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Deere Valley & Western Railroad History

Here is a quick run-down of my layout theme and era....  the layout is in HO scale.

1958, the ficticious Deere Valley & Western Railroad is incorporated. Without motive power or rolling stock of its own, DV&W enters lease and trackage rights agreements with ATSF, SP, WP and UP after purchasing some little used and abandoned right-of-ways in California with financial backing of the John Deere Company. John Deere uses its own motive power and rolling stock on the DV&W tracks and is a financial contributor in construction and rehabilitation of the rail lines to Class 1 condition, with curvature to allow the heaviest and longest steam power the railroads might use.

This includes UP Big Boys and Challengers, SP cab forwards and GS4s and even some remaining Northerns and Mountains from ATSF and WP.  The DV&W RR is truly a steam fans' paradise in the late '50's and early '60's.

The line serves the agricultural areas of California from Sacramento to Los Angeles and sees a tremendous variety of freight and passenger equipment on its trackage. The ficticious town of Deere Valley is located in a valley in the foothills near Stockton, CA.

Due to the steep 4% grades currently leading into and out of Deere Valley, the need for real pulling power was obvious.  Hopefully, increased revenue on the DV&W will allow for improvements to lessen the severe grades.

The era is 1959/1960. A variety of soon to be retired heavy steam and 1st generation diesels are common sights including freshly shopped steam locomotives, UP Big Boy #4013 and UP Challenger #3985.  These two locomotives were especially assigned  to DV&W from Wyoming for special fast heavy produce freights to the East. A couple of times #4013 was even seen hauling a passenger consist when the diesel power broke down and no other engines were available to continue the run.  Some local passenger consists are regularly pulled by #3985 when it is not hauling freight.

This site last modified on Saturday, October 1, 2005

Copyright © 2005 Raymond H. von Bober


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