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added: September 29, 2015 - updated: November 19, 2015
updated: March 10, 2016 new railing added (photos 2346 - 2373)

HO Scale Desert Layout Project  -  14/22
Cajon Pass - Hill 582
In real life, Hill 582 is between BNSF Main Track 3 (below) and Main Tracks 2/1 (above). It is more or less in a 90 ° angle to the tracks. On my layout is not enough space between the lower and the upper tracks. Therefore, I have to turn my HO scale Hill 582 and it will be parallel to the tracks.
Photos 1775 - 1886, starting 7/27/15 and ending 11/19/15 (2346 - 2373 3/10/16)

(just click on the 4-digit number for bigger size photos)

This is my final project for my layout. Hill 582, the ultimative railfan's observation point in Cajon Pass.
East side of Hill 582 (w/o railings) taken by Kim Nipkow July 24, 2015  (more photos of the real Hill - click here)
Let me explain some details about Hill 582 and the people behind it. Don Toles is the "Hilltender" who is taking care of this oasis and bringing water 2-3 times per week. Don Toles was the co-creator of Hill 582 back in 1992. Michael B. Jeromin was the other co-creator of the Hill. Later, Gary Gray joined Don on the Hill. Gary is sending always the latest photos which are posted on our Cajon Pass Photography site. Marc Fournier (his father was a Swiss) is also helping Don a lot. But there is also Jerry Shinar (WSI), who is doing a great job in maintaining Hill 582 as well.
This is my version of Hill 582 in HO scale. Not exactly the same as the real thing, but similar (9/29/15)


7/29/15: The first 4 photos of my future project - Hill 582
The blue insulation foam sheet was sponsered by Jürg Lehner (Lehner Bau und Immobilien AG).
this is the position of Hill 582 - 1776 my first hand drawing to get an idea about the dimensions - 1777
at left are the Mormon Rocks - 1778 at right is West Summit Island (not visible) - 1779
8/02/15: Just from a simple styrofoam sheet, the contours will be carved and sanded down to proper level and shape
from the drawing I was putting the data on the styro - 1780 next step carving the styro to proper shape - 1781
there are several wooden retaining walls at left and some wooden dividing walls in the center - 1782
not done yet are the stone walls in front - 1783 this is the Eastside of the Hill - 1784
8/09/15: Now, the styrofoam was painted my own desert soil mix with Woodland Scenics Concrete and White to get a light beige color.
Afterwards, I did some sanding on the front part and started with the "man made" stone retaining walls all over the Hill. I am aware, my HO scale stones are a little bit too big to be exact 1:87 but otherwise the handling of each stone with the tweezers is getting very hard. Once again, we are living with some compromises. At the end, it should look allright and that's it. We just cannot downsize everything to exact scale.
Bird's eye view (size is 20 cm x 40 cm) - 1785 East side: Half wooden and stone retaining walls - 1786
there are more little stone walls to be built - 1787 both memorials are not done and no treets or bushes, yet - 1788
In other words, my Hill 582 needs still a lot of work. In addition to the memorials will be a bird feeder, 2 benches, several tree trunks as seats, 2 flag poles with flags, different signs and lots of vegetation. Here comes the next compromise as several bushes, trees and cactus are not available in HO scale to match the real thing. Well, sooner or later the result can be seen here . . . .
8/21/15: More little stone walls have been built. I did even find a blue/green colored gravel, which is now very common on Hill 582. These have been brought in by SP around the Davis Ranch Road as these are not rocks from the Mojave Desert. Don got a permission to use these from the forest service. So, I added some of these rocks as well. Both memorial sites have been made, but no vegeation so far.
Benches and tree trunks for the railfans are mounted, the driveway in the middle got gravel - 1789
looking from South side - 1790 looking from Nort side - 1791
Memorials with coupler and track - 1792 in front of the Hill 582 sign is a flag base - 1793
there are two memorial sites on Hill 582 - 1794 Memorials Chard Walker and part of old Tunnel 1 West Portal - 1795
South side with flag base (left) - 1796 North side with flag base (left & right) - 1797
South/East side - 1798 North/East side - 1799
"naked" Hill 582 without vegetation (no bushes and trees) from above (bird feeder is still missing) - 1800
8/26/15: Here we go - the bird feeder has been made and installed (sorry, again too many pictures !!)
The pickup truck of Don Toles is on the Hill - 1801 The bird feeder is at left - 1802
still without any vegetation - 1803 just be patient, sooner or later it will look different - 1804
South side, the normal entrance to the Hill - 1805 North side, the normal exit of the Hill - 1806
9/06/15: The Hill 582 modul is glued in place on the layout. On both sides blue styrofoam is adjusted to the modul. With plaster, the connections are covered to get a smooth transition. One tree is giving an idea about the size.
So, I cannot take out the Hill 582 modul anymore - 1807 remember, on my layout the Hill is parallel to the tracks - 1808
The first tree is temporarely mounted. But I will paint the area and put desert sand, first - 1809
9/08/15: All plaster and styrofoam areas have been painted in light beige color and afterwards, sand was applied.
no more disturbance with different colors - 1810 the dirt road got a seamless connection to the Hill on both sides - 1811
all the photos help a lot to see the different stages . .  - 1812 . . of every step and therefore, I made again too many !! - 1813
the driveway on the Hill is having bigger size gravel - 1814 looking toward the Mormon Rocks - 1815
view from the rear side with the service road - 1816 next step will be the vegetation around the Hill - 1817


