David Latham MMR

The Layout

Fanta Se Railroad

The scenario of the layout is loosely based on Santa Fe RR, using locos, rolling stock and structures present in the ATSF during the 1950’s, with some latitude to run some steam locos.

Layout Description

The family moved house in 2003 and construction of the railroad began the following year. The HO scale layout is located on a shelf on three walls of an over-sized garage (6m x 6m) with storage/return loops behind the rear wall. Peco code 75 track is used (code 100 in storage & hidden track) with both Peco and scratchbuilt turnouts, controlled by tortoise machines on the mainline and push/pull rods elsewhere. The locos are controlled using Wangrow System One DCC which has provided trouble-free service for nearly 30 years.

It is set in mid-west USA with connections to other railroads, primarily the Union Pacific. The layout was designed to be built in stages. First was the right side of the garage which is basically a large switching town, Garridge. Here lies an engine service area, depot, freight interchange, icing platform, abattoir & several other industries. The two return loops mean the area could be operated in a ‘dog bone’. The back wall, ‘Bells Camp’, was next. This marks the start of a branch that deviates from Garridge and has 6 industries. The layout on the left wall was the last to be built and extends the branch to terminate at “Ayre Junction, a town with 4 industries, an interchange with yard and a small switching district, “Smithtown” which has 3 industries. All areas of the layout are now fully landscaped. Buildings are either scratchbuilt, kit bashed or kit-built. Backdrops are hand painted on the rendered walls.

Operating sessions have been held since 2012(?). As a result of input from the operators, a larger 3-track double-ended yard was added to Garridge and double trackage between Bells Camp and Ayre Junction. A car-card system is used to move cars around the layout. This has evolved over the years and has proved reliable and keeps the crews busy for up to 4 hours. Train crews (maximum of 10) are employed as engineer & conductor, a yard master with 1 or 2 assistants in Garridge and myself controlling the introduction of consists on the layout, the number of which depends on whether the traffic is developing or disappearing, mainly around Garridge yard.

I look forward to showing off my exploits to attendees of the NMRA 2023 Convention during layout tours. If numbers are reasonable, operating will be possible, using the card system that is currently employed.

Site Information

Layout Owner:David Latham MMR
Address:10A Venetia Street, Kangaroo Point 2224
Phone contact:0402 282 325
Email contact:davolatho@gmail.com
Layout details:Name: Fanta Sea Railroad
Scale: HO with DCC
Size: 6 x 7m Double garage
Refreshments available:Yes
Special Instructions:The address is at the river end of Venetia Street. Park in the street.

Layout Visits

The layout is open to guests at the following times:

Event TypeDateSessionLinkPlaces
Event TypeDateSessionLinkPlaces

The layout is not open for viewing during the course of the 2023 NMRA Convention on Saturday 30 September or Sunday 1 October.

*Places indicates the remaining spaces available for each session.