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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 11:46:00 ADT.)

HO SCALE: Santa Fe (San Jacinto District)

This design is based on AT&SF's San Jacinto District, but by no means it is meant to be a match for the line. I have been aware of this branch line since reading "The San Jacinto District: An HO switching railroad for a 9 x 12-foot room," by Andy Sperandeo in Model Railroader [February 1980, page 107]. There have also been many other layouts based on Andy's design as well, and they can easily be found with a Google image search.

My design was started in September of 2015, and I had hoped to get more accurate track diagrams for the entire line, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of information on the Internet about it. Even Google maps was of little help to determine the track arrangements from the period modeled. Without additional information, I decided to just use Andy's version, which he also stated was not an accurate representation of the line.

As shown by the title of the MR article, Andy's design was also more of a switching layout, and used mostly #4 turnouts, and 18" radius curves. I wanted to give my version more of a branch line feel, and decided on 30" minimum radius, and #6 turnouts. To fit it all in a bedroom, I went with three levels and used an elevator to get between the decks with each deck using 20"-wide shelves. There is also a staging deck below Perris that represents Highgrove.

Besides not having accurate information, other compromises had to be made as well, such as the Perris station being on a curve. I also added a roundhouse at San Jacinto that wasn't in Andy's plan. From looking at Google maps, there seems to have been a wye there, so even the turntable could be out of place.

There are enough online industries to make this a moderately busy branch line that should be fun to operate. Since I had more room to work with, I added a few more online customers than Andy had in his plan. The industrial area at Hemet, will take up much of a crew's time, and also provide more variety of rolling stock besides refers. Overall, I think it is a nice plan that will keep the owner occupied for a long time.

Track Plan:

2019.10.12C-001.gif (150598 bytes)


TAGS: Design Feature: Based on Actual Location(s), Theme: Branch Line Railway, Layout Size: Small Layouts, Design Feature: Train Elevator, USA (States): California, American Railways: Santa Fe


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