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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Michael M Posted - 11/13/2020 : 1:08:42 PM
A long time ago...

Almost four years ago I took a very different direction. Inspired by what a few others had done I started modeling in 1/35 scale using 16.5mm gauge track (HO scale) that equates to two-foot gauge.

Since this was to be outside I also went with BPRC (battery power remote control).

This little 26" by 28" layout was just the beginning of a layout that still continues to grow.

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15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CNE1899 Posted - 03/13/2021 : 2:49:07 PM

Thanks for letting us ride along!

Michael M Posted - 02/15/2021 : 12:49:33 AM
It's been a little while since I've posted anything.

Finally got a chance to run a train. Life just keeps getting in the way.

The mail train is getting ready at the transfer dock. The boxcar carries LCL. It will head out to Manly Siding, the farthest point on the line, and return.

At Manly Siding mail and freight will be unloaded for nearby mines. The engine will run-around its train and start the return trip.

At Whiskey Junction the boxcar will get dropped off on the mail line, and the mail car will get pushed to Whiskey Flats stopping in front of Woodie's Cantina. The mail car it fitted with radial couplers to deal with the tight curves.

The mail car and boxcar have been spotted in the yard at San Miguel while #8 awaits its next assignment.

Michael M Posted - 01/15/2021 : 10:31:31 PM
Thank you every one for the kind comments.

Like many small narrow-gauge railways my line does have its own quirky equipment. Often it is a matter of making do with what you got.
quartergauger48 Posted - 01/15/2021 : 7:49:59 PM
Very nice and some very good looking modeling'..Good job'..
CNE1899 Posted - 01/15/2021 : 1:22:26 PM
I like your railroad! Lots of interesting types of rolling stock. Funky but cool setting.
George D Posted - 01/13/2021 : 08:43:52 AM
Great story. I see Hooch's final resting place gives him a nice view of the railroad.

Michael M Posted - 01/13/2021 : 08:12:15 AM
Way before their time.
Tyson Rayles Posted - 01/13/2021 : 08:04:50 AM
Hooch any relation to O.J. or Homer Simpson?
Michael M Posted - 01/12/2021 : 7:44:05 PM

Skidoo California is located in the Panamint Range on the western edge of Death Valley.

On April 19, 1908 Joe "Hooch" Simpson ambushed and gunned down a respected citizen, Jim Arnold, the proprietor of the the Skidoo Trading Company.

Hooch has been described in various stories as a hard luck miner, a penniless bum, a scoundrel, an alcoholic and a no good rascal who was bound to be hanged someday. However, prior to the murder of Arnold, local newspaper accounts described him as a businessman. Hooch was half-owner of the Gold Seal Saloon and involved in several mining ventures. Hooch also had a stable of shady ladies including “Skidoo Babe” and “Blonde Betty.” Somewhere along the way Hooch seems to have acquired a case of syphilis from one of his soiled doves.

Arnold died that evening and three days later a lynch mob hanged Hooch from a telegraph pole. That same telegraph line attached to the pole sent the news to the outside world and a few days later reporter from the Los Angeles Times showed up to take a photograph but by the time he arrived Hooch had been pushing up daisies for several days. That didn’t stop the hospitable locals who obliged him by digging up Hooch, brushing the dirt off and hanging him again.

It was said Hooch was a frequent guest of the red light district in Skidoo prompting the town doctor cut his head off to test it for syphilis, thinking that might be the cause of his sudden madness.

It’s said the twice-hanged, headless Hooch still wanders those lonely hills in Death Valley looking for his missing head.

Michael M Posted - 01/12/2021 : 2:51:56 PM

Here are a couple of photos of the new mail/baggage car waiting at the transfer dock in San Miguel.

Tyson Rayles Posted - 01/07/2021 : 09:11:26 AM
Progressing nicely!
Michael M Posted - 01/06/2021 : 09:00:20 AM

Here is a mail/baggage car under construction. About 18 scale feet long.
Michael M Posted - 12/31/2020 : 3:42:20 PM
It can be fun. But, also it can be hot, or cold and windy (like today).

Instead of plaster I use mortar, and real dirt and sand for scenery.

If I spill something I can just wash down the patio floor and the wife will never know. Really can't do that with a layout that's inside.

Now, if you drop something small it's probably gone for good.

Even though the layout is under a covered patio I do have future plans to extend it out into the wild and the great outdoors.
Coaltrain Posted - 12/30/2020 : 06:27:18 AM
I think it is amazing that you live where you can have a layout outside! it looks good and it must be fun to be out in the fresh air.
Michael M Posted - 12/28/2020 : 5:53:16 PM

Thank you. I do try mix in a little reality with my modeled world.

I've collected a number of books on the general Death valley area dealing with prospecting, mining, and general lore. I collect postcards, brochures, and miscellaneous on the area to get an idea on how it all once looked like.

It's still good to have boots-on-the-ground. Thankfully, I'm only about 3 hours away from Death Valley so if I'm ever overcome with a desperate need for wide open spaces I don't have too far to go.

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