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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Literally 40 years -- I have been planning this layout since the mid-Seventies.

And I have been actively working on it the last few months putting down and taking up track as I tried multiple permutations of Kato Unitrack.

And I am here to tell you now that I am finally running trains.

Multiple trains (albeit not at the same time).

There are still a few wires exposed, and there is still a bit of scenery to be done and some buildings to be built, but I am by god running trains.

The layout itself is based on an old Atlas N scale track plan -- N-9 Multiple Track Arrangement from the Atlas book Introduction to N Scale Railroading. This thing has been around forever; the original edition dates back to the late Sixties. It is almost as old as most of us. I know I had an early edition of this book back in the 70s.

Anyway, I tried other plans, including freelancing my own, but I kept being drawn back to N-9. I had a big ol' bin of Kato Unitrack, so I just started laying it out.

I modified some things along the way. For one thing, it was designed for a space 27 inches by 60 inches, and I had a 36 by 80 inch door. So whereas N-9 has 9 3/4 and 11 inch curves, I have 13 3/4 and 15 1/8, with just a little bit of 12 3/8.

And I widened the spaces between the tracks on the yard section to accommodate passenger platforms.

And here's what I ended up with -- Ladies and gentlemen, I give you . . . the Prairie City Union Station.

(Stay tuned. There's more to come.)
 

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It's nice you were able to adapt it to your door. It looks good! :appl:
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Prairie City Union Station

Prairie City was growing. It was no longer a collection of small municipalities. Through growth and consolidation, it had grown into a major Midwest city with a population pushing 200,000.

But its transportation system had not kept up. Though served by half a dozen Class I railroads, each of these had their own separate station, and connecting across rail lines was like undertaking an expedition.

Five of the six railroads serving Prairie City -- MoPac, Santa Fe, CB&Q, C&NW, and CMSP&P (Milwaukee Road) -- went together to form the Prairie City Terminal Railway Corporation (PCTRC) with the purpose of constructing a Union Station to be used by all six railroads providing passenger service to Prairie City. The Prairie City Terminal Railway would administer the construction and subsequent maintenance of both the station and associated trackage.

The sixth railroad -- Union Pacific -- declined to buy into the PCTRC, but did commit to becoming a tenant if and when Prairie City Union Station was completed.

The PCTRC was able to acquire land and some existing trackage adjacent to the old MoPac Sunnyvale station. Track upgrades and new platforms went in quickly, and pending the construction of a new Union Station building, the five railroads would share the existing Sunnyvale station. Needless to say, quarters were cramped in a building that was hardly the size of a Harvey House.

But in a spirit of uncharacteristic cooperation, the six railroads persevered through those difficult times as they, and Prairie City, awaited completion of the new station.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
1. Mopac Prairie Eagle stands by awaiting a free platform while the Santa Fe Prairie City Chief, the C&NW Prairie City 400, the CB&Q Prairie Zephyr and the Milwaukee Road Prairie Hiawatha load and unload passengers.

2. A view of the platforms -- Left to right -- Prairie Hiawatha, Prairie Zephyr, Prairie City 400 and Prairie City Chief, with Mopac Prairie Eagle in the background.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's nice you were able to adapt it to your door. It looks good! :appl:
Thank you. It took some selective compression. I had to accept that although I could run a 9-car Super Chief with A-B-A F units on either of the two ovals, there was no way I could back even half of it into the station platform tracks.

So a couple of the longer trains had a few cars removed, but I think their essence is still there.

And when I want to, I can still get the full Super Chief out and let it chase its tail.

Lookin’ Good. Love the war bonnets. :rolleyes: :thumbsup::thumbsup:
Thank you. The Santa Fe warbonnets and the Mopac Eagles are special to me because I was actually able to ride those as a kid. Father worked for Mopac, and we had passes.
 

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Clovis -

I promise that before too long you will place your entire Super Chief on one of the main lines of your layout just to watch it run.

That train is just too pretty to hide. Till then, feel free to watch my El Capitan run whenever the mood strikes. :)

 

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[Quote Clovissangrail01; "It took some selective compression. I had to accept that although I could run a 9-car Super Chief with A-B-A F units on either of the two ovals, there was no way I could back even half of it into the station platform tracks."]



Clovissangrail01;

The need to cut a long passenger train to fit the available platform length existed in the real world too. Only a few really big terminals had platforms long enough to serve a 9-15 car train. So you can quite legitimately cut your Super Chief, and spot part on one side of a platform and the rest split between the other side of the platform, and other tracks. If the train was going to stay in Prairie City for long, the locomotives might be uncoupled and run over to service tracks? You might consider adding a double-sided backdrop down the middle of your layout before you get into scenery. It can be simple blue sky with a few sponged on clouds. It would divide your layout into two separate scenes, and help conceal the "round-and-round the oval" look. Your choice, of course.

I really like your "legend" or "scenario", about Prairie City's decision to build a Union Station. :thumbsup:
Walthers "cornerstone" sells a generic "Union Station" model in N-scale. Perhaps the good citizens of Prairie City will scrape together enough financing to be able to acquire their Union Station. It's on sale for "only" $48.90! :) Then again, you already have a station in Prairie City. :eek:hwell:

My own N-scale layout is based around the very real Seattle Union Station. It had only two resident railroad companies, rather than your six, or seven. Like Prairie City's, Seattle's Union Station was a simple stub-end terminal. It had only six main station tracks, four of which were arranged around two long, narrow, wooden platforms, protected from Seattle's notorious rains by "umbrella" or "butterfly" roofs.
The station was built by the Oregon & Washington Railway, a subsidiary of the Union Pacific. The Milwaukee Road was a tenant. Many name trains of both railroads called at Union Station. They included the Olympian Hiawatha you show in your photo. I have the Kato FP7s, and I just ordered the cars. $$$$ :eek: !

Seattle was unusual in that it had another major, shared station right across the street. King St. Station was home to the Northern Pacific, and Great Northern, passenger trains. So I get to run trains from four transcontinentals on one layout!
My "legend' concerns another Seattle area railroad, the Pacific Coast Railway. It served as the gateway trackage into Seattle for the U.P. and the C.M.St.P & P. In my imaginary scenario, the Pacific Coast Rwy. had also granted trackage rights to the N.P. & the G.N.
This never happened in real life. Each railroad actually had its own track into Seattle and the tracks ran next to each other in many places. I didn't have room on my mostly 16" deep shelf layout to model all this parallel trackage, I barely had room for one 16" radius curve under Allentown covered bridge, not the five that were actually there. Likewise I couldn't fit two major city stations into my 3'x4' "downtown Seattle." section. I settled for one, a 10% reduced version of Seattle Union Station. (see photos)
"King St. Station" will consist only of a structure flat, and a hidden staging yard.

Congratulations on getting trains running on your layout. Keep having fun!


Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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[Quote Clovissangrail01; "It took some selective compression. I had to accept that although I could run a 9-car Super Chief with A-B-A F units on either of the two ovals, there was no way I could back even half of it into the station platform tracks."]



Clovissangrail01;

The need to cut a long passenger train to fit the available platform length existed in the real world too. Only a few really big terminals had platforms long enough to serve a 9-15 car train. So you can quite legitimately cut your Super Chief, and spot part on one side of a platform and the rest split between the other side of the platform, and other tracks. If the train was going to stay in Prairie City for long, the locomotives might be uncoupled and run over to service tracks? You might consider adding a double-sided backdrop down the middle of your layout before you get into scenery. It can be simple blue sky with a few sponged on clouds. It would divide your layout into two separate scenes, and help conceal the "round-and-round the oval" look. Your choice, of course.

I like your "legend" or "scenario", about Prairie City's decision to build a Union Station. :thumbsup:
I know Walthers sells a generic "Union Station" model in HO-scale. They may offer an N-scale version too. If that's true, then perhaps the good citizens of Prairie City will scrape together enough financing to be able to acquire their Union Station. :)

My own N-scale layout is based around the very real Seattle Union Station. It had only two resident railroad companies, rather than your six, or seven. Like Prairie City's, Seattle Union Station was a simple stub-end terminal. It had only six main station tracks, four of which were arranged around two long, narrow, wooden platforms, protected from Seattle's notorious rains by "umbrella" covers/roofs.
The station was built by the Oregon & Washington Railway, a subsidiary of the Union Pacific. The Milwaukee Road was a tenant. Many name trains of both railroads called at Union Station. They included the Olympian Hiawatha you show in your photo. I have the Kato FP7s, but I still need the cars. $$$$ :eek: !

