Site seeing – August 28 – 1980 Frisco S Scale layout “Cheltenham”

Tom and I have been out of contact for some time but recently reconnected on the Railway Modellers surprising best friend – “Facebook”. I’ve known Tom Potthast since my early days in Austin, Texas, since around late 1997 or early 1998, when I met him at King’s Hobby. Tom has been an S scale modeller since before I met him and pitched hard for me to choose that scale. Originally from St Louis he lives in Virginia. As I’ve noted in the title of the post he’s working on a 1980 era Frisco S scale layout. He’s not advised of a website or other online location so I’ll be posting and sharing photos of his layout here.

Site 1: Information on Tom’s layout “Cheltenham”


Tom told me that Cheltenham was a commuter stop, within the city limits of St Louis. The structure in the image above survived into the 1980s. The area Tom’s modeling is located between Hampton Ave. and Kingshighway. It is just a short piece of the railroad yet has plenty of switching potential.

St Louis Terminal - Zone 3 - Cheltenham Area

There is no official track plan. It was planned out using a full size mock-up before final construction began using a PDF of the area as a guide. I’ve added a section of that track diagram to show the area he’s modelling above.

Tom says that “… one day when I get my two-car-garage-like space it will include Lindenwood yard and a great deal of interchange with other roads such as the N&W (Wabash) TRRA, Manufactures Railway (Anheuser Busch), BN and Mopac.”

Site 2: Some of Tom’s S scale weathered cars

What inspired Tom to write me was the Martin Wellberg’s German Gmhs 53 weathered wagon. He supplied a few photos for me to share and promised more in the near future. RPCX 227 is the first photo showing a car that is lightly weathered.


Below is a car from the same series RPCX #101-#240. Built by Evans USRE (Blue Island, IL) in Lot 1169A of Nov 1973. Stenciled: Return to PC Sharonville, OH. These were eventually to become a part of the CNW fleet (series 540300-540436 cars) after Purina gave up the RPCX reporting mark in 1989. Image below courtesy of Steve Vincent and Railcar Photos.

The second photo shows Tom’s CO 2206. A covered hopper in CO series 2300-2374 built by General American Transportation Co. during Aug-63. I could not find a prototype photo of this car.


The next photo shows DRGW 15045 a 3-bay rib-sided covered hopper in the DRGW series 15000-15149 built by Pullman-Standard, Lot 8923, in 64.


I found a close match in DRGW 15006 in the same series on the Railcar Photos website. This photo is by Kent Charles.

Finally I’ve got a slightly wider shot showing two more covered hoppers and some of the layout and scenery.


Thanks to Tom for allowing me to post his photos. Looking forward to seeing more of the layout and rolling stock and locomotives Tom. Thanks for sharing.


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