9/12/15: Landscaping around Hill 582 was started. Men at work - as you can see our temporary workshop.
bushes and tufts have been mounted . . - 1818  . . along the crest on both sides - 1819
several photos of the real Hill 582 are . . . - 1820 . . . helping to find the right look - 1821
even, there are no bloomimg yuccas on the real Hill . . - 1822 . . . it is a nice addition to get some natural life - 1823
on a layout, we have to live with compromises - 1824 of course, the colors are not the same as on the photo - 1825
looking thru the driveway of the Hill - 1826 next step: adding trees and bushes on the Hill - 1827


9/29/15: Grand Opening of Hill 582 in HO Scale
The trees in the middle are not perfect as they do not really match the real thing. In other words, I will try to find a better solution one day.
Street level view of my Hill 582 with new railing, US Flags and Swiss Flag - 1828
 Route 66, lower double track main, Hill 582 (upper doubel track main cannot be seen - 1828
anothet street level view of my Hill 582 (left is the Jeep of Marc Fournier and the BNSF SUV from David Miller) - 1830
The silver Ford Pickup Truck belongs to Gary Gray . . . - 1831 . . . and the red Ford Pickup Truck to Don Toles - 1832
in the middle is WSI, further down Hill 582 w/Trees - 1833 UP EB manifest passing Hill 582 - 1834
Route 66, lower and upper Double Tracks - 1835 at the end are the Mormon Rocks - 1836
we are getting closer to Hill 582 - 1837 Cadillac Escalades are on the way to a nearby dealer - 1838
Werner Enterprises Trailers are common on Cajon Pass - 1839 a UPS Delivery Truck on Route 66 - 1840
wonder why there is a Swiss flag on the Hill ?  - 1841 do not worry, there are 2 US flags as well - 1842
because this Hill 582 is Swiss made !! - 1843 in the middle is the bird feeder - 1844
this is the South end of the Hill - 1845 today, David Miller of BNSF is visitting our Hill - 1846
a BNSF MoW Pickup Truck is coming from their service road - 1847 this Pickup Truck seems to have a problem - 1848
 - 1849  - 1850
How to find Hill 582 on my layout? From Route 66 (Cajon Blvd.) enter on Highway 138 in crossing the the double main tracks. Just across the Hot Dog stand, before the underpass make a right turn on the dirt road going uphill. There is a Hill 582 sign.
Hill 582 sign coming from Hwy 138 - 1851 California Highway Patrol is entering Hwy 138- 1852
Hot Dog stand at the RR Crossing and Hwy 138 - 1853 Cajon Blvd. (old Route 66) at right - 1854
Now, we are going into details of this scale Hill 582. Once again, we have to live with compromises in modelling this one of a kind railfan's observation point in Cajon Pass. Not every plant can be done correctly. The trees do not look 100 % the same etc. But at the end, it should give the illusion of looking more or less like the real thing. Anyway, my version is parallel to the tracks but in real it is 90 ° to the tracks!
bird's eye view - 1855 Hill level view - 1856
as seen from the right side (front side) - 1857 as seen from the left side (rear side) - 1858
new wooden deck and railing, bird feeder - 1859 benches and tree trunks, memorials w/coupler - 1860
lower view of left side - 1861 lower view of right side - 1862
the birds are happy to find seeds on the Hill - 1863 the memorials and coupler are in the rounded corner - 1864
new railing with bird feeder - 1865 new wooden deck - 1866
looking from front (in real it is North) - 1867 there are 2 flag poles in front - 1868
main drive way of the Hill - 1869 memorials with part of Tunnel 1 West Portal - 1870
blooming yuccas are near the Hill - 1871 there is always space to park a vehicle on the Hill - 1872
BNSF MoW Truck is coming from their service road - 1873 materials for the Hill, but the car broke down - 1874
looking toward the tunnels - 1875 action on upper and lower tracks and on Route 66 as well - 1876
even my Hill is an observation point for railfans - 1877 fully integrated Hill 582 on my layout - 1878
As I already mentioned, the trees are not the same . . - 1879 . . . as on the real Hill 582, but they look similar - 1880
In other words, my illusion came true on my layout - 1881 I have the Mormon Rocks, Hill 582 and West Summit Island - 1882
My version of Hill 582 reflects the real thing as of September 2015 (inl. new railing) - 1883
Werner Enterprises Trailers on Flat Cars are passing Hill 582 - This is the final frame of the 1:87 version of Hill 582 - 1884