Seattle was also unusual in that it had another major, shared station right across the street. King St. Station was home to the Northern Pacific, and Great Northern, passenger trains.
So I get to run trains from four transcontinentals on one layout! My "legend' concerns another Seattle area railroad, the Pacific Coast Railway. It served as the gateway trackage into Seattle for the U.P. and the C.M.St.P & P. In my imaginary scenario, the Pacific Coast Rwy. had also granted trackage rights to the N.P. & the G.N.
This never happened in real life. Each railroad actually had its own track into Seattle and the tracks ran next to each other in many places. I didn't have room on my mostly 16" deep shelf layout to model all this parallel trackage, I barely had room for one 16" radius curve under Allentown covered bridge, not the four that were actually there. Likewise I couldn't fit two major city stations into my 3'x4' "downtown Seattle." section. I settled for one, a 10% reduced version of Seattle Union Station. (see photos)
"King St. Station" will consist only of a structure flat, and a hidden staging yard.

Congratulations on getting trains running on your layout. Keep having fun!


Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
would the GN's empire builder have ever been there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Clovis -

I promise that before too long you will place your entire Super Chief on one of the main lines of your layout just to watch it run.
Oh, you know that has already happened.


The Prairie City Chief originates in Prairie City, then runs south to Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. It carries both Pullman and coach passengers.

The Super Chief is an all-Pullman train; it stops in Prairie City on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles and back.

The Super Chief sets out southbound Pullmans from Chicago that are bound for Texas destinations; and it picks up northbound Prairie City Chief Pullmans that are en route Chicago.

The Prairie Chicagoan is an all-coach train connecting Prairie City and Chicago.

The dining is excellent on all three routes.

(And I loved the El Capitan clips.)
 

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Empire Builder

would the GN's empire builder have ever been there?
QueenoftheGN;

Yes, if by "there" you mean King St. Station in Seattle. It was the western terminus of the Empire Builder's run.
No, if you mean Union Station, also in Seattle, but hosting the Union Pacific, and Milwaukee Road.
The Great Northern, and Northern Pacific, operated out of King St. Station, not Union Station, which is the one I modeled which is shown in the photos. By the way, both real stations are still standing, and each has been beautifully restored. If you ever get to Seattle, you might want to visit these grand old stations. You can actually ride Amtrak's version of the Empire Builder right into King St. Station. Union Station is a very short walk, right across King St.

The Empire Builder ran from Chicago to Seattle. There were actually two Empire Builder complete trains. One set left east from Seattle, and the other headed west from Chicago. I have both the 1947 streamlined, diesel powered, version of the Empire Builder and an earlier heavyweight cars & steam locomotive version.

Have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Oh, you know that has already happened.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7euLJR-w1UA

The Prairie City Chief originates in Prairie City, then runs south to Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. It carries both Pullman and coach passengers.

The Super Chief is an all-Pullman train; it stops in Prairie City on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles and back.

The Super Chief sets out southbound Pullmans from Chicago that are bound for Texas destinations; and it picks up northbound Prairie City Chief Pullmans that are en route Chicago.

The Prairie Chicagoan is an all-coach train connecting Prairie City and Chicago.

The dining is excellent on all three routes.

(And I loved the El Capitan clips.)
Now... wasn’t that FUN! :D

Your Super Chief was very cool. I will post a video of mine in a couple of weeks.
 

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would the GN's empire builder have ever been there?
QueenoftheGN;

Yes, if by "there" you mean King St. Station in Seattle. It was the western terminus of the Empire Builder's run.
No, if you mean Union Station, also in Seattle, but hosting the Union Pacific, and Milwaukee Road.
The Great Northern, and Northern Pacific, operated out of King St. Station, not Union Station, which is the one I modeled which is shown in the photos. By the way, both real stations are still standing, and each has been beautifully restored. If you ever get to Seattle, you might want to visit these grand old stations. You can actually ride Amtrak's version of the Empire Builder right into King St. Station. Union Station is a very short walk, right across King St.

The Empire Builder ran from Chicago to Seattle. There were actually two Empire Builder complete trains. One set left east from Seattle, and the other headed west from Chicago. I have both the 1947 streamlined, diesel powered, version of the Empire Builder and an earlier heavyweight cars & steam locomotive version.

