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Planning out my Frisco Arthur Sub layout in HO scale

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Back when I lived north of Paris, Texas, I had a layout based on the Frisco's Miami (OK) Branch, itself part of the former Northeast Oklahoma RR. It served the customers in Miami,most notably the large B.F. Goodrich tire plant.

Since then, I've been wanting to build another HO layout, but due to space considerations I found myself restricted to either a branch or a terminating city. As a member of the Frisco group, I felt obliged to do a town on the Central Subdivision, most notably Paris. Easy, since I lived & worked there for 11 1/2 years.

Paris was once served by 5 different railroads (Frisco, Texas & Pacific, Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, Texas Midland, and Paris & Mt. Pleasant). Frisco's first main line to Texas went over the Boston Mountains in Arkansas and the Winding Stair range in Oklahoma to reach Paris, where the GCSF (a Santa Fe subsidiary) had a branch running north from Dallas.

Inasmuch as each railroad has an interesting history, I am obviously focusing on the Frisco, and the customers it served in the 1970s. Since 1964, Campbell Soup has had a major presence in Paris, and is still a fixture there now, making & shipping their famous soups, Prego sauces, and the Pace picante sauce line formerly made in San Antonio, TX. Other customers were Merico (bakers of Earth Grains products), Precision Packaging & Printing (cardboard boxes), Valley Feed Mills, and Flex-o-Lite (manufacturers of those glass beads flund in reflective lenses).

At one time, 3 switch jobs were scheduled on the Frisco, serving local shippers and interchanging with the other railroads and heading noth to Hugo, OK to swap cars & return. This was, and is, 4-axle territory, and since I'm interested in the mid-1970s, GP7s will figure to be the diesel of choice (good thing, since I have 5 of them). All of these shippers are on the north side of Paris, which works well for me, since I don't have the space to model the Frisco-Santa Fe joint yard and the impressive depot.

The tracks won't be an exact match in the layout I'm planning, but they'll be as close as I can get them, and will hopefully have sufficient "flavor".

Here's what I have so far:
  • Space- 6' by 11.5'
  • Scale- HO
  • Minimum radius- 22" main, 18" sidings
  • Track- code 83 and 70, both Atlas & ME
  • Grade- none
  • Benchwork- hollow-core doors salvaged from remodeling the house, held up by shelf brackets & angled bracing
  • Control- hopefully, DCC (anybody got a good system for sale cheap?)
  • Place- Paris, Texas, south end of the Arthur Subdivision
  • Era- 1975-1977 (allows for GP7s and GP15-1s, both of which were on the Central Division)

Thanks to the availability of old Frisco employee timetables and topographic maps found online (as well as my memories of the area), I have a decent head start.

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  1. HemiAdda2d's Avatar
    Did Frisco use any SW or MP switchers in this locale during your chosen era?
  2. friscobob's Avatar
    I'm not really sure, but I am aware that their 44-tonners made it to Paris. To stay faithful with the time period, I won't be using any 44-tonners (even though I have one), but I may run my Walthers H10-44 and BLI SW7. Now, in real life Frisco kept their FM switchers based in Tulsa, and they made trips to Enid, Okmulgee and Muskogee (all in Oklahoma). But, knowing the devious nature of folks in "Little Dixie (a/k/a southeastern Oklahoma), one of Beloit's finest machines may somehow stray well south of Okmulgee & wind up in the Hugo yard, where the local yardmaster will send it on to Paris.


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