John Arrowsmith

The Layout

The SANTA FE 1st Arizona Sub Division – early 1950’s

The Santa Fe 1st Arizona Subdivision point was Needles California, not far from the California-Arizona border and extending across Western Arizona to Seligman.

Layout Description

My layout highlights six major operation points along the line, with a constant grade from Needles to Seligman. The layout is three decks high. Between the three decks are two double tracked helixes.

  • Deck 1 has the “Barstow” hidden staging, representing trains coming from LA, Richmond and Barstow CA, as well as incorporating a reversing loop and spurs to store locomotives.
  • Deck 2 incorporates Needles, with its engine facilities and roundhouse, various industries and the El Garces station/hotel complex (currently under construction). On from Needles is Topock Bridge, marking the border between California and Arizona, and crossