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Rick Fortin
Valley Division, Fourth District (ATSF)

Proto-freelanced extension of the Santa Fe in the early 1970s north from the San Francisco Bay Area to Portland; modeled portion runs from the Central Valley town of Chico to McCloud just south of Mt. Shasta in a purpose built 25 x 47 foot room. Double deck point to point, 410 feet of mainline trackage, 50% scenicked, mainline 90% complete. Operations include a dispatcher, an interlocking tower, a large yard with two switch crews and a hostler, a small yard with a full time switcher, heavy duty mainline freight action with some passenger, local switching, and a branchline. Permanent track is all hand laid. Operations are purposeful, in a relatively disciplined but casual atmosphere. Many scenic items have been custom designed and home 3D printed including bridges, abutments, vehicles and various detail objects.

Twenty plus mainline trains, including 2 Amtrak passenger, 3 hot freights, one with priority over all other traffic, 4 manifests, 2 unit trains, several locals and work trains, and 1 private shortline train that interchanges with the ATSF. Six interchange trains between their staging yards and the main classification yard are also run. Up to six optional “extras” are run if the session is going smoothly to keep visiting operators busy

NCE DCC with wireless throttles, FRS radios, and intercom, Track Warrants, real time, sequence operations, car card and waybill. Fascia mounted track diagrams, station names, mileposts, clipboards with train instructions and track diagrams. 46 inch duck under to enter layout during session.

Several of the sidings and junctions have operational US&S R2 signals that are providing turnout position indication.

Here's a Westbound cab ride on the 4th sub

And here's an Eastbound ride

Railroad Model Craftsman, Nov 1999, Layout Design Journal/News, Winter 1998, Layout Design Journal/News, January 1998

Updated 10/21/2023