SANTE-FE ONTARIO AND WESTERN RAILROAD
by Ken Scales MMR
The Sante -Fe Ontario and Western railroad represents the old NewYork and Ontario Railroad which in this universe went bankrupt and wastorn up in the mid 1950s. However in a parallel universe it was takenover by Sante-Fe and continued to run using a mixture of older Sante-Feequipment together with some leased equipment from various otherrailroads. Some equipment has also been custom painted and lettered inthe railroads own paint scheme. The era is the very end of steam dieseltransition. Although the original railroad got rid of steam early, themaintenance facilities remained, so steam has returned particularlyduring winter, when modern locos struggle to cope with the ice and snowin the region. Many of the diesels have come from the mid west and arenot well suited to the harsh eastern winters.
The eastern end of the railroad contains a large station atMiddletown which was rebuilt from the original structure to give it amodern European appearance. This is also the main administration centrefor the railroad.
Minerals are brought from the mines at the western end of the layoutnorth to Cornwall where they are loaded onto barges and ships at thelarge ore dock.
The larger passenger trains run from Middletown to Cornwall wherepassengers transfer to ships and planes. Most local trains are mixedservices with a single passenger car on the rear of a freight train orgas electric doodlebugs. There are also a few self propelled 3 cardiesel sets using a mixture of Budd cars and some custom units. Thereare stations at Sidney and Walton representing these locations on theprototype.
The layout is housed in a part of a new house on the NSW CentralCoast and occupies and area of 28 feet by 11 feet. It uses just aboutevery type of construction possible, mostly using very heavy timber toallow construction of the rear scenery by standing on the layout. Ithas an NCE DCC system and dispatching is done using switch lists.Scenery is constructed mainly from plaster using different techniques.A mixture of real rock and plaster castings is used to represent rockfaces. Large amounts of natural materials have been used to constructscenery, which represents eastern USA in the area covered by theoriginal New York and Ontario Railroad. Some techniques such as thewaterfalls are experimental. The layout was only started in February2007 and should be fully detailed over the next 2 years.