Layout Tour

July 2010

Copyright 2010 by James E. Lancaster

This gallery of photos follows Santa Fe Freight Extra 9812 East as it traverses my version of the Santa Fe's Third District between Orange County and Colton in Southern California. The motive power for this trip is Alco RSD-15 #9812 and EMD SD24 #947.


Figure 1. Extra 9812 East comes out of the west-end staging and passes through the Texaco refinery in West Chapman. The refinery is switched by the Los Angeles and San Diego (LA&SD) railroad, a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific. This was the first part of my model railroad that I built back in 1987-88.

Figure 2. The train comes into Chapman. The sidings nearest the backdrop are served by the LA&SD.

Figure 3. Garza Brothers Wholesale Meats in Chapman operates as a branch house for Swift and Company and receives meat in the red Swift reefers.

Figure 4. The freight train passes the Chapman depot. Chapman is a fictitious town generally representing the area between Anaheim and Atwood. 

Figure 5.  The Chapman depot is owned by the LA&SD Railroad.

Figure 6.  This trackside view looks east. This part of the layout was completed in 1987-89. The depot is a kitbashed NMRA headquarters building. The kit was originally made by Con-Cor/Heljan but has been out of production for many years.

Villa Park

Figure 7. Working east through Villa Park the train passes the Villa Park Orchards Association citrus packing house. The prototype packing house was on the SP Tustin Branch. This trackwork has been in place since before 1990 but the packing house and surrounding scenery was only finished in 2008.


Figure 8. Santiago represents the Santa Ana Canyon between Orange County and Corona. The prototype Santa Fe Third District ran through the canyon. The track is now home to Metrolink and BNSF. On my layout, Santiago is the junction with the LA&SD line to San Diego. This trackwork has also been in place since before 1990 but the scenery was only added in 2008.


Figure 9. The train passes through Prado (Prado Dam on the prototype Santa Fe). The Union Pacific serves a short team track here for loading reefers with locally-grown fruits and vegetables. The UP has trackage rights on the Santa Fe to get to this location.


Figure 10. Before reaching Corona, our freight train comes around a broad, sweeping curve. Inside the curve are the red buildings of the LA&SD engine terminal (front), Corona Plumbing Supply Company (middle) and the LA&SD freight house where you can just see a PMT truck and trailer (rear).

Figure 11. Extra 9812 East passes the Santa Fe's depot in Corona.  Although the prototype for the Walthers kit is a Santa Fe depot, the actual Corona depot had a different architecture. The trackwork here dates to 1990. This is the second depot at this location and it was finished in early 2010. 

Figure 12. This view shows the south side of the Corona depot .

Figure 13. This view looks west at the east end of the Corona depot. The trackage to the right of the Santa Fe locomotives belongs to the LA&SD. The latter gets to Corona via trackage rights over the Santa Fe.


Figure 14. Arlington is east of Corona. Here we see the freight train passing the Galivan packing house with its adjacent smudge oil tank. On the left is the Arlington Box Company that provides wooden orange crates for the packing house. Behind Gavilan is the Golden State Hardware warehouse and next to it the Union Ice Company. In the foreground is the LA&SD track from Corona.

Figure 15. Extra 9812 East crosses Van Buren Blvd in Arlington. A Giant Orange juice stand is down the street on the left.

Figure 16. The train leaves Arlington headed for Riverside.


Figure 17. The RSD-15 passes the Alfred M. Lewis grocery warehouse in Riverside. The boxcars are on one of the two Santa Fe sidings that are in the pavement on Pachappa Ave, just as on the prototype.

Figure 18. ATSF Extra 9812 East meets a UP local freight behind a GP7 at 7th Street in Riverside. The National Orange Company Sunkist packing house is on Pachappa Ave. between 7th and 6th Streets. The prototype structure burned in 2001. The Riverside section of the model railroad was added between 2005 and 2008, primarily to accommodate the National Orange packing house.

Figure 19. Leaving Riverside, the caboose of our freight train passes an A&P market.

Figure 20. The train passes between small orange groves.


Figure 21. The Alco locomotive approaches Center St. in Highgrove ....

Figure 22. .... and crosses the street while traffic waits.

Figure 23. Passing through Highgrove, the Santa Fe's double tracked Third District main line parallels Southren Pacific's Riverside Branch. The Highgrove Fruit Association packing house is on the SP. This part of the layout is on the upper level that was added in 2008 (Chapman is below on the lower level). Track was laid in 2009 and the structures were added in 2010. The packing house was built from a CC Crow plaster kit.

Barton Road

Figure 24. Just north of Highgrove the Santa Fe freight train passes under Barton Road. An SP local behind low-nose GP9 5889 is also passing under Barton Road while on its way to Riverside.

Figure 25. After passing under Barton Road the Alco-led freight crosses the SP's mainline to Los Angeles. The SP Riverside local's caboose also goes under Barton Road. The bare area between the tracks is the future location for a model of Colton Tower.

Figure 26. Cabooses of both trains pass just south of Barton Road.


Figure 27. The last view of the Santa Fe freight shows it passing through Colton and headed for the east-end ATSF-UP staging area. The nearer tracks belong to the Southern Pacific. The foundation is for a model of the Western Milling Company, a long-time landmark on the SP in  Colton.

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Last update: 7/26/10