PHONE *41-44-715-3666, FAX *41-44-715-3660, E-MAIL
Go back to our Website - click here

updated: January 29, 2009

HO Scale Desert Layout Project  -  5/22
Construction and track laying has begun in February 2008. The last track was mounted on 9/29/08 (see page 4).
Landscaping and Street Building

Photos 405 - 508, starting 10/06/08 and ending 1/28/09

10/06/08: The styro-steps are being sanded down to create a street with a continous grade from the upper to the lower level. During the construction, Percy was always around to check the progress. I am sorry to show so many photos of Percy but he became part of the whole project and his participation cannot be omitted. Those who do not like it - just ignore him ! !
10/06/08 The cover board on the left was removed for easy access - 405 Thru sanding, the street became visible - 406
10/06/08 No matter how much saw dust, Percy is still coming - 407 Sitting in the middle of the mess - 408
10/06/08 Nice over view of the ramp - 409 It seems to be a warm and comfortable place to take a rest - 410
10/06/08 Sanding can only be done on the lower part - 411 Why should I go away ?  - 412
10/06/08 Even when checking the grade, he does not go away - 413 The Digital Level tells me the exact grade of 12 % (quite steep) - 414
10/08/08 Sitting in front of the tunnel - 415 He is checking the inside - 416
10/08/08 I wonder why he is just in front of the tunnel portal - 417 Several styro pieces are glued together to get the slope - 418
10/08/08 The outside of the steps are already sanded down - 419 Styro is easy to shape and it is light weight - 420
10/08/08 Next step is sanding of the hill side - 421 I can use a file and sanding paper to smooth it - 422
10/08/08 A new resting area for the UP cat - 423 Train operations will be a serious problem - 424
10/08/08 Man at work and Percy on the new platform - 425 He does note care about the noise of carving the styro - 426
10/09/08 The first vehicles are placed on the new street - 427 Retaining walls are protecting the street in the bridge area - 428
10/09/08 Percy's platform will become one day a Railfan spot - 429 On the same platform will be a shed for the Railroad - 430
10/09/08 Still a long way to go - 431 Along the upper track level will be a RR service road - 432
10/09/08 The outside cover board will be cut to the street grade - 433 and it will close the gap between upper and lower level - 434
10/09/08 The service road will also be used by the Railfans - 435 Tunnel entrance is protected by retaining walls - 436
10/22/08 The retaining walls had to be extended - 437 because of the hight difference between the 2 levels - 438
10/22/08 The main street will be parallel to the double tracks - 439 The service road is along the upper level tracks - 440
10/22/08: As I reached this point of basic landscaping in the bridge / tunnel area, I will continue on a different part of the layout. Sometimes we just need time to think the project over and over again how it could be done. On the right side will be a RR-X-ing on the lower level and the street will go under the upper level. I am sure to find the "perfect" solution in a while. One of the main problems is the limited space on a layout. We have to accept lots of compromises whether we like it or not.
10/25/08: As mentioned above, I made a break on the bridge / tunnel section. I am currently concentrating on the last part of the main street at the right side near the 2 tunnels. Once again, I am using styrofoam for the ramp. With a short curve, the street will leave the layout before the tunnels. Behind the building will be a steep dirt road for access of the tunnel portals and the service road along the upper tracks.
10/25/08 Nothing can be done without the inspector - 441 He makes a first test walk on the fresh street - 442
10/25/08 Percy is waiting for me as I made a coffee break - 443 Percy is checking if the styro was glued properly - 444
10/25/08 More styro was mounted along the tracks - 445 The street makes a right turn and is leaving the layout - 446
10/25/08 Basic sanding of the styro gives an idea how it looks one day - 447 A different view toward the tunnels - 448
10/25/08 More photos of the street to the left you can see on page 4 - 449 The retaining walls and the portals are not fixed yet - 450
10/25/08 A small business is located near the tunnel area - 451 A Jeep is going up the steep dirt road for accessing the tunnels - 452
10/30/08 The above photos are inside office 2 and we call it the West Portals of Tunnel 1 (lower tracks) and Tunnel 2 (upper tracks). I used Tunnel Portals of CM Shops, Inc. item # 2012: Square Double Track Maxi Portals with full clearance for Double Stacks. The only thing I needed to do, was to cut the width on both sides by 10 mm because my double track distance is 60 mm (not the ordinary 50 mm). Starting with photo 453, we are inside office 1, in other words the East Portals. The first thing was to ballast the tunnel sections. Afterwards I put cardboard inside the tunnel walls. Next step place some styrofoam, glue it in place and start sanding it down to the desired shape. It takes quite some time and I even took some photos of the famous rock formations at Sullivan's Curve and Mormon Rocks in Cajon Pass. I use the special styrofoam "MODUR" made by puren in Germany. Take a look on their web site: 
By the way, it is fun working on the layout while outside the first snow hit the ground here in Switzerland. We are approx. 520 meters above sea level (1560 feet). 
10/30/08 Tunnel 1 EP - 453 Tunnel 2 EP with ballasted tracks - 454
10/30/08 Tunnel 1 left and T 2 right w/o any cover - 455 Tunnel 2 EP w/cardboard roof and inside walls - 456
10/30/08 Tunnel 1 EP with cardboard covers - 457 Tunnel 1 EP as seen from the side with cardboard - 458
10/30/08 Putting some styrofoam around the portals - 459 Thinking - deciding - cutting and finally glueing it together - 460
10/30/08 Tunnel1 EP before sanding and cutting - 461 Tunnel 2 EP before carving - 462
10/30/08 Always have in mind to build access and service roads - 463 Tunnel 2 EP pre-shaping of the styro gives an idea how it will look - 464
10/30/08 T 1 EP with custom made retaining walls - 465 Tunnel 2 EP got different retaining walls - 466
10/30/08 To the left of T 1 we have some strange rock formations - 467 These rocks need a lot of more details to become a realistic look - 468
12/12/08 Because of being busy in taking care of endless paperwork, accounting, orders, shipments, updates of the web site (incl. Cajon Pass site), x-mas cards, x-mas sale etc., there was no time to do any work on my layout for the last 3 months. Next step will be taxes and already start with the organization of our 14th Convention.
1/28/09 In early January, I suddenly realized, that my Inspector, Percy became blind. He cannot jump on the layout anymore and therefore, I lost my best worker and controller of every step. Of course, he is still alive and doing quite well (he is almost 19 years old). Well, to be honest, there is also an advantage as I can put cars, trucks, models and buildings on the layout without being scared that Percy is going to move or push it away.
So, I placed all buildings on my High Desert Town. It is not the final arrangement yet because I am waiting for a modern Car Dealer building (this will become High Desert Cadillac). In addition, I built the second Werner Enterprises structure. I used a Great West Models Kit but built it in a "L" shaped style to fit my space. One track is going thru the building and there are two truck loading ramps. The new WE building fits perect to the existing one.
1/28/09  High Desert Town looking West - 469 1/28/09 - Looking the other way with Werner Enterprises at right - 470
1/28/09 Denny's and Super 8 Motel are next to each other - 471 1/28/09 The only siding is serving Werner Enterprises - 472
1/28/09 Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Taco Bell, Denny's - 473 1/28/09 Main street is between the tracks and the town - 474
1/28/09 Super 8 Motel (Kit by Summit USA) - 475 1/28/09 Denny's Restaurant (Kit by Summit USA) - 476
1/28/09 Taco Bell (Kit by Summit USA) - 477 1/28/09 Domino's Pizza (Kit by Summit USA) - 478
1/28/09 Pizza Hut (Kit made in Germany) - 479 1/28/09 West End Shopping Center (Built up by Model Power) - 480
1/28/09 Dealership Building (Kit by Herpa) - 481 1/28/09 Vacant space around WE siding - 482
1/28/09 Supermarket (Built up by Imex) - 483 1/28/09 Industrial Building (Kit by Great West Models) - 484
1/28/09 Werner Enterprises Facility - 485 1/28/09 WE Warehouses (Kits by Great West Models) - 486
1/28/09 WE's Christmas Tour Bus made by Pitsch Allneider - 487 1/28/09 WE Facility is always busy - 488
1/28/09 WE Office (Strip Mall Kit by Summit USA) - 489 1/28/09 WE warehouses seen from main street - 490
1/28/09 WE Facilities over view - 491 1/28/09 WE Office and Corner Building made by Pitsch Allneider - 492
1/28/09 L shaped warehouse was made from a square kit - 493 1/28/09 The smaller warehouse was made several years ago - 494
1/28/09 WE siding goes thru the warehouse - 495 1/28/09 No pavement yet to cover the wooden surface - 496
1/28/09 A WE sign will be added on top of the first warehouse - 497 1/28/09 All WE trucks made by Pitsch Allneider - 498
1/28/09 Super 8 Motel (Kit by Summit USA) - 499 1/28/09 Not sure, if this is the final location of the Super 8 - 500
1/28/09 Denny's Restaurant (Kit by Summit USA) - 501 1/28/09 Taco Bell with pick-up window on the side - 502
1/28/09 Domino's Pizza with pick-up window on the side - 503 1/28/09 Pizza Hut (Kit by Modellbahn-Atelier Berlin) - 504
1/28/09 Another view of Domino's Pizza - 505 1/28/09 Bob's Hot Dog Stand (Built up by Model Power) - 506
1/28/09 West End Shopping Center (Built up by Model Power) - 507 1/28/09 Dealership Building (Kit by Herpa) - 508

