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Here are 2 pictures of the modular high rail layout currently in operation at the National City Santa Fe Depot south of San Diego, CA.  This display is part of the historical station built in 1881 at the western terminus of the Santa Fe's transcontinental line to the west coast.  It is open to the public on Saturday and Sundays from 12-4.  They  would like to increase the public awareness of the availability of this layout. 

Beneath that are some pictures of John Armstrong's layout.






John Armstrong is considered the guru of O scale layout design by most people. As a personal note I have read all of his books on track planning from cover to cover and many of the ideas in my track plan came from him.  JNS


John Armstrong’s
Layout Photos


Frank E. Qualls


In October 1998 Joe Lessor, Art Hopkins, John Shankland, Hugo Pallesen and I visited the layout of O Scale hobbyist John Armstrong. Considered by many as very knowledgeable about railroading in the O Scale community it was a pleasurable experience to visit his “Canandaigua Southern” layout that has been under construction for fifty years. This Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) outside third rail layout features a walk-in, walk-around style controlled remotely using rheostats as throttles. Below is a few of the photos I took while visiting John Armstrong.

It’s all quiet at the Warm River station this evening as the train in the tunnel, a scheduled night freight approaches

This locomotive moves as it has just finished switching these hoppers.


There are not many patrons in the diner as it prepares to close for the evening.

All is clear as this Class H-5 2-8-0 locomotive makes its way around the bend. Notice the outside third rail pick ups sliding along the rail.

The engine servicing crew is busy this evening preparing the motive power for tomorrows runs.


Tony English’s

HiRail Diorama


Frank E. Qualls


These photos fall into a category of a diorama. They were given to me by my friend Tony English and merit being included because they represent HiRail modeling for photography purposes. Tony’s outstanding detailing captures the essence of a locomotive servicing facility in this diorama. These are some great looking HiRail photos. Thanks Tony!

It looks as though the workman is preparing to do some welding on this Weaver L1 Mikado.

This photo angle gives an excellent perspective of the Mikado in the servicing facility.

The Weaver RF-16 NYC Sharknose gets some final adjustments before going into service.


On Thursday April 13, 2000 Joe Lesser visited my home and layout. He took the following photos. Joe has a great eye for photographing model layouts



Prototypical Freight Consists

A Follow-up


Russell Bey


Fellow HiRailers:

I enjoyed Bob Bartizek’s article on prototypical freights in the September, 2000 issue of the HiRailers Buzz and this brought to mind a project, which I started several years ago.


As a train enthusiast with an active layout, I am always trying to improve the realism of my rolling stock and motive power. As an operator, I was aware that the major train manufacturers were producing rolling stock with railroad names that no longer exist. Such railroads as Pennsylvania, New York Central, Wabash, Seaboard, Atlantic Coast Lines, Jersey Central, Lehigh Valley and Reading are fine for the memories but they do little to make the hobby contemporary and alive.


Since I live in New Jersey, I see a lot of Conrail (albeit soon to be gone), Susquehanna, Norfolk Southern, CSX (Chessie) and a lot of private tank and chemical cars along with the usual assortment of hoppers and boxcars.


With this in mind, I began a massive project to repaint as many locomotives, tank cars, hoppers, flat cars, well cars, and for traditional purposes some cabooses in eastern road names (although cabooses are gone train enthusiasts still love them!).


I have painted switchers in Conrail and Susquehanna, painted transformer cars in PSE&G (Public Service Electric and Gas, our local utility) and boxcars in private road names. The decals from several manufacturers were used. Examples of my completed projects are listed below.


I truly enjoy the hobby and the contemporary road names make it all that more enjoyable.


Here’s a switcher that I painted for Conrail.


Here’s a SD-40 painted for GATX Corporation.


This NS hopper is fresh out the paint shop and ready for revenue service.


This Suzi Q covered gondola won’t look this good after being in service on the Susquehanna.