I have been researching Pacific Electric freight operations way too much this year, and now it is an obsession. I decided about a month ago that my layout needed a freight depot, so if I keep the current switching layout or scrap itand started over, this project is going to be used.
I originally wanted to model the West Long Beach Freight Station, until I could only find one picture on the web. I kept searching and found about 10 different freight stations. I was finally able to find two pictures of the Santa Monica Freight Station, and Joe D’Amato was able to supply a third. These three photos were able to show all but the west wall. I am estimating that the building was 24 feet wide and 90 feet long.
I am seriously thinking about scrapping both of the layouts and going a new modelling direction. I am thinking about building a 12″ x 192″ layout that well be a simple, long switching layout. This new layout will be a fictitious Pacific Electric branch with a small yard. I am going to be basing it on the recently resurrected Santa Monica Air Line.
My plan is to build a layout that can be either 1953 or 1985 with just a few changes. The reasons for basing this possible new layout on the Santa Monica Air Line is that passenger service was discontinued in 1953, and I have good photos of the freight station and a large lumber supply company, both good revenue suppliers in 1953.
Add in a few more warehouses and an oil supplier, there will be a good mix of industries to switch. I have also seen pictures of an Erie gondola, a Frisco boxcar, and a Texas and Pacific boxcar. The variety is going to be interesting, and it will also give me a good excuse to collect more Southern Pacific flat cars and lumber loads from my favorite pusher, Micro Trains. I really wish that I would have bought the Micro Trains MUG runner set last year….
taking 4 days off of work this week….going to paint the flat top caboose!