wanted to see it run on wide radius curves. This is a shot of it stopped at the station.

Once again, we had a pair of Mallard ducks spend the entire spring in our garden.

The first time I ran a train this spring, I just put on one loco, with a couple of track cleaning cars. Well, the consist went into one end of tunnel 3 (14' long), and never came out. After laying down on the tracks at the other end, I found that some critter had decided to dig holes in the sub base and pile them up on the tracks. It derailed the SD-45, and closed the line for almost an hour while I figured out how to get the loco out, and then respread the sub grade materials. I added moth balls to all of the tunnels, and have not had any more problems.

Here is a shot of a triple headed freight going by the train shed.

Just a nice area of color and plant materials.

© Copyright 2010, John Rockey