Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Site seeing – January 18 – the ‘Perfect Storm’ but in a good way edition

I’ve had an idea for a small layout, running around the mouse wheel that I use for a brain, for a while now. What kicked the idea off was a 2013 plan published in the Model Railroader for the Glendale Freight House that Union Pacific built there during what I ‘believe’ was the early 1950s. Bruce Petty has already built a layout based on the real location and using the UP freight house in Glendale. Let’s take a look at that first to see where we start from.

Site 1: The Union Pacific freight station drawings

Step one of this plan is to get a copy of the plans. They are available for logged in users on the MR site by clicking the link above.

Modellers in HO scale will need to enlarge the drawing substantially (which is doable at a local copy store)to be able to build directly off the drawing.

Big thanks to my next site owner for the idea about doing that. He uses the protective sleeves (clear plastic ones) to build on.

The model once completed using liquid polystyrene cement does not stick to these plastic sleeves and Bruce simply lifts the completed side of the model off the sleeve. Plan protected, model free, what’s not to like about that? I just wish I’d thought of that all these many years later. I did mention that I have a mouse driving the wheel that powers the mental machinery, right?

Site 2: Bruce Petty’s LA River Railroads site

Bruce’s website is a trove of information on the railroads of LA. His layout looks fantastic too. Of most interest to me was his article on the Glendale freight house build which you access from the link above. Well worth reading the entire page and taking in the method of building it. Clever, clever man!

This building rests on his Glendale module. When speaking to him via email earlier this week he told me: “… the modules for my layout are 18 inches wide and 5 feet long. If I ever move the layout goes with me easily taken down. All structures
and small detail parts come off the layout. On the Glendale module only the loading dock stays as it is concrete. No big deal to take this module down off the shelf brackets, it’s the end of the UP Glendale Branch.

Essentially the layout is an Inglenook (and exactly as the original). Bruce says that just like the original “… it gets switching crews from Southern Pacific and Union pacific. It’s a fun module to switch on and I can take it to shows.” What more do you need?

In the next post I’ll be taking a look at how I’d like to model this location as a stand alone layout. I’ll be taking a slightly different tack to Bruce’s excellent representation. I’ve been thinking about using an interesting technique to cover off the gaping hole in the wall exit to the fiddle yard that ought to work perfectly for this design; and all in 8 feet.

Additional resources:

Bruce has kindly provided me with images of the layout module. My thanks to Bruce for his kindness in being so willing in talking to a stranger and being willing to take photos of his layout especially for me to share with you.

All included images above are copyright of the creator and author: Bruce Petty. Used with permission on Andrew’s Trains.

Site Seeing: December 14

After I reblogged Rails West’s San Fernando Valley Branch post on December 7th I took a look around the web to see if there were other sites that had information on this very interesting branch line. Luckily I found one. I could not find a SPINS book in my stash of SP paperwork to cover the area however you could certainly find this information from many of the online dealers (found at the last link) today.

There’s a week’s worth of information here and I hope you enjoy reading through it all.

Site 1: Burbank Branch Industries, 1981

Bruce Petty’s website has some really fine information (including lots of photos) of the branch in the early 1908s that would of interest should you decide to model the branch or one just like it. It includes the names of the industries served and the car lengths of the spurs.

Site 2: San Fernando Valley Freight Station Photos

Another of Bruce’s pages this time with photographs of the freight stations along sections of the line. Nice if you wanted to model any of these buildings specifically.

Site 3: Bruce’s layout page

Bruce has a model railroad covering a portion of the branch that was featured in the 2007 Great Model Railways (Kalmbach Publications). Take a good look around and take a look at some of the links on the page for the modelling articles there. Really goo stuff.

Site 4: CLIC, SPINS, ZTS: Zones, tracks, spots Identification

Some solid information on the different forms of track and spot identification. Main site is in German but the page is written in English.

Site 5: An overview of SPINS and the TOPS system that underpinned it

A great site with a huge range of detail and links about the SPINS system and the TOPS system. And yes UK modellers that is the same system BR purchased from the SP in the 1960s.