New 11/19/15:  Whenever you think a project is finished, there is new work coming !
 Well, there is a new railing on real Hill 582 - 1885 the new one does not yet exist on my scale Hill 582 - 1886


New 3/10/16:  The second railing incl. additional wooden deck was finally mounted on my scale Hill 582
When I built my scale Hill 582 in September 2015, there was one railing incl. wooden deck on the real Hill 582. But soon after, Don Toles decided to build a second railing next to it. End of October 2015, I visitted Hill 582 and took photos of the new railing and the new wooden deck. Now, the time has come to build the additions on my scale Hill 582 to match the real thing. Below are the photos (before and after).
 Second railing (left) still missing - 2346 The second railing is in place - 2347
no railing to the left - 2348 the new railing gives protection - 2349
it looks if there is something missing - 2350 with both railings installed, it looks complete - 2351
wooden deck before (Sept. 2015) - 2352 additional wooden deck (Oct. 2015) - 2353
without second railing and wooden deck - 2354 complete and ready for the visitors - 2355
Life comes to Hill 582 with lots of railfans and visitors (in HO scale).
Special thanks goes to the co-founder and hill-tender of real Hill 582: Don E. Toles. As Don is maintaining the Hill incl. watering the plants, there are other helping hands: Gary G. Gray, Marc Fournier, Jerry Shinar, Don Jocelyn and several other gentlemen. Without their endless effort, Hill 582 would not exist. Want more infos about the real Hill 582? - click here
view from above - 2356 there are people sitting on the benches and tree trunks - 2357
the platform with the wooden deck is in service - 2358 it is a busy day today and everybody is having fun - 2359
I am sure, they enjoy their stay on Hill 582 - 2360 taking pictures and talking to each other - 2361
railfanning at its best only on Hill 582 - 2362 it seems there are lots of trains around - 2363
compare model and real thing with new railings on Hill 582
as seen from inside in 1/87 scale - 2364 view with railings on the real Hill 582 - 2365
railings from outside in HO scale - 2366 East side of Hill 582 - 2367
well, I am pleased with the result of my scale Hill 582 - 2368 close up of railings on real Hill 582 - 2369
below are 4 photos of the finished Hill 582 on my HO scale layout taken on 3/10/16, reflecting the real Hill 582 as of late October 2015.
flying over the Hill coming down from Silverwood - 2370 flying over the Hill coming uphill from the former tunnel area - 2371
please be aware, my miniature Hill 582 is parallel to the tracks compared to the real Hill 582 which is 90 ° to the tracks - 2372
final frame of my version of Hill 582 (87 times smaller than the real thing) - 2373

I started with my layout in late December 2007 and it is finally finshed in late September 2015.
Well, I will add some detailing, weathering of the roads, road signs and street railings along main street in Percyville.
Thank you for your interest in my Mojave Desert Layout - Werner Meer (3/10/16)

Page 22 - New 11/17/16:  Part 6 - The latest model from Scale Trains in action - click here  Page 22


Page 21 - New 10/30/16:  Part 5 - Trains are rolling - Union Pacific and Santa Fe trains in action - click here  Page 21


Page 20 - New 5/29/16:  Part 4 - Werner Enterprises got 53' Containers for Werner Global Logistics - click here  Page 20


Page 19 - New 3/30/16:  Part 3 - The Layout is getting alive with lots of Details - click here  Page 19


Page 18 - New 2/26/16:  Part 2 - West Tunnels, WSI, Hill 582, Mormon Rocks, Flyover - click here  Page 18


Page 17 - New 2/20/16:  Part 1 - Percyville incl. Extension, Werner Enterprises, East Tunnels - click here  Page 17


Page 16 - New 12/27/15:  Take a Tour on the Percyville Terminal of Werner Enterprises - click here  Page 16


Page 15 - New 10/23/15:  Take a Tour on the finished layout - click here  Page 15


Page 13 - New 7/27/15: Landscaping Cajon Pass - finished but w/o Hill 582 - click here  Page 13


Page 12 - New 5/10/15: The City of Percyville (3) - Extension is finished - click here  Page 12


Page 11 - New 3/26/14: The City of Percyville (2) - (with main street) is finished - click here  Page 11


Technical Data of my Layout:
Size: 4,5 x 6,5 m (13,5 x 19,5 feet), Era: Modern, Location: Southern California in the Mojave Desert (Cajon Pass), Layout Style: unconventional, in house along the walls, 2 swing up bridges, 1 lift out bridge, double track, min. radius 104 cm (41 inch), max. grade 1,5 %, Track: Atlas flextrack code 100, Turnouts: Peco code 100, Power: conventional DC with electrical feeders every 2 m, Mainline: 32 m (96 feet), Height: 93 cm (36,5 inch)
Overview of the layout (each square is 0,5 m)


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