Tag Archives: Texas

Site Update – New Gallery – Pyke Brush Cutter

A new gallery has been posted covering a very unique piece of UP M.O.W equipment I found back in 2000 on Austin’s Bergstrom Lead. This comes about because of a post on the MRH website where member cr9617 is modelling one in HO scale.

Not something that you see every day

Maintenance of Way equipment is a fascinating field of study and I was very pleased, as well as lucky, to have caught this piece of equipment on the Bergstrom Lead back in 2000.  (It is hard to believe that these digital images are almost 20 years old as I write this – where has the time gone?)

To view the gallery click here, or use the menu and hover on the Galleries > USA > Austin, Texas, Pyke Brush Cutter and click the last pop-out. Enjoy and leave a comment if you can.


Site Seeing – The David Barrow fan boy edition – September 24, 2018

We moved back to Australia in 2006. So, I have to live through others when they visit David Barrow in Austin Texas, my wife’s hometown, and where we spent 10 years from 1997. Trevor Marshall visited recently and came away with a great post on the man and his layouts – including his new small (comparatively speaking) O scale layout which really piqued my interest.

David Barrow’s layouts

Hi – my name is Andrew – and I’m a David Barrow fan boy tragic…

I first remember reading about David Barrow’s Cat Mountain and Santa Fé layout in the 1980s in Model Railroader magazine. As a young man, dreaming about my large future model railway plans, David’s layouts (there were at my last count about 17 versions of the Cat Mountain) were my ideal. While I dream of those massive layouts still I took another path to small layout designs.

Recently David Barrow has followed down that rabbit hole, this time in O scale, with a new layout. You can read more about that in the second link below by Trevor Marshall.

David’s layout design and presentation skills are unique in the hobby. Not to everyone’s taste I’ll grant, yet having seen and operated on the layout once in 2005, I did not notice its minimal scenic treatment. I was too interested in the operational side of things.

Image 1: Davids Barrow’s entire O Scale layout – battery-powered and operated by radio

Once again the layout design is the centre of attention and the scenic treatment is classic David Barrow – minimalist. However, you can use the design and then scenic it to your heart’s content. Hmmm – now let me see – I have 3 boards in the garage on which that layout design would fit perfectly…

You can out more on this layout in the Model Railroad Planning 2018 publication from Kalmbach.


Site Update – May 21

It’s been a rather busy month with the doing and the finding of new work. However, late last week I finally got around to updating and uploading images and new pages. Let’s get into what’s changed and what is new.

Galleries section

In the USA section (that’s been empty for far too long) I’ve added two new subsections, and galleries beneath each one. Of particular note are the Austin TX, and Kyle TX areas.

Kyle, Texas in particular had some great rail served classics from the long gone era of railroading when we first moved there in early 2001. Including a two spot Quonset hut for the local Co-Op. All gone now of course, but forever kept in posterity here.  It would make a great modelling challenge, and something that would work from the post-war (WW2) period through the late 80s to early 1990s period. There are also some other Co-Op related buildings in this new gallery too.

The Austin, TX gallery has two new subsections for review:

East Austin

  • TSE Boxcars – showing a set of detail images for Texas South-Eastern Railroad Company (reporting mark TSE) boxcars parked up near the HEB supermarket off East 7th Street.
  • Historic buildings – East Austin Ice Factory – shows an iconic med 20th century ice factory serving the East of Austin. Not a lot of photos but enough to draw inspiration and make a great model from.
  • Railroad infrastructure – shows a few shots of the area between 5th and 7th Street in the same area as the Ice Factory. And some fascinating track formations in the few photos that I have.

Bergstrom Lead

  • This is all of the photos from the article I wrote sometime ago on modelling the Bergstrom Lead in Austin’s South.

Site seeing – July 28

I’m always looking for interesting ideas for small layouts. Interchanges especially can provide a great way to represent the rest of the world on a small layout. And so I segue into today’s site of interest. Note the image below is from the RailPictures.Net site and published courtesy of the photographer Tom Sink. Those GPs sure look handsome in those colours though…

Two South Orient Railroad GP9s (former DRGW) lead a train east of Alpine, TX in 1994 on the former ATSF San Angelo Subdivision.

Site 1: The South Orient [ Link to blog –> ]

Recently over on the Rails West blog B. Smith has written about his time on the South Orient. From late 1992 he was the conductor on the railroad working out of Alpine Texas. The list of articles are in the resources section below. One particular piece caught my eye however, in the most recent post:

The cars coming to the South Orient in interchange are on the Mexican side, ready for us to couple into and bring into the United States, as soon as I unlock the gate.

An international border, a bridge and an interchange all in one. Ooh I can feel a design coming on already. Inspiration is certainly where you find it, but I’m not sure I’ve been this inspired for some time.

The whole recollection series has interested me. Take the time to visit the blog and read about the line. There’s even a teaser talking about traffic patterns in the future.

For now I’ll leave you with a TxDOT video on the line’s revitalisation:


  1. Remembering Belding — Old School Railroading in the 1990s
  2. Lonesome Casa Piedra – Last Run of the Texas Pacifico South of Alpine, TX (for now)
  3. Reflections on the South Orient – Part 1
  4. Reflections on the South Orient – Part 2
  5. TxDOT’s page with all of the information on the line

Happy rails to you all…