Tehachapi in N scale?

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by ctxm, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. ctxm

    ctxm TrainBoard Member

    Hi All, Anyone ever seen any N scale tehachapi layouts? or know of any links to online N scale tehachapi layout photos?
    I've got a 32 by 36 foot building that I've been planning to use for an O scale layout but was thinking it would also be kinda cool to make an N scale version of the Bakersfield to Mojave run?
    I'd love to see the oilcans and the Santa Fe 199 run again. Do you think it could be done realistically in this size? Of course I have very little N scale rolling stock so i'd probably hafta talk people into bringing their trains over to run them over the hill :>) Might be kinda fun to railfan an N scale loop and see what shows up though? ........dave
  2. David R

    David R TrainBoard Member

    It doesn't get much better than Dave N's Tehachapi Sub: Tehachapi Sub - RailImages.com
    Although with the amount of space you've got you'd be able to stretch it out and model more of the run. Sounds like a good idea to me!!
  3. GaryHinshaw

    GaryHinshaw TrainBoard Member

    Dave - There have been a number of layouts based on this line. The best documented one that I'm aware of is fellow forum member Dave Nenna's: (I hope I spelled that right)


    It's deceptively compact, and very nice! Others I'm aware, but which have only a small online presence (to my knowledge) are: one by former MR editor Jim Kelly, and one that was featured in N scale magazine (in the late 1990s?). The Golden State Model Railroad Museum in Richmond CA also features the Loop in a portion of its layout:


    although I don't think there is a specific photo of this portion on their site.

    I have been planning such a layout myself for my ~25x25 foot basement. Here's a draft from my 3rd Planit file which just shows the mainline and the lower level yard in a middle peninsula:


    The right half runs from Caliente Creek Canyon (upper right) to Cliff siding (lower middle) on a roughly continuous 2% grade. It then drops down a bit (so the Loop stays *in* the basement), sneaks around the stairs and resumes in the left half which represents Woodford siding to Tunnel 10. It finally drops down a long helix back to the yard (not fully designed yet). Lots of details to work out still, but I'm pretty happy with the mainline plan, including a 20" minimum radius.

    Here is a mock-up of the track emerging from Caliente Creek Canyon, the scene in the upper right (but alas no landforms yet):


    You could do even better with the kind of space you're talking about... go for it!

  4. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Member

    There is also the Belmont Shore Model Railroad Club. We are in San Pedro, So.Cal.

    check it out:


    We have an ex Army barracks that's approx 25 x 90 feet.
    Our layout is loosely based on the Tehachapi area. We have a fantastic loop.

    Over & out,
  5. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Trainboard Member DaveN has a great looking N Scale Tehachapi Loop Layout. :)
  6. Richard320

    Richard320 TrainBoard Member

    I was gonna mention this!

    It is quite impressive. I went there during an open house a year or so ago, and the layout looked good (even parts that were being redone), but the best part was that the club members seemed to be having fun. As I recall, there was an uncoupling somewhere, and in the course of fixing that, someone caused a massive derailment and there was much good-natured heckling and scrambling for cameras. :rn-laugh:
  7. ctxm

    ctxm TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for the link. Yes, a very nice loop and ranch scene, the only thing that looks odd is the lumber load heading toward Oregon :>).....dave
  8. ctxm

    ctxm TrainBoard Member

    Hi Gary, Thanks for the links. Your layout plan looks very nice, I really like the run from Caliente to Cliff and from Woodford to the tunnel, two of my favorite train watching spots....dave
  9. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

    Wow - that's a great track plan!! And the Belmont layout looks pretty awesome.

    Yes, my layout is MUCH smaller, I have Caliente horseshoe and then from the 4th crossing of Tehachapi Creek to tunnel 10. The other half of my layout is Modesto in the CA central valley (I lived there for 5 years in the mid-late '90's).

