Author Topic: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949  (Read 3515 times)

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Cajonpassfan

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ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« on: April 02, 2019, 01:49:57 AM »
+7
I've been toying with the idea of starting a thread on my LA Division layout for a while now, but the thought of spending more time on the net and less time on the layout was worrisome... It still is :P
Well, I'm retired now, so I'll start easy, for now, and we'll see where it goes. I can always shut it down, right?

The idea is to represent that section of the Santa Fe mainline between Los Angeles on the West and Barstow (and points beyond, like Texas, Kansas City, and Chicago) in the East. The layout's centerpiece is the west side of Cajon Pass, the climb from San Bernardino to Summit. Each station and siding between San B'dno and Summit is modeled fairly accurately; San B'dno is of necessity compressed but still substantial. The climb to Summit station is 35" on 2.2% grade, about 175' or 5.3 scale miles.  East of Summit, the doubletrack line disappears beyond a cut and heads for Victorville and then Barstow, a major 14 track staging yard (one can never have enough staging, I'm told). Barstow is not scenicked and is located in an adjacent room, a garage. The yard has hinged lids covering it when not in use to protect it from dirt, dust, and assorted critters.
It seems to work fine, with ocassional critter droppings up top.

West of San B'dno, the tracks dissappear beyond a convenient Pacific Electric fill, and head for Los Angeles along two lines: the Second District via Pasadena, used predominantly by passenger trains, and the longer Third District through Santa Ana River Canyon via Fullerton, used mostly by freights due to easier grades. This is also the line which splits off to San Diego at Olive, the Fourh District.

The west end of the railroad represents Los Angeles staging. It's another 14-track reverse loop staging yard, but this one separates the passenger tracks (LAUPT) and the freight tracks (1st Street yard along the LA River). Initially, I indended this to be another unscenicked/hidden yard, on the lower deck, but the opportunity to create a scenicked location representing downtown Los Angeles was just too much. This part of the railroad is more freelance than the rest of the layout, which is closely proto based. it assumes that LAUPT was built as a through station rather than a stub-ended terminal. As a result, it elevates Aliso Street rather than the railroad, and has the station tracks continue under it to the south. It's an irony that the taxpayers today are spending several hundred million dollars to make LAUPT a through station now, eighty plus years later.

The round trip around the layout, LA to Barstow and back on the double track is about 500'.

Why "circa 1949" you ask.
Well, I used to call it circa 1950, but my (uninformed😬) friends would say "Otto is modeling the fifties". Well, NO, I DON'T model the fifties, it's the late forties I find fascinating, through early '51. WWII is over, changes are in the air, but steam is still a significant player. The manufacturers can't keep up with orders for diesels and streamlined equipment. The Korean War erupts. The two railroads on Cajon, ATSF and UP, bring back steam helpers to deal with the onslaught of traffic. If there were more steam available in N, like the 3800's, I'd probably focus on 1947, but as of now it's the four years between '47 and '51. And since I have late snow on the mountains, it has to be late winter/spring.
The cutoff date for my modeling is Timetable 139, late winter 1951.

The layout room is 27' by 22', but not all of it is available for the railroad; there's a storage room and a workshop in the way. Barstow staging is in a separate, 20' by 4' space in he adjacent garage, as noted.

I'll start the layout tour with some pics of my evolving "downtown Los Angeles" staging yard, the west end of the railroad. It wasn't meant to be scenicked at first, but as it said, I coudn't resist. The back side will represent LAUPT, the front freight the First Street Yard. Much work yet to be done...
To be continued, I'm sure.
😬

Otto K.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 11:02:54 PM by Cajonpassfan »

C855B

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 02:02:28 AM »
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Looking forward to this!

Quote
...it assumes that LAUPT was built as a through station rather than a stub-ended terminal.

Rats! So you won't be modeling this scene, then:



I figured with your pinpointing your modeling period to late '47 to '51, this was in 1948 and would be a heckuva LDE! ;)  I wonder if the engineer received a parking ticket? I'm pretty sure he got an 'F', however. :facepalm:
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

johnb

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 02:04:07 AM »
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Can't wait to see more

Cajonpassfan

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 02:47:25 AM »
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Looking forward to this!

Rats! So you won't be modeling this scene, then:



I figured with your pinpointing your modeling period to late '47 to '51, this was in 1948 and would be a heckuva LDE! ;)  I wonder if the engineer received a parking ticket? I'm pretty sure he got an 'F', however. :facepalm:

Well, that engineer was a visionary, but lost his job over that well covered story...:)
Today, they are trying hard to make the through station idea work...
Otto

MK

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2019, 07:52:33 AM »
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Looking forward to this!

Rats! So you won't be modeling this scene, then:



I figured with your pinpointing your modeling period to late '47 to '51, this was in 1948 and would be a heckuva LDE! ;)  I wonder if the engineer received a parking ticket? I'm pretty sure he got an 'F', however. :facepalm:

Question.  So locomotive trucks, unlike rolling stock trucks, are actually held on to the body?  I thought the loco "frame" is just dropped on them and they put a chain on in case there's a crash/separation so the trucks don't go flying.  From this picture I thought the truck would have fallen to the street below?

CRL

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 12:29:29 PM »
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Was Wyle E Coyote at the controls?

hegstad1

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2019, 06:31:23 PM »
0
About time!!!  Popping the popcorn...
Andrew Hegstad

Cajonpassfan

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2019, 10:54:42 PM »
+1
About time!!!  Popping the popcorn...

Lol Andrew, I'll probably regret it. People will tell me my L.A. City Hall is not tall enough or some such :D
You better stock up on a lot of popcorn, because this may take a while... I really don't want this to take too much time away from modeling, and I have a lot of modeling to do on this monster...so easy does it, right?

I'll post a few more pics to "explain" the west end of my layout, Los Angeles (staging). The first one illustrates the tracks dedicated to passenger staging, the eight tracks on the right, with freight tracks taking up the rest. I figured that if the railroads did it right in the first place and made LAUPT a through station, like I did, passenger trains could move clockwise, entering under Aliso Street and departing via the multi-track curve towards Mission Tower before splitting onto their own right of ways. This angle of view is not normally possible without a hole in the backdrop.

The buildings between the back and front sides of the reverse loops are intended to form a viewblock separating the two yards (and partially hiding the freight tracks next to Union Station; UP freights will be staged on some of the tracks there. I call it "East Yard" in deference to UP's East LA yards). The tracks up front represent ATSF First Street yard, with the mainlines running adjacent to the L.A. "River", by this time a fully contained and engineered ugly concrete channel.

At its widest, this section of the layout is 48" deep, with 31! tracks across when counting the industry spurs, and at last count, 37 turnouts, all but 3 controlled by Tortoises under DCC macro control (that's a DCC version of old time diode matrices; a single track number input command throws up to ten switches at once to line them to the desired track. Sweet, and necessary in this kind of complex environment).

Unlike the rest of the layout, where I try to be as accurate as possible given the limitations of space, Los Angeles (staging) is much more freelanced, relying on recognizable structures and elements to convey the feel of the place and time, see pics below, both real and modeled.
Otto


« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 11:00:15 PM by Cajonpassfan »

Cajonpassfan

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 12:03:03 AM »
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[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

This should really have been my lead-in image for this thread: a jacket painting by my friend John Signor for his excellent Los Angeles Division book. Nothing says "Santa Fe in Southern California" better than this, imho. It's hanging on my trainroom door  8)
Otto
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 11:19:38 PM by Cajonpassfan »

Cajonpassfan

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 12:00:14 PM »
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MUSINGS ON STAGING

Over many years, I've been privileged to run on a good number of layouts across the country and make it a point to visit as many layouts as possible when traveling to see and learn about how other people handle various design and operational challenges. And I always learn something useful, things I like and even things I don't. One thing I learned is that well designed staging is clearly the key to a well operating layout.

Stub-ended staging requires time consuming (and boring) "restaging" and turning trains between sessions. I've seen this on many layouts and it's not for me. Fortunately, in N scale it's more practical to build staging with return loops, allowing natural flows without the need to turn trains. The only way to go for me on this layout.

Bringing trains in and out of staging is another question: road crews can handle that work (more on that later), or on a large layout, some have a dedicated staging operator to bring trains on and off stage where road crews take over. More realistic imho, for the road crew, but sometimes a boring "job" for the poor guy stuck behind the scene.

So... for the LA (west) end of my railroad, I'm doing something a bit different. LA will have a dedicated operator whose priority assignment is to bring trains in and out to San Bernardino. But, his yards will be scenicked, and there will be plenty of switching work between trains as time allows. He (and I'm reasonably sure it will be a he) will have access to two switchers. One will work the local industries and freighthose tracks on the back side of First Street Yard. There are about forty spots but only some of them will be worked during a session, see pic.

The second, the yard switch, will break up and make up some of the freights by working cuts of cars. He will also work the caboose track. Some of this can happen during op sessions, time allowing, or between sessions, and only time will tell how much can be done during a session. So much for the theory, we'll see how it works out in real life...

To be continued...
Otto






« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 12:03:19 PM by Cajonpassfan »

Cajonpassfan

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2019, 11:09:45 PM »
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Nobody asked how I get access to the backside of a 4' deep scene. Or maybe nobody cares :P I'll answer anyway...

There's an access "window" in the back. See pics. Today I installed hinges along the top of the lightweight panel to make it swing inward, and a kitchen cabinet magnet from Home Depot to hold it in the open, horizontal position. The little white thingie in the second pic, upper left, is the magnet. A couple of small slide bolts secure the backdrop in place when lowered. The backdrop panel has little overhanging "lips" to minimize the visible seam. Not great, but okay... Note the smog along the lower half of the backdrop. This is LA for you :|

The next step is to finish the 58" long Baggage/RPO building that goes in front of it. Ways to go before I sleep...
Otto
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 11:23:59 PM by Cajonpassfan »

Cajonpassfan

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2019, 11:14:57 PM »
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Question.  So locomotive trucks, unlike rolling stock trucks, are actually held on to the body?  I thought the loco "frame" is just dropped on them and they put a chain on in case there's a crash/separation so the trucks don't go flying.  From this picture I thought the truck would have fallen to the street below?

Sorry, didn't mean to ignore your question. I'm no expert, but apparently they stay in place fairly well? [ Guests cannot view attachments ]

MK

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2019, 09:16:06 AM »
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No worries!  I interpret no answer as I don't know so that's ok.  What a sad picture though!  :(

MVW

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2019, 10:47:37 AM »
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Nobody asked how I get access to the backside of a 4' deep scene. Or maybe nobody cares :P I'll answer anyway...

Otto

I was wondering! I was admiring your generous amount of staging in the first pics when it occurred to me that half of it was unreachable.

Enjoying the thread! And I'm on board with your thoughts regarding staging. If you have room, a series of concentric loops is the way to go.

Jim

Cajonpassfan

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Re: ATSF Los Angeles Division, circa 1949
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2019, 10:44:38 AM »
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Thanks Jim. Concentric loops do take a lot of space, even in N. In this case I had 48" to work with, and even then, I had to cheat. The inside track radius is a very tight 11.75". Visually, the tall structures on the inside of the curve will mostly hide it from view. Operation-wise, there will likely be a steam power restrictions on the two inside tracks; my first generation, four axle diesels and mostly 40-50' cars have  no trouble there. The mainlines (and passenger train tracks) are on the outside loops where the curves are generous 21" plus. The temporary "control panel" has the tracks restrictions highlighted, see pic below.
Otto