G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
498 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's been a full month since the Phoenix/Tucson NGRC, and that's how long it's taken for 'The Garden Rail Hobo' to even begin to get a handle on the thousands of shots taken by SWMTP (She Who Must Take Pictures).
I'm going to start by taking the bull by the horns (and the cow by the tail) and presenting what many would agree was the most spectacular layout of the tour -- Gary & Peggy Martin's EAGLE MOUNTAIN RR, in Tucson. Yes, it's true - this layout not only made an appearance in Garden Railways' Convention Preview issue, it became the cover feature in the April issue. So why should I even bother? Because, as Marc Horovitz clearly realized, it's almost impossible to appreciate the depth and breadth of this layout without being there!
Almost.. but it's worth a try. So go get a cup of coffee while the rest of this page loads -- it's going to be a long train ride!
We'll start along the side of the Martin's house, where several hundred feet of elevated balloon track make up a 'fiddle yard' where trains can be composed and switched around before they head out onto the mainline.
|

|
Various scenery elements are built up alongside the track; a teepee hotel, an old airstrip, or here, a town fire station. We see a train leaving the fiddle yard on this spectacular metal trestle! It's probably an 'Eaglewings' fabrication; you see a lot of their work on Arizona layouts, where the garden railroaders complain that the 'wood stuff' doesn't hold up well to the harsh environment.
|

|
We'll follow the train out as it passes through town. It's a pretty scene, with flowers, house and stable in front of the train.
|

|
But to give you a sense of scale here, let's pull out a bit so you can see more of the town. That little blue house is in the middle-right of the picture!
|

|
Moving into 'downtown', I guess -- a custom cab-forward is passing in the foreground.
|

|
We garden railroaders often have a peculiar quandary -- we love to re-create the rough, mountainous scenes that form the setting for the mining and logging industries that give our towns a reason for being. Yet we've all learned that a building just placed on a rock somewhere, without having a sense of being anchored to some sort of foundation, begins to look like a child's playhouse. At Eagle Mountain, the citizens have solved this problem by bracing their mountainside buildings with stout timber cribbing. Reminds me of the Beverly Glen neighborhood here in L.A.!


|
Wherever you look -- but look closely! -- you'll see that character figures don't just 'stand around', they illustrate details of human behavior, from washing the dog to roofing a building.
|

|

|
Time to hitch a ride on this logging train to the Eagle Mountain Lumber Co. This old Shay has seen better days..
|

This spar tree is fully rigged and detailed.
|

As is this work car.
|

|
The log mill. Although the logs floating in the mill pond appear to be a loose collection, those with the loggers standing across them are actually small 'rafts', each made of several logs glued together. Cool idea!
|

|
The logging camp.
|

|
We're finally approaching the back of the layout, where the mainline runs along the foothills of the spectacular Eagle Mountains. A complex mining line runs behind it. Here are several views --- I believe the stamp mill belongs to the "Emerald Mine Co."
|

|

|
Going in a little closer here, to pick up the detail. Notice the stream that starts in the mountains and runs back to the right.
|

|
An incredibly detailed engine facility, including roundhouse and turntable
|

|
From the back of the engine house, we can see that repairs to the roof are underway.
|

|

|
Let's back up from the engine house a bit and look across to the mountains. There's an entire industrial complex here.
|

|
Continuing our walk around the mountain range, we come across a Mexican village which we're told is "Old Nogales." This is probably the best view of the entire mountain range. Gary says the mountains are made from rebar, hardware cloth, and... burlap! The burlap gives just the right drape, he says.
|

|
There's a cattle drive moving up the main street of the town..
|

|
Hmm.. the "San Marcos Resort." Maybe we're not in Nogales, but Chandler, Arizona, at the resort which was the headquarters for the convention!
|


|
A part of the resort, which was originally built in 1912, still looks recognizably like this. Except that the corner which is called "the Whiskey Barrel" is now a Starbucks that sold me the worst coffee that I've ever paid for!
|
Anyway, I wanted to point out that the cattle here are all fastened to a piece of hardware cloth which is semi-buried in the dirt. This seems like a neat way to keep a close group of figures together. SWMTP informs me that she noticed this technique at several layouts during the convention -- apparently some Arizonan's good idea!
|
Moving along, we find the stockyard, complete with Texas Longhorns! ( Does somebody sell these, or are they modified from the 'modern' cows you can find at Michaels?)
|

|
And outside an adobe brick hut, chilis are drying in the desert heat.
|

|
We've almost completed our circumnavigation of the mountains, but looking back, we notice one more surprise -- a Pueblo cliff dwelling tucked into the mountainside.
|

|
Many layouts include shaft mines, but Eagle Mountain is the first layout I've seen which incorporates an open pit mine! The Shay slowly descends the helix, picks up a load of copper ore, and climbs back up to deliver the load to the mill we saw at the front of the mountains.
|

|
Wherever you look, there's something to see and photograph at the Eagle Mountain RR.
|

|
Last and maybe least, here's a shot of the control panel, showing a schematic topography of the layout.
|
For a better map, check out p. 65 of last April's GR.
|

|
With thanks to Carla, for obvious reasons,
|
-Gary the Garden Rail Hobo-
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
225 Posts
Thanks to you both for the pics and the prep/posting.
I think my layout will fit easily inside the open pit mine!
Im putting this on my list of places to visit if I ever get to Tucson, and am granted permission.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,702 Posts
Quite the extensive layout! Thanks for sharing the pics and some tips on the mountains and other items!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Thanks for the photos. Many of us are a long distance from Arizona, Oregon, Maine, Ontario etc. and this is the only way we can make shows !
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,716 Posts
All's I can think to say is, "Wow."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Thanks a million Gary for posting the pics. I do remember reading about this magnificent RR in GR magazine. Your pics do bring it to life and congratulations to Gary and Peggy Martin the creators of this splendid railroad.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
59 Posts
Gary,

Thanks for posting SWMTP's marvelous photos. I hope mylargescalers will enjoy seeing just a few more shots of this fab layout:



All of the rolling stock is beautifully weathered







Not sure what the guy in the background is fixing, but it looks REAL








Here's another view of the turntable








"Top up the water, please."








Everywhere you look there is great detail - check out the slide control fence








Note the tipple in the middle of this trestle



 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top