A RailsWest Update



ATSF action in Houston, TX Nov 1978–©photo by C. E. Hunt


ATSF Freight coming into Mykawa Yard Nov 1978 II

ATSF action on Mykawa Road in Houston, TX Nov 1978–©photo by C. E. Hunt

You can blame  it on pictures like to above ones.

Change is the only constant for me it seems.   RailsWest is evolving a bit more.  As a 10-11 year old kid, I fell in love with railroads chasing (on foot) ATSF, MP, SP, Rock Island, BN and MKT trains.  I was thrilled when I saw F units.  Not sure why, I didn’t know at the time they were on borrowed time.  My first loves were F units, first generation GPs, 40-foot boxcars, scattered piggyback cars and…cabooses!

Recently, after absorbing numerous books on the early to mid 1970s, such as Santa Fe on the Great Plains By Roger Ziegenhorn and Robert D. Walz (Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society) and Trackside around Kansas 1960-1975 with Lloyd E. Stagner (Morningsun) and working with B. Smith on his Sanderson posts, I realized that I really wanted to turn back the clock just a bit to capture more of the era that first drew me into railroading.


I now envision the layout as a “stage” that depicts the American West in the early to mid-1970s.


The actors are the ATSF, SP, BN, RI, CNW, Frisco, MP and my Carson County RR. (More to come on the Carson County Railway.)

Though I am leaning more towards ATSF right now, I plan over time to have one or two first generation locos of each road suitable to run a branch line local out to Carson.  The Carson County Railway will take it from there usually.

I love each of these railroads and recreating a branch operation will bring alive my favorite chapter in RR history which coincides when I first fell in love with trains.

Again, the excitement of running to the rails to watch freights when I was about 10 or 11 was amazing.  The standout is ATSF F units in the billboard and red, blue and yellow bonnet schemes.  After that is first generation MP units for some reason in the old buzzsaw logo scheme.  I think of heat and the smell of creosote as faded blue GPs ease past me with the red dot under the cab window.  I think I saw a few ex-CB&Q units but I don’t have specific memories but that would have made sense.  I definitely remember CB&Q cabooses.  Beat up RI and MKT GPs are also great memories slowly passing by the old golf course and baseball fields where I played as a kid.  Catching Frisco action AR in the late 1970s was incredible as well.

Just wanted to explain what’s going on.


So, having said that, this is a little of my most recent weathering efforts.

Here are a couple of Tangent’s MP 4750s.  Tangent nailed these cars!  Just a little light weathering and they are truly RTR and ready to robustly bring my childhood memories back.  They just look so right.



I love these cars.  Next, is a Kadee IC boxcar.



Kadee did their usual solid job on these cars.


Got to have some 40 footers ready to go.


This is one of my favorites.  I remember seeing feed being unloaded from one of these in Houston about 1978.


Kadee cars weather very nicely.


Other side.



This Centralia caboose weathered very nicely as well.


“Re”-welcome to the mid to early 1970s.


Carson County for blog


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