Yes, another Tehachapi Pass layout!
Inspired by the work of Jim Reising on his Oakville Sub, Jamie Schatte's CSX Dixie Line, as well as comments and drawings by Gary Hinshaw, I recently made the decision to switch from my original plan to model the Clinchfield to that of modeling Southern Pacificís San Joaquin Mountain District through Tehachapi Pass. Besides the inspiration mentioned above, another reason was Intermountain's AC-12s, not to mention the current number of SP/ATSF locos and rolling stock I already own!
This is a big area to model, and I have no illusions of recreating the entire route scene for scene. What I am after, however, is to capture the look and feel of the Tehachapi Mountains, and use this as a backdrop to the operations of both the Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe as they traverse the serpentine curves throughout the pass during the 1950s.
Steam was on the wane, especially on the Santa Fe, but Southern Pacificís AC-12 Cab Forward was still a prominent player in daily operations. Passenger trains were frequent, and there were daily westbound and eastbound mail trains. Citrus and potato packing plants dotted the northern portion of the line, along with long drags of ice reefers and lumber from the North.
A few doodles I worked up:
Yes, three decks (mostly double deck though) makes it a monster, so any feedback from the gang here is very much appreciated. The raised floor in some places and 30" minimum aisle width should make the layout a bit easier to fiddle with (a lanky 6'-4" person, I), but perhaps I have gone too far? (Or worse, senility is setting in...)
Note: Kern Jct. is viewed and operated from the "pit" area near Arvin, and not the aisle to the left on the plan (the text simply fit in the space). Also note that I have not finished the plans for staging, or yet worked out an lift/swing gate to minimize the problems with the duck-under (Mark Dance uses some niffy tricks!). These will come later once the these main plans are further refined.
Here is a link to my "Givens and Druthers" for the layout, which might clarify some points. Let me know if things still appear to be muddy.
All I have to do afterward is build the thing...