Peter Model Railroad Tour #2                                   TO: Peter Model Railroad Tour #1 

Well here it is folks!  The second instalment of your guided tour of the Essex, Torrance and Rosarito
Railroad!  A Third and fourth will follow this one today because of the number of photos....  As you'll
remember the model is intended to recreate the atmosphere of the three great American Railroad periods. 
Namely The Turn of the 20th Century, The Golden Years of 1930-1960 and the turn of the Millennium. 
The only names that are genuine are Chicago and Williams.  Both of these locations are modelled not in
reproduction but in representation.  That is my Chicago Union Station is a far cry from the vast
establishment of any of my periods but it is intended to give you the feel of that great transportation hub. 
Equally my model of Williams City historic depot is intended to give the viewer the taste of a Santa-Fe
Arizona tourist depot.  The actual structure is a reasonably accurate scale model of the  building which
the Grand Canyon Railway now operates, though the Roundhouse is entirely fictional.

                                    1900 AND ALL THAT 

The layout boasts three main geographical features,  and this Boyle Canyon is the largest.  at over a
hundred scale feet in depth it is an impressive gash in the earth!  Spanned by the Segretti Trestle and the
more modern Martinez  Girder bridge, those of you who have read the story of the line will be interested
to know that the burnt out ruins of the Essex Mining Company offices are just below the Martinez bridge.

 The second  geographical feature is Ernst mountain, this large area forms the Southern side of Gibbings Canyon and has on its flanks not only an ancient Native Holy Place but the ruins of  The Snelling Gold Mine.  In this photograph the Westbound Southwest Chief roars out of Snelling Tunnel as it attacks The Rodgers Grade up and out of Gibbings Canyon.  The Holy place is seen to the left of the mountain top.

 All that remains of the hopes of striking it rich on Ernst Mountain.  The charred remains of the log cabin
built by Brown the mines founder.

Chicago in 1900 on a Sunday afternoon.  The Gibbings Canyon Flyer prepares to depart with the canary
yellow cars of the ET &RR and a special Pullman car at the rear.  Clearly someone of importance is
travelling to Joshua Creek.  On the Elevated tracks a steam hauled passenger train chuffs across the girders

                                     Here we see a birds eye view in 1900 of the ultra modern
Elevated Station incorporated into Union Station Chicago.  "Kate" a steam tank locomotive has just
hauled her two coach train in from the new tracks connecting the Station complex to the rest of the
Elevated system via The Loop.   {All right All right I know there never was an Elevated station in Union
Station Chicago... However I think there should have been! }

Looking from the concourse we see the Beauty salon and the entrance to the Elevated station with Kate
chuffing through the station. 

Here the Gibbings Canyon Flyer is seen passing the somewhat strange General Offices of the ET & RR
on the outskirts of Joshua Creek.  The grandiose structure was given the ultimate indignity of a tented
canvas roof when the company directors "pulled the plug" on its construction having discovered its
excessive luxury.  The Locomotive "No.4" called JJ Pirkl was permanently leased from the Santa-Fe
Railroad by the ET & RR and miraculously continued in service until the early 1950's!  It is currently
preserved at Williams City Roundhouse Museum.

If you've not had a chance of reading the History of the ET & RR and would like to chuckle over the
model's reason-detre then e-mail me and I'll send you the chapters as they are written.

In True American Railroad fashion... 

                                                "The Train of The Stars"

           That was what the Santa-Fe Railroad proudly called their crack transcontinental express
           "The Super-Chief" 

Here we see the distinctive observation car of the Super-Chief sweeping into the mighty Cox Tunnel as
it rushes Eastbound toward Chicago.  The dark line in the precipitous wall of the canyon behind is
known as  "Indian Caves" and rumoured to be the scene of a forthcoming archaeological dig.

