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Rick Fortin
Valley Division, Fourth District (ATSF)

Proto-freelanced extension of the Santa Fe in the early 1970s north from the San Francisco Bay Area to Portland; modeled portion runs from the Central Valley town of Chico to McCloud just south of Mt. Shasta in a purpose built 25 x 47 foot room. Double deck point to point, 410 feet of mainline trackage, 50% scenicked, mainline 90% complete. Operations include a dispatcher, an interlocking tower, a large yard with two switch crews and a hostler, a small yard with a full time switcher, heavy duty mainline freight action with some passenger, local switching, and a branchline. Permanent track is all hand laid. Operations are purposeful, in a relatively disciplined but casual atmosphere.

NCE DCC with wireless throttles, FRS radios, and intercom, Track Warrants, real time, sequence operations, car card and waybill. Fascia mounted track diagrams, station names, mileposts, clipboards with train instructions and track diagrams. 46 inch duck under to enter layout during session.

Signals are currently being installed for future CTC dispatching. Several of the sidings and junctions now have operational US&S R2 signals that are temporarily providing turnout position indication until Rick's ex Santa Fe CTC machine is put into service. A dispatcher's office has been constructed adjacent to, but completely isolated from the layout room.

Here's a Westbound cab ride on the 4th sub

And here's an Eastbound ride

Railroad Model Craftsman, Nov 1999, Layout Design Journal/News, Winter 1998, Layout Design Journal/News, January 1998, website:

Updated 1/3/2019