Saturday, August 9, 2014


Prompted by a recent post on friend Bruce M’s SP Santa Barbara Sub blog ( ), I was struck by how much work has been accomplished on my layout in the past year.  Last year’s review can be seen at:  Herewith a photo tour of my HO scale SP Cascade Line as it stands at the beginning of August after two years of construction.

RR-West end of line.  The climb out of Oakridge is a bit more than a train length.

SP X8572 East crosses Salmon Creek on its way downgrade toward Oakridge.  A pair of industry spurs hold cars for the Pope and Talbot lumber mill geographic east of Oakridge.

SP X8572 East meets SP X7474 West at the RR-West end of Oakridge.

SP X8572 East proceeds on the siding through Oakridge.  A stand-in depot (an American Model Builders SP Type 22) serves Oakridge until a proper hipped-roof version arrives.  Tracks for the steam ear engine facilities and turning wye are in the foreground.  In my world, those facilities will remain to serve diesel helpers.  An ALW Lines boiler house stands at the end of the oil spur.

SP X8572 East rolls through Westfir.  The Western Lumber Company mill will be represented by Walthers sawmill kits plus round-roof warehouses from Reiten Models.

SP X8572 East rolls past the Marcola Branch.  The foreground boxcars are interchange traffic for Weyerhauser.  The tank cars seen end-on are spotted for a wood resins plant.  The background covered hoppers serve agricultural interests of the Mohawk Valley.

Rolling into RR-West Springfield, SP X8572 East passes a pair of tracks serving Rosboro Lumber on the geographic north of the mainline, while the hopper cars to the left (geo-south) are spotted at Springfield Rock.

Proceeding down the mainline in Springfield, Clear Fir is on the left and four tracks serving the large Booth Kelly mill (later Georgia Pacific) are on the right.

SP X8572 East is at the RR-East end of Springfield.  Borden Chemical is in the foreground.  A fictional oil dealer is in the background.

SP X8572 East crosses the Willamette River between Springfield and Eugene.

SP X8572 East enters Eugene on the mainline.  The car shop serves as a temporary engine facility, pending completion of the planned facilities inside the RR-East staging loop (and arrival/departure tracks).  A consisted pair of switchers waits on City Yard track 2 awaiting more work.

SP X8572 East completes its journey, holding on the main in front of the Eugene depot.  The RR-East end switcher waits in the foreground.

A foretaste of coming attractions is provided by the following views of Cascade Summit:

RR-West end of Cascade Summit, including the turning wye.

RR-East end of Cascade Summit.

Benchwork is in place for the summit tunnel.  The railroad will start descending from this point down the wall to the right of the picture, loop back on Salt Creek trestle, reemerge on the lower level behind the storage and moving boxes where McCredie Springs will be built, and connect to the line up out of Oakridge just visible at the left of the photo.  The operator platform for Cascade Summit is in place.  The Oakridge wye tail track is on the green-painted section in the foreground.

The railroad clearly is under construction as evidenced by the many tools and bits and pieces scattered around the layout.   Also evident are a number of “fix-it” tags at spots identified during operations.  “Operations” is a key word, as I have now held three test operations sessions on the current railroad.  This helps me find spots needing work.  It also helps me develop the operating plan in advance of completing the railroad.  The vision and dream are becoming reality!  

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