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Rick Howland aka BarstowRick – The Howland Pacific Railroad of the Williams and Ashfork Division. A freelanced bridge route based on memories of real places, trains and times. It is an N scale layout housed in a 10’ x 10’ metal shed (not recommended). FYI, a work in progress. The layout sports a six track hidden staging yard and a six track stub end yard. A triple helix and what appears to be a double tracked mainline where train meets are a common event. The most avid description and Rick's favorite, is a "A folded over pretzled dog bone". Benchwork is old school, open box style grid. The era or circa reflected is of the late 40s and 50s through to the late 70s. The Santa Fe is the primary user of the railroad with Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, Western Pacific and The Denver & Rio Grande all putting in appearances. The Great Northern has an overland bridge route and drops in from time to time with a string of cars. A Museum Special, sponsored in part by the Norfolk & Western/Southern R&R, along with the private varnish organizations, occasionally tours the layout. Steam can be found at times, all though not in great abundance. Will they ever make a Stove (something exceptional minus those dreaded traction tires) that will actually pull ten cars up his 2% grades? It is rumored you can find powered box cars making the pull. Most curves on the mainline are 15" to 24"s with a barely tolerated 13" in the hidden staging yard and upper yard. A local model railroader, Greg McGinnis, donated a mini-city for the layout that is referred to as San Berdu. You will find an 7" radius trolley line. He built the town’s unique station from scratch, named (of all things) Rio Bendejo. Definition can be found by looking it up in Google's Dictionary. See, if it doesn't look like a train station you've seen in the greater Southern California arena. A mini CCTV setup helps Rick keep an eye on the hidden spots. The layout is wired to DPDT standards, supporting Cab A and Cab B operations, with a cut in DPDT that allows Cab B to be switched over to MRC's, DCC operations. This was originally written by myself and edited by John A., into third person. I'm editing what follows, changing to first person and adding a paragraph. A short biography of self. I grew up, spending my summers in Barstow, Ca. With a family of Rails, that worked for the Santa Fe. Having a child's bird's eye view maturing into a young man with memories of how it was. My family of rails shared much knowledge of this railroad and it shows on my layout. On this layout I attempt to recreate some of my favored memories. Like many, I depend on books but don't trust them 100% unless written by a Rail, I.e., a good friend, Chard Walker. Rail fans have done a good job capturing the essence of the railroads but aren't always factual on their reporting. Reporting, as though they are hard facts when that may not be the case. You won't find me calling a switch a "Turnout", I won't make that mistake. Only the engineering departments of the railroads called them turnouts. I'm a railroader and will pursue the tradition of calling them "Switches". A ardent Santa Fe #3751 supporter. Photo courtesy of Rick Howland.

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