The Limpia Canyon Northern RR, part IV (San Angelo)

Across the Great Hall and tunneling into what used to be my daughter’s room (she says she left home because of all the train noise in her room) is the town of San Angelo, which has some similarity to the real town of San Angelo in West Texas.

LCN San Angelo correct

Located in the real town of San Angelo is Hischfeld Steel, served by the Texas Pacifico Railroad who I was employed by.  Steel plate is delivered to the end of a very long building where large steel structures are welded together. Steel beams are unloaded from gons and bulkhead flats further down under the white overhead crane supports seen in the distance.  All rail shipments are inbound, the finished structures are trucked out.


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On the LCN it is Hoof Steel and Fabrication that receives steel plate and beams by rail. Unlike Hirschfeld Steel, Hoof Steel also ships out its products by rail, steel structural shapes in 60 ft gons and large tanks on 90 ft flat cars.

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Steel coils also come in by rail.  This is the steel coil unloading overhead crane.

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Here we see where the steel plate and beams are unloaded.

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Steel pipe is unloaded here by a tracked crane with a vacuum attachment.

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Hoof Steel and Fabrication is a busy industry.  Rail cars are often moved around with their tractor.

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Occasionally high side gons are loaded with scrap steel here at the end of track where these 90 ft flats sit after their loads of steel plate were unloaded and they were shoved here by the tractor so a gon could be loaded at the fabrication building.

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Hoof Steel has their own “triple ace” covered gon for material that needs to be protected from the weather.

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Also located in San Angelo is San Angelo Appliance and Furniture.  It distributes appliances and furniture in the West Texas area.  Good deals can be had if you purchase directly from the warehouse here.
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The third industry served by the LCN in San Angelo is American Recycling that receives baled cardboard in 60 ft box cars, seen below on the very left.  The baled cardboard is shredded and used as packing filler.  In the real life San Angelo, Butt’s Recycling shipped baled cardboard to Mexico in 60 ft flat cars.  By having an industry that receives shipments from all over the country the LCN sees a variety of road names on the box cars.  The Butt’s cars were all SP and SSW box cars coming through the SP interchange in Alpine, TX.
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Here is an overview of the LCN’s San Angelo.
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Next time we visit the big city of Magdalena.
LCN logo 7 with n tighter

Derails…on purpose? (Part II)

Let’s see some derails used on a layout.  I plan to use derails on my “ATSF in Roswell in the 90s” layout, but I have a challenge that I will share later.

B. Smith’s LCN has a number of derails along his layout to protect movements along the line.


Derail at Hirshfield Steel in San Angelo, left side of track near bulkhead flat car.



Other end of Hirshfield Steel, note derail on siding at Butt’s recycling, orange, left side of track near brown box car.

Let’s visit the other side of San Angelo.


Note orange derail on right side of track at grocery distributor on the other end of San Angelo.

We will now go visit Marathon to check out the use of derails.


The cotton compress in Marathon has a derail, near locomotive. Looks like the local has holed up at the compress for the evening.

A derail is also used to protect the line at the spur off to the bakery in Marathon.


As is often the case in Marathon, the LCN local is holed up and this time left behind the derail on the bakery siding.

We have seen derails used at a variety of locations on the LCN.  The goal on real railroads is to prevent accidents from unanticipated movements of rolling stock.  Re-railing a few cars is always better than a major collision.  On HO layout, derails can be used to add operating interest, slow down operations and give an increased feel to operations.

In part III of this series, we will see a derail being used in an actual movement on the LCN.