Have fun!

Traction Fan
Cool! I think riding the Amtrak empire builder might be pretty fun! ( and yes by there I did mean the king st. Station sorry about my wording!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
traction_fan --

The Prairie City Terminal Railway Corporation (PCTRC) has already contracted with the architectural firm of Wm. K. Walther and Son to design the new Prairie City Union Station. Architectural plans have been delivered and construction will begin soon. In the meantime, Prairie City will have to make do with the old Mopac Sunnyvale station.

Artist's concept of Prairie City Union Station design --



According to representative from Walther and Son, the design of the Prairie City station was heavily influenced by the old CB&Q station in Omaha. (Omaha is another town with multiple stations.The UP had a station right cross the tracks from the CB&Q station. )

The CMSP&P (Milwaukee Road) runs the Prairie Hiawatha from Prairie City to St. Louis via Kansas City, and the Midwest Hiawatha from Wichita to Chicago, via Topeka, Prairie City, Lincoln, Omaha, Council Bluffs, Des Moines and the Quad Cities. When the Olympian Hiawatha was discontinued just a few years after CMSP&P took over operation of the Union Pacific's City trains, the Prairie Hiawatha and Midwest Hiawatha inherited some of the Olympian Hiawatha equipment. And thus, riders of the these trains enjoy some first class equipment, including those iconic Milwaukee Road Skytop lounge cars. (When the UP finally moves to the Prairie City Union Station, the City of Prairie City, which runs from Prairie City to Oakland, may be pulled by CMSP&P motive power.)

As for running longer trains, such as when the Super Chief comes through, I have already wired the outer loop to allow me to park a long train there. Now trying to figure out how to tie it to another Kato power pack using Kato wiring (i.e., figuring out the Kato equivalent of Atlas Selector).

In other news, in response to requests from the owner railroads, the PCTRC is looking into the possibility of adding locomotive/car service facilities to the south in between the station tracks and the Acme Spaghetti grain elevator and factory siding.

Future site of Acme Spaghetti grain elevator and pasta factory --
 

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More good "creative writing!"

traction_fan --

The Prairie City Terminal Railway Corporation (PCTRC) has already contracted with the architectural firm of Wm. K. Walther and Son to design the new Prairie City Union Station. Architectural plans have been delivered and construction will begin soon. In the meantime, Prairie City will have to make do with the old Mopac Sunnyvale station.

Artist's concept of Prairie City Union Station design --



According to representative from Walther and Son, the design of the Prairie City station was heavily influenced by the old CB&Q station in Omaha. (Omaha is another town with multiple stations.The UP had a station right cross the tracks from the CB&Q station. )

The CMSP&P (Milwaukee Road) runs the Prairie City Hiawatha from Prairie City to Chicago, via Lincoln, Omaha, Council Bluffs, Des Moines and the Quad Cities. When the Olympian Hiawatha was discontinued just a few years after railroad took over operation of the Union Pacific's City trains, the Prairie City Hiawatha inherited some of the Olympian Hiawatha equipment. And thus, riders of the Prairie City Hiawatha enjoy some first class equipment, including those iconic Milwaukee Road Skytop lounge cars. (When the UP finally moves to the Prairie City Union Station, the City of Prairie City, which runs from Prairie City to Oakland, may be pulled by CMSP&P motive power.)

As for running longer trains, such as when the Super Chief comes through, I have already wired the outer loop to allow me to park a long train there. Now trying to figure out how to tie it to another Kato power pack using Kato wiring (i.e., figuring out the Kato equivalent of Atlas Selector).

In other news, in response to requests from the owner railroads, the PCTRC is looking into the possibility of adding locomotive/car service facilities to the south in between the station tracks and the Acme Spaghetti grain elevator and factory siding.

Future site of Acme Spaghetti grain elevator and pasta factory --
clovis;


Very good! :appl: I really like hearing "news bulletins" from Prairie City. You have quite a good imagination! Shades of "The news from Lake Wobegon". ;) Now, if the good people there could look into the advantages of underground "electrical utilities." :laugh:
BTW Don't tell my wife, but I just ordered the Olympian Hiawatha cars. Seeing your Prairie City Hiawatha made me do it! That's my story, and I'm stickin to it!:smilie_auslachen:

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 
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