Here The  Super-Chief  is seen  just departing on its 2,245,Mile Journey to LA from 1930's Chicago.  One of the distinctive Custard  and Lime green Elevated trains is seen emerging from Union Station  Elevated station while Santa-Fe heavyweight Pullmans await their pampered passengers. The Chicago Skyline is steadily filling in comparison with the 1900's period.

Here you can see the whole of "my" Union Station.  The model incorporates a sectional view of the
magnificent Great Hall which is built to scale, a small section of the vast Shopping Mall that stood within
the structure,  my fictional Elevated Station, a ticket booking office, and entrances to both the suburban
departure tracks and the long distance tracks below.  One of the features of the model is that all the
shop interiors and fascias are the actual shops and shop windows from the 1930's structure.  Interiors
were copied from photographs of the original printed out and illuminated from behind.  The windows
were printed onto overhead projector acetate slides and cut out then stuck over the photographs of the

Here you see the Great Hall with scale figures above the shopping centre to the right of the store is
the entrance to the lower level long distance departure tracks and to the right again the entrance to the
ticket office and Suburban departure tracks.   Below on the model fascia is one of a series of
reproduction 1930 posters this one advertising the Burlington Zephyr Services.  The edge of a Santa-Fe
Super-Chief poster is seen to the right.

                                                    The Turn Of The Millennium
   With the year 2001 Amtrak entered what could be the dawn of its resurgence or its swan-song.  Only
  time will tell .  If you haven't yet experienced the magic of crossing eight states and three time zones on
 the most magnificent train journey in America then quickly go and do it!  The Southwest Chief is a living
                  reminder of the great days of travel and may not last much longer. 
                          Here is my tribute to it's glory and magnificence:-

                                     Here "The Chief" is toping The Rodgers Grade heading West.

   In my fictional world the Southwest Chief calls at Williams City Depot in the early evening instead of
   calling late at night at Williams Junction, my justification is that the Super-Chief used to pass through
 Williams City.  The mighty Genesis p42's rumble in the towering Superliners of "The Chief" as a Grand
   Canyon Railway train waits at the depot for tomorrow mornings tourists while Preserved No 4 of the
               Santa-Fe Railroad simmers quietly at the Williams Roundhouse Museum. 

  While a modern Elevated train rumbles into the Elevated station in Chicago, a set of Genesis P42's are
 gently eased back onto the head of the Westbound Southwest Chef.  Notice in the background how the
 might Sears Tower now dominates the Chicago skyline proudly proclaiming the Windy City as the home
of the Skyscraper.

  Exactly on time The Southwest Chief is gradually eased out of the complex train yard by it's P42's past
 the Switch tower.  Before she starts her mammoth westward journey she will reverse to collect her long
 tail of Amtrak Box cars which await her on an adjoining track.

   Remember, do not let my humble modelling efforts be the closest you get to a trip on the Southwest
  Chief!  Start planning your trip now, with Amtrak's reduced capacity following various cut backs trains
   will start to be booked up well in advance:-"Use it or loose it"  As They say!

   More photos will follow later in the summer.  In the mean time please see the wonderful Crew Ten Web Site which will share with you the glories of  the 12 inch to the foot version of the Southwest Chief!
  And remember if you've not read the history of the ET &RR ask for the first two chapters... it's a light
  hearted tale of pioneer railroads.

 Much Love to All  And a special thank you to the following Gems:-  John Boyle who encouraged me to travel on "The Chief",   Leanna Rodgers,  Jim Snelling & Joe Ernst who made the arrival in LA  so wonderful.
        Bob Stone for his advice, enthusiasm and assistance with my reservations on "the Chief".
      Andy Slater from The Modellers Resource Centre in Whitby for endless patience with my silly questions. 
 Glen, a resident of Williams City Arizona who kindly took dozens of detailed photos of The Depot  and
area to enable me to complete the model. And my good friend Andy Tebbutt for his electrical assistance.
Against the dark sky of my ignorance you shine as a galaxy of stars! 

                                                                          Thank you.
                                             Peter Model Railroad Tour #1

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