    My long range plan is to take over the rest of the basement, and add Woodford & Cliff, and then move Caliente and Modesto to the other side of the room, and put Mojave yard in where Modesto is now. But I'm happy w/ what I've got now, for the time that I have to put into modelling it works for me and is a manageable size.
  10. NikkiB

    NikkiB TrainBoard Member

    I'm with you on that!!!!! My wife keeps running interference though!!!


  11. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

    Our N scale layout at the Golden State Model Railroad Museum also models Tehachapi pass. The loop is a fairly faithful reproduction, I love it. The layout models both Tehachapi Pass and Donner Pass, (although neither of them very faithfully, I must say, aside from the loop.)

    We do need some better pictures on our website...(if you look at the picture on the N scale page, which at least shows the whole layout, you can barely make out the Tehachapi mountains at the very back of the photo).

    EDIT: Gary, just saw you already mentioned it for us, thanks! And BTW, that's an awesome awesome track plan. The kind of thing I dream about. Can I come see it when it's done? ;)
  12. ctxm

    ctxm TrainBoard Member

    Hi Dave, Your scenery looks excellent. I'll be very happy if I can get anywhere near your level of skill.....dave
  13. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Belmont Shore Tehachapi Loop. I have heard it is about 3/4 scale. This picture was taken during an open house.
  14. Mr. SP

    Mr. SP TrainBoard Member


    Check into the LaMesa club in San Diego they are doing a model of the line from Sandcut to Monolith I believe. I know the layout includes of course the loop Caliente and Cliff.
  15. GaryHinshaw

    GaryHinshaw TrainBoard Member

    Your welcome. Needless to say, these are two of my favorite spots as well. Too bad I'm stuck in Maryland... I do get out to SoCal for work every so often though, so I sneak a side trip every chance I can get!

    Thanks Dave. But it's still vaporware compared to yours. I'm also a bit worried that it's too much. My counterargument is that it's basically just an oversized small layout: only 9 turnouts on the main level, and almost no trees or structures. Just *lots* of static grass! So maybe it will go quick...

    Good luck with your expansion - sounds like a good plan. Your Modesto station is looking *great*, BTW.

    My deal: I can have the basement if I do the laundry. That was easy. Another approach it to expand gradually so she barely notices. ;)

    Yes!! But you have to bring lots of magnetized containers to fill my bare tables. :)

    Sweet picture Flash. You should add that to the club web page. 3/4 scale looks about right to me. When I was starting my plan I hauled out Google maps and found that most of the curves on the line (including the loop) were about 48" radius in N scale (still sharp for the prototype). 3/4 scale would be 36" which looks plausible from the photo.

    I tried 24" for my plan but it just wouldn't cut it. With 20", I was able to get these two signature scenes included with a selective compression factor of less than 3. I'm pretty happy with that. I've run 20+ car auto-racks over the virtual line in 3rd Planit and it looks sweet, so I hope this comes to fruition!

    Cheers all,

    P.S. Does the La Mesa club have a Tehachapi layout in N? Their HO version is fantastic.
  16. clarkrw3

    clarkrw3 TrainBoard Member

    P.S. Does the La Mesa club have a Tehachapi layout in N? Their HO version is fantastic.

    No just HO to my knowledge
  17. GaryHinshaw

    GaryHinshaw TrainBoard Member

    Pardon me for blathering on, but this topic is my current obsession. ;) I just figured out how to save some of the screen shots from 3rd Planit for posting, so I couldn't resist. The first shot is the same scene as the mockup shot I posted on the first page of this thread. It shows the envisioned landforms crudely drawn in:
    Around the bend is where the mainline transitions to lower level yard trackage. The second is a shot of the same train a few minutes earlier coming out of tunnel 1 and descending into Caliente, inspired by this shot:


    That's my head in the background. :D Needless to say, this program is nearly as addictive as modeling... but it is great for planning!
  18. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

    Looks like some pretty sweet stuff Gary! Keep us posted!

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