Continued on page 6 - click here

updated: January 29, 2009

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)


Did you see page 1 ? - click here Did you see page 2 ? - click here Did you see page 3 ? - click here
Did you see page 4 ? - click here Did you see page 5 ? - click here Did you see page 6 ? - click here
Did you see page 7 ? - click here Did you see page 8 ? - click here Did you see page 9 ? - click here
Did you see page 10 ? - click here Did you see page 11 ? - click here Did you see page 12 ? - click here
Did you see page 13 ? - click here Did you see page 14 ? - click here Did you see page 15 ? - click here
Did you see page 16 ? - click here Did you see page 17 ? - click here Did you see page 18 ? - click here
Did you see page 19 ? - click here Did you see page 20 ? - click here Did you see page 21 ? - click here
See the track plan and the 1:10 cardboard model of this layout - click here Did you see page 22 ? - click here

Back to layout main page - click here

Home News Models Brass Books HO Cajon Layout Cajon Pass Photos
Info Monthly News Models Plastic DVD/Videos Layout Center LCH California Gallery
Shop how to find Consignment News Commission Plastic Structures US-Layouts Joshua Trees
RR-Shop Photos Models History Passenger Cars Future US-Dioramas USA by Train
Reports sold out Brass Freight Cars Sale Customized Models 350 Links
Hobby Shows sold out Plastic Cars/Trucks US-Cars (Autos) Different Items Railroadfans