Layout Photos

June 2010

Copyright 2010 by James E. Lancaster

This gallery of photos shows progress to date on creating a 1950s-era version of the town of Highgrove, CA on the upper deck of my HO scale model railroad.

Highgrove was served by the Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. The Santa Fe, and its tenant Union Pacific, had a double track, north-south main line through the western part of the town. The Santa Fe line to Hemet and San Jacinto branched of the mainline in Highgrove. Sanborn fire insurance maps show a depot, a nameless fruit packing house, a fertilzer warehouse, a Riverside county road department yard and a Shell oil dealer along the Santa Fe-Union Pacific tracks.

Figure 1. I believe this photo was taken by Jack Whitmeyer, ca. 1950. The view looks north toward Colton and San Bernardino. The left hand track in the foreground is the Santa Fe's San Jacinto Branch. The Santa Fe-Union Pacific mainline to Riverside curves to the left in the  distance and passes on the opposite side of the depot. The crossing watchman's tower is at Center St. Just beyond Center St. on the rght is a fruit packing house and beyond that a fertilizer warehouse (barely visible).

Figure 2. This photo, also probably taken by Jack Whitmeyer, shows the opposite side of the Santa Fe depot in 1952. 

The SP branch line from Colton to Riverside (known as the Riverside Branch) came through Highgrove about two blocks east of the
Santa Fe-Union Pacific tracks. The Sanborn fire insurance map shows a depot, Highgrove Fruit Association packing house and nameless fertilzer warehouse along the tracks. A second packing house, L.V.W. Brown Estates, was east of the Highgrove Fruit Association.

Modeling Highgrove

Photo Date: June 23, 2010

My version of Highgrove has the double track Santa Fe-Union Pacific mainline with with one spur and the single track SP Riverside Branch with two spurs. Whereas in reality the two lines are over two blocks apart, on my 20" wide upper deck the two lines are relatively close.

Figure 3. Here you can see Chapman on the lower deck and Highgrove on the upper deck. There's still  a lot of scenery work to do in Highgrove, including ballast and ground cover.

Figure 4. This photo shows the Santa Fe depot. It's an old Atlas depot I had in a trash box. I boarded over some windows and repainted it giving it somewhat the look of the depot in Figure 2. The crossing tower is a Walthers model. The background flats are sides of HO scale paper buildings available on the internet

Figure 5.  The prototype packing house on the Santa Fe was on the east side of the tracks (Figure 1). Because of space limitations mine is on the west side. This is a Showcase Miniatures model built by Bill Messecar.

Figure 6.  The fertilizer warehouse is just a mock-up for now. The prototype warehouse was on the east side of the tracks but mine is on the west side.

Figure 7. The Charles E. Duggan Company is the name of the Shell dealer on the Sanborn map. The model is a kit-bashed Walthers bulk oil dealer modified to fit the narrow location.

Figure 8. The San Gorgonio Coop Winery is on the SP but is a ficticious industry. I needed a winery to fill all my Chateau Martin wine cars! I bought this structure at a swap meet for a dollar. The tank is from a Kibri kit (I  think).

Figure 9. A Mobil gas station-garage was not in this location next to the SP Riverside Branch where it crosses Center St. But it's an ideal spot to show off the model scratchbuilt by Kevin Barnett.

Figure 10. The Highgrove Fruit Association packing house was built from a CC Crow plaster kit. 

Figure 11. At this  location on the prototype SP there was a fertilizer warehouse. I put in a smudge oil tank and a small grain elevator instead. The tank is from a Rix Products kit from Walthers and the grain elevator is from Athearn. 

Figure 12. Barton Road crosses both the Santa Fe-Union Pacific mainline and the SP Riverside Branch between Highgrove and Colton. I included my version of Barton Road as shown on the right of this photo.

You can view September 2009 photos of Barton Road and the railroads passing under it by clicking on any of the following:
Photo a. Barton Road looking west from the bridge over the SP Riverside Branch 
Photo b. Looking south from the bridge over the Santa Fe-Union Pacific mainline.
Photo c. Looking north from the bridge over the Santa Fe-Union Pacific mainline.
Photo d. Looking south from the bridge over the SP Riverside Branch.
Photo e. Looking north from the bridge over the SP Riverside Branch.
The bridge over the Santa Fe-Union Pacific tracks is dated 1936. The bridge over the SP is of unknown age so I'm not sure of the date of the fill leading to the bridge (Photo a.). I'm assuming the bridge and fill were there in the 1950s.

Figure 13. This is a closer view of the south side of the Barton Road fill and bridges. The bridges still need their railings (I'm waiting for some from Walthers). I added some connecting pavement that goes down to the grain elevator (albeit on a rather steep grade).

Figure 14. This is the north side of the Barton Road fill.

Figure 15. There is some open space at the south end of Highgrove (to the left in Figure 3). I may put a small farm there, somewhat like what is shown here. The silos are from Imex.

Photos Added: June 26, 2010

Barton Road and Highgrove

Figure 16. Similar to Figure 14 but with bridge railings  in place.

Figure 17. Overhead view of Barton Road.

Figure 18. Center Street in Highgrove with crossing gates in place. A similar gate is visible in Figure 1. They were operated by the crossing watchman in the tower. The prototype gates only protected the tracks of the Santa Fe Third District mainlaine and the San Jacinto Branch but on the layout they also protect the tracks of the SP Riverside Branch.

Figure 19. Details add a lot of interest between the back of the Mobil gas station (left) and the end of the Highgrove Citrus Association packing house.

Other Recent Changes

Figure 20. The large station and Railway Express building were long-time fixtures on the layout. Both have been retired to a small diorama for storing passenger cars not needed on the layout.

Figure 21. A Walthers Santa Fe depot has replaced the large station on the layout. It represents the Corona depot on the layout, although it's a different design than the prototype Corona depot.

Figure 22. A Giant Orange stand serving fresh, cold orange juice has been added to Arlington. For more on these orange stands, visit my California Orange Stands web page.

Figure 23. Overhead view of the open area around the Giant Orange stand. The track at the left with the boxcar and flat car is the Arlington team track.

Photos Added: July 5, 2010

Figure 24. This is similar to Figure 13 but with bridge railings and vehicles added.

Figure 25. View of Barton Road looking north from track level. The double  track on the left is the Santa Fe Third District. The single track on the right is the SP Riverside Branch.

Figure 26. This is similar to Figure 22 but I thought the area around the Giant Orange stand and along the team track needed some gravel.

Figure 27. This is similar to Figure 23 but shows the added gravel.

Web page created 6/23/10
Last update: 7/5/10