The new layout (Part IV), the evolution continues…

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Local coming into town on the first operating session of the Rails West layout

This is a long overdue update on the Rails West layout.  My layout continues to evolve.  My fondness for different railroads has always been problematic from a layout planning standpoint.  This over-inclusive fondness in reality leads to some creativity, variety, interest and dysfunction.

In my most recent update, I had planned to evolve from the originally- planned “ATSF in Roswell, NM in the early 1990s layout” to the “SP-DRGW merger era in the mid-to-late 1990s.”   Shortly thereafter, I decided to start digitizing the slides I took in my late teens.  Might have been a mistake.

Since then (for about nine months straight), I have been fixated on the era of those slides (late-1970s to the early-1980s)–all the railroads I loved were in business, lots of variety, no tagging, first generation diesels, attractive billboard paint schemes, cabooses, F units, all in all, just a richer version of railroads than I see today or before that for that matter.

That seed has grown and caused yet another evolution of the layout.  I will likely be sharing more details in the future, track plan, industries and introducing my operating scheme that has led to seeing my layout more as almost a theatrical stage than a traditional layout.  More on that later.

But what I wanted to share in this post is my first real operating session (of sorts) simplified as it may be.  I was very happy that there were no stalls and the layout performed very nicely.

The above image shows my local coming into town.  I will let the captions largely narrate the session.



The local proceeds past the piggyback ramp toward the next drop off — the team track.


Spotting the new loads onto the team track–a load of lumber and a load of fresh produce for a grocery distributor.  The BN and NP boxcars are empty and will be pulled.


Spotting the new loads.


With the new loads spotted on the teamtrack, the crew positions the empties destined for the mine.


With the loads from the mine pulled, it is time to spot the DRGW empties.  The BN and DRGW have an arrangement to share empties at the moment since the loads will be routed for a portion of their route on the Rio Grande.


The crews backs down the line to put the caboose back in the consist but to also shove the empty DRGW 2-Bays onto the mine lead.


With the empties spotted, it is time to head back to the yard.


Easing past to team track.  Jim from the grocery distributor waves as he checks out the paperwork.

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Cruising past the piggyback ramp.  Still no movement on the trailers the crew spotted yesterday.


Heading out of town.

Way more to come.  The layout is in its infancy, but  I wanted to share the first operating session.




3 thoughts on “The new layout (Part IV), the evolution continues…

  1. Pingback: The new layout (Part IV), the evolution continues… | Rails West

  2. So the three loads of corn go around the curve to the dairy which had been the elevator in the previous set up? And the piggyback ramp is being tried out before you cut the spur back? And is there still an interchange with a short line on the track down by the mine?


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes on all three for now, but it could change. I am re-thinking a few things. I now want a bakery for instance. Hope to have a new diagram showing the revised industries in the near future. The dairy unloading site may still become a feed mill.


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