American Dream 1 – Red Rocks Junction
A free-lance “Ready to Run”- layout for the passionate model railroad operator
Welcome to my personal American Dream, the fancy named “Red Rocks” Canyon and the nearby situated railroad junction where a mainline of a North-South operating railroad company crosses the tracks of an east-westbound line and a part of the legendary “Route 66” highway.
Red Rock could be a little town, situated in a wider part of Red Rock Canyon, where the Red Rock Creek (in my phantasy one of the numerous tributaries of Colorado River) cut its way through the eponymous red colored stone.
Although the situation is free-lance, the layout gives a spectacular impression to similar real situations in the Utah/Arizona region of the United States where after a hot and sunny day the red walls of the canyons begin to glow during sundown (attention to achieve that glowing please adjust your toolbox values: color shade 5; color saturation 1.28; brightness 1.23; contrast 1).
The layout runs in my favorite period, the “transition era” between 1955 and 1960, in the last days of remaining steam traction, but due to the lack of adequate contemporary rolling stock, buildings and other material you will find of course also materials from other periods and from other regions on this layout. As EEP plans to publish new US-material you soon may replace some elder rolling stock and buildings by a more detailed stuff.
Due to the restricted copyright regulations in the US-market unfortunately all famous road names had to be omitted from the rolling stock and be replaced by phantasy-names. On the other hand may this be an advantage to those free-lancers among us who use the whole material in a more generic manner.
The 2 railroad lines (South-North and East-West) are linked together at the station “Red Rock Junction” by an interchange track where cars from one line can be exchanged to the other line. Both lines are highly run by thru traffic: Heavy trains with coal from Oklahoma and the Appalachian region are pulled to the Pacific coast for shipping their load to overseas. Until the end of a nearby beginning steep incline, the pulling diesel-engines are still often supported or entirely pulled by the last steam-dinosaurs, the famous “Big Boys” which experience their final days on this line. As the empty running trains in the opposite direction do not need so many powers, from time to time a package of steam and/or diesel engines is coupled together and runs light back.
Also some long distance-passenger trains still remained on the line, which are equipped with “Talgo” car-material (on the layout the material is freelance shaped and colored, in reality you can travel Talgo- trains on Amtrak’s North-East- Corridor Line).
On the other line you will see long tank car trains coming from the Mexican Gulf providing the industries in the North with gas and oil.
You will find several marshalling yards and areas on the layout: The first one starts as fully shaped half of the local “Red Rocks Central Yard”. It continues –by virtual connection- after passing the Interstate- bridge at the very right (east) end of the layout in a “hidden” sand colored part for local operation and in a red colored part for the long distance east-westbound trains and the interchange trains between the east-westbound line and the south-northbound line. These parts are located on the upper right side of the layout behind the North Rim of the canyon. For the south-northbound long distance trains and for interchange service there is a second “hidden” staging yard located on the upper left (west) side of the layout. Please consider that in the “hidden” yards the tracks in the grey zones are the automated tracks. Here you should only start and stop trains even in the manual mode. For switching, re railing, changing whole trains or bringing new material on the tracks please use only the tracks in the red (east-westbound line) and orange (south-northbound line) colored areas.
Of course also the local industries in Red Rocks have to be supplied from time to time. From the right (east) end of the layout to the left (west) end these are:
• Coal for the power plant.
• Grain for the local region and as intermediate grain elevator on its way to the west coast –towns.
• Oil and plastic pellets for different end-products of a chemical plant, connected with:
• A household- and kitchen-aid factory.
• A metal manufacturer of machinery parts.
• An Army goods depot for different things needed for the barracks and bases in the region is situated directly behind the big roundhouse and can only be reached via Red Rocks Main Street.
• A team track for heavy loads as well as for direct transshipping is located near the railroad crossing of Red Rocks-Station Road.
• And of course fresh supply for the diesel tank and coal bunker at Red Rocks Jct. Roundhouse.
Come see and listen to the whistles of the steam engines and the horns of the roaring heavy diesels. Look for Rolf’s spectacular “illegal” air show and enjoy the multitude of exciting tasks for a successful operating session!
The author may say thanks to all constructors who contributed some of their models, ideas and advice to allow the realization of this layout: Hans-Jürgen Barth, Andreas Engfer, Andreas Großkopf, Bernt Hoppe, Stefan Hoppe, Dirk Kanus, Stefan Köhler-Sauerstein, Steffen Mauder, Volkhard Ramsenthaler, Ariel del Rio, and last not least Thorsten Lensing and Trend publishing for Manfred Roths models and the heritage of Stefan Bock (t).