Layout Concept




Thoughts by the

SP Shasta Route Division Superintendant




The concept for this layout depicting the Southern Pacific Railroad's Shasta Division, Black Butte Subdivision in 1952 germinated in the mind of the Division Superintendent for many months. The idea began, in large part, during the course of visits to the very large, well designed layout of fellow modeler Scott Kew, with whom the Division Superintendent has spent many evenings during weekly "round robins" with the No Name Railroad Society performing numerous tasks on Scott's layout, as well as those of Jim Providenza, Tom Combs, Bill Kaufman ( www.Aardvarklearning.com/sfc/ ), and longtime friend, Philip Smith ( www.Pacificnorthernrailroad.homestead.com ).

A visit to Dunsmuir, CA with a side trip to the Cantara Loop, Mt. Shasta City, Black Butte, Grass Lake and Mt. Hebron, and the encouragement of John Signor, Rod Loder, Tony Thompson, Bob Church, Bob "Photo Bob" Morris and Paul Koehler all but solidified the Division Superintendent's choice of this locale for his dream layout. With Dave Biondi's offer of his significant artistic talents to paint the more than 250' of backdrop and with John Barclay's generous offer to "collaborate" on his phenomenal, laser cut prototypical Dunsmuir engine facilities, other potential locations were promptly ruled out.

Following the successful acquisition of a sizeable lot to serve as the building site for a layout room (with an adjoining residence), the good services of the Dean of Layout Planning, John Armstrong, were secured. The Shasta Division, Black Butte Subdivision layout which will occupy a 22' x 45' room, with adjacent 7 ' crew lounge/workroom. The layout room is situated above a four car garage and is free of any room intrusions other than the staircase which is semicircular and enters the room away from the wall.


"Givens and Druthers" included the following:

1 A layout of the Southern Pacific Railroad during the late Steam/Diesel transition era.
2 A design tilted more towards operations (although only slightly), than scenic realism.
3 In order to accommodate a large roster of 2-10-2 "Deck" locomotives, as well as a few 4-10-2 "Southern Pacific" configuration and Cab Forward engines, a minimum radius on mainline curves shall be, wherever possible, 40."
4 In traversing the mainline, no scene shall be passed through more than once.
5 To better facilitate operations, minimum aisles of 30" shall be provided.
6 In order to best utilize the space in assuring a longer mainline, the layout should be of a "mushroom" design, without "duckunders."


From an operations standpoint, it is planned that the area between Redding and Black Butte will be under Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) (as it was in 1952) and the area east of Black Butte to Klamath Falls will be operated pursuant to timetable and train order (TT&TO). Rod Loder of Photo Electric in collaboration with John Signor are designing a prototypical CTC panel which will be interfaced with the layout via Bruce Chubb's C/MRI being designed by Donald Woods at EASEE Interface.