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Recreating the T&P in Miniature...

My Coffee Table Layout

My version of the T&P is set inside a coffee table - 42" long x 32" wide x 9" deep. The table was built of "distressed," recycled lumber by my friend Bart Parham. The N-scale layout features an oval-shaped mainline with a passing siding and two spur tracks - and yes, I know that the real T&P didn't have any tunnels!

One of the great things about this layout is that it is reasonably portable. I am a member of the Abilene Society of Model Railroaders, and the club operates HO-scale modules at public events. I can take my coffee table and run trains on it, to give visitors a look at another scale, like this family at a recent show in downtown Abilene.

Here is a slide show of scenes from my layout.



















Here are some of the cars currently operating on my layout:


This SW-9 was built by Al's Kustom Train Kars, which has since ceased production.

Note the prototypically large T&P diamond on the cab of the switcher.


Intermountain 40' AAR Box Car, #40704


Deluxe Innovations 40' AAR Box Car, #40354


Atlas 50' Box Car, #74511


MicroTrains 40' Box Car, #41153


Roundhouse/MDC 40' Hopper, #9677


Roco 40' Stock Car, #22171


MicroTrains 36' Caboose, #2525

 

Abilene Society of Model Railroaders

The ASMR was formed in 1991. The club has a large, DCC-equipped HO-scale layout where members can run club-owned equipment, or bring their personal engines and rolling stock to operate. This layout features a double-track mainline on an 18' x 24' "horseshoe," with numerous industries and sidings, with an 8' x 20' penisula "spur line." Club get-togethers are Saturdays from 10:00 AM - Noon, and Tuesday evenings from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. The first Saturday of the month is typically a business meeting; the third Saturday of the month is often an operating session competition. The club "Roundhouse" is at 2043 N. 2nd in Abilene, behind the old Coca-Cola plant.

Besides the permanent club layout, ASMR also has a modular-based portable HO layout, which members can operate at various public events. One of our most popular shows is the Christmas Lane show at the Abilene State School. In 2006, we ran a 16' x 16' layout in "Santa's Workshop," met and visited with the public, and picked up some new members in the process. We have also exhibited the modular layout at the Abilene Founder's Day celebration; that was especially fun, because we were in the old T&P Passenger Depot, which now holds the Abilene Visitor's Center. The club also hosts an Open House each year in November, and club members often do the same at their home layouts.

Here's a scene from a 4' x 8' HO layout by fellow ASMR member Ken England, on display at the Abilene Founder's Day public show. Ken calls this his "family reunion" layout, because all the businesses on the layout are named for various family members. Note the Abilene & Southern steam engine working the siding, as a T&P Geep in "Swamp Holly" orange livery holds the main.

Please come by and see us anytime you can. Visitors are always welcome! (At left - yours truly at the club's November, 2006, Open House - photo by Mike Ziegenhagen. Please note that I'm wearing my favorite T-shirt...)







Shane Murphy

Shane Murphy of Argyle, Texas, (that's between Fort Worth and Denton) has done something I've always thought would be cool: he has converted a former railroad building into the home for his layout. As he writes:

I own a T&P section house (see photo) built in 1895, originally located in Roanoke, TX, and have built a model RR in it depicting the T&P/MKT between Denison and Fort Worth. We have monthly operating sessions here.

Thanks, Mr. Murphy, for contacting us and for the pictures.

 

"Ronald McDonald" House Fundraiser

For the past several years during the Christmas season, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas has sponsored a massive O-Scale layout at the Northpark Mall as a fundraiser. When I visited there New Year's Day, 2005, I discovered T&P trains, both passenger and freight, hard at work on that layout.

Other T&P Models and Resources

Here's a model of a T&P gondola - thanks to Allen Scheller.

Marshall Shops produced high-quality N-scale models of the T&P and other roads, specializing in streamlined passenger equipment, like this "Planetarium Dome Car." These photos represent only a few of the models they have produced. Russell Higginbotham, Shop Foreman, reports that these cars are no longer in production, and no more will be made once the current stock is liquidated.



Diner


Chair Car


10-6 Sleeper


Here are two views of a nicely detailed 4-6-2 Pacific engine, in Eagle colors. The T&P had eleven of its P-1 class Pacific engines (700 series), and five of its M-1 and M-2 class 4-8-2 Mountain engines (900 series) painted in the eye-catching blue and light gray paint scheme.



A 2-8-2 Mikado engine with a T&P side-door "Muley" caboose.


Another view of the side-door caboose.


Here's a T&P combination caboose.


Finding T&P locomotives and rolling stock has never been particulary easy. Here's a T&P search of one of my favorite online train shops, Pacific Western Rail Systems. I also like to shop Caboose Hobbies in Denver.


Oddball Decals offers hard-to-find decals in numerous scales. Click here to see their current T&P offerings.


Overland Models is currently importing this beautiful brass T&P E-7. Click here for product details.

 




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