Open House 2007

This November we once again hosted an open house. These three pictures were taken by my good friend Craig Brantley


Dave R came over to help with the open house. We are programming a locomotive.



Wes M came over to help with the open house. Here he is skillfully running the limited.


With the room full of visitors, Barry B was one of the many visitors. Here he watches as I tinker with a switch as one of his modeling buddies, Ward, looks on.


December 2006 Progress Pictures.

The layout hosted an open house on November 18, 2006 as part of the Houston Area model railroad observance sponsored by the San Jacinto Club. These pictures were taken right afterwards when the layout was still neat and tidy. There were eight consists made up for the show. Each was run over the mainline for a loop or two and returned to its staging yard. Although Fidalgo is now wired, has several spurs and a run around track, it was not in operation because there is still not a way to turn locomotives. Hopefully that will change by next year's open house.


Action on the Mainline at Cashmere


The dispatcher has put Extra 1147 East, a peddler, in the hole at Cashmere in advance the Empire Builder and several manifest freights.

Due to the lenght of its consist, it is fouling the Cascade Northern crossing.

The first section of Number 2, the Empire Builder rips through town.

Next, manifest freight train number 402 arrives. It has reduced speed as it passes through the east side Cashmere.

The big mountain with its bell ringing is a rare sight on a freight but was called at the last minute when the assigned locomotive developed a compressor problem.


Caboose X-419 brings up the markers on the first section of freight 402.

In the distance can be seen the meager engine facilities of the Cascade Northern.

The buildings are actually HO models I built about 30 years ago and create distance through a forced perspective.


10 minutes later, the second section of freight 402 passes through Cashmere, at a restricted speed.

On the point is GN 3144, on O-1 mike, whose bell is ringing loudly but the workers on both sides of the track do not even look up.


With it bell also ringing, GN 3391, an O-8 mike leads the third and final section of train 402 out of town.

The caboose of the third section crosses Main Street or Hwy 2, in an era when the road had far less traffic.

The semi-finished area in the foreground is the site of the to-be-built depot.

Finally, the third section crosses Old Olds Road on the east end of town. Olds is a wide spot in the road between Wenatchee and Cashmere.


The gravel road as well as the paved Main Street above are new additions this month to the pike.



Action at Fidalgo


Tracks have reached the town of Fidalgo!

Most of the trackage is temporary code 148 flextrack. It was laid to create a place to switch local freights. Eventually will be replaced by handlaid code 125 and code 100 rail.

The dark gray areas are the locations of additional track per the track plan.

Three reefers are fresh off the barge dock and laden with Calif produce. After being iced they will be sent east towards thier destinations in Montana.

Those gorgeous orange Santa Fe reefers are Pecos River imports. .


After finishing putting ice in the reefers, Ole and Sven have sat down to take a break and chew the fat. To the left Oscar is trying to ignor them.


GN 1152 is caught switching the yard at Fidalgo.

It appears the fireman is bragging to the station operator about something.


Action at Appleyard


Ten-wheeler 930, an E-6 takes a spin on the turntable.

The Ten-wheeler has been called to take an extra to Fidalgo.


Work has resumed on the engine terminal. All the ties are in and ballasted.

Three garden tracks have rail but are not yet powered.


GN 2125, a 2-10-2 quietly simmers in the roundhouse awaiting its next assignment.

These layout photos were taken after the November, 2005 open house.


An AMH 4-4-0 crosses the 40" Howe truss bridge to Fidalgo. It will not go much further since the track currrently stops at the end of the bridge. The engine was recently acquired on Ebay for less than $75 and runs very well. - running light that is! Pulling is not its forte.



Some ties have been laid but no rail yet.

To the right is the floor of the soon to be erected 11 stall roundhouse that will follow plans for a standard GN 116' structure.

The fact that there are no rails does not prohibit the 'new-to-me' G-1 class Twelve Wheeler from taking a spin. The model's complete history is still unknown to me. I recently obtained it from an estate and the papers indicate it was hand built by the founder of Tenshodo Models. Its drive was rebuilt by Fred Icken and runs like a Swiss watch.



The Lightweight Empire Builder

In Puget Yard

A W-1 electric eases the eastbound Builder out of the Puget holding yard.

Passing Spokane yard after departing Puget yard

The observation Going-to-the-Sun Mountain passes the Spokane holding yard where the 3381, a westbound O-8 Mike, is waiting to depart with a manifest freight.

Entering Cashmere

The Builder reaches the site of the future town of Cashmere

Fruit Block

An eastbound Fruit Block, runs past an 'undisclosed location' on the layout. Through the miracle of Photoshop, the Cascades appear instead of plain benchwork. As noted in the captions, several other pictures have also been retouched in Photoshop.

The reefer train passes Cashmere, where it passes a work train. The future roundhouse is on the right.

The temporary backdrop painting is actually a Masonite panel given to me by my good friend, Charlie Morrill when he dismantled his outstanding layout.

Another view of the reefer train at Cashmere. A close look at the caboose's platform reveals an SP, not a GN 'Safety First' herald. There is a story, but it is too long to relate here.

Other Trains

A tank car on the O-8's manifest freight streaks past the work train at Cashmere. The work train is preparing to start ballasting the right of way.

The 410, a 4-8-0 leaves at dawn with a peddler freight. This is another retouched picture. See below for the untouched picture.

Titans, past and present. The peddler passes a mightly 2-10-2 that has stopped because of a hot box. When delivered, to 'Conquer the Cascades', the G-1 was the largest and heaviest locomotive on the roster. By the end of steam, the Q-1 class 2-10-2 held that title on the GN for non-articulated locomotives.

The 2550 an S-1 Northern rests at the roundhouse between assignments. The concrete ( hyrdocal) floor, rails and pits are in but the rest of the 11 stall roundhouse is still under construction.


Y-1 electric motor number 5016 passes Spokane yard with the heavyweight Empire Builder. This photo was retouched in Photoshop to remove the benchwork. The blurry locomotive in the Spokane holding yard is the 3216, a class O-4 mike.

An S-2 Northern now pulls the heavyweight Empire Builder. This photo was also retouched in Photoshop to remove the benchwork. I sort of went crazy with the grass tool. Someday real soon there will be actual scenery along the line!

Finally the 2003, an N-3 2-8-8-0, passes the 2125, a Q-1 2-10-2, whose engineer is oiling the running gear. This backdrop was also created through Photoshop and 'pirateware' off the web. I actually found the picture on Dave Frary's scenery page and thought it looked fantastic. Hope he doesn't mind.


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