The Southern California Railway
"From the Mountains to the Desert to the Sea."

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Concept

It should be no surprise that, when it came to designing a layout for this space, I once again drew upon the rose-colored experiences of my youth. What began to take shape on paper was a point to point design with storage tracks and return loops at each end representing a medium-density mainline which would link the high desert of southern California with the citrus-growing coastal valley via a sharply-graded mountain pass. Jointly operated by Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific, the desert side of the layout would reflect SP operating practice in signaling and engineering while the citrus district would be Santa Fe all the way. The emphasis would be on the flow of perishable traffic featuring a segment of ex-Pacific Electric trackage (operated by the Southern Pacific) serving the Foothill citrus district. The Santa Fe in turn would operate the Prenda Spur serving the Orange County District. There would be only one modeled yard, a sort of freelance version of Indio on the SP in the California desert. Sidings would have to accommodate long trains and helpers would be the rule in the mountains, especially on SP's legendary Iron Ore train. The era modeled would be loosely between 1960 and 1965.


Desert Side, Southern California Railway

Citrus Belt, Southern California Railway

Coast Side, Southern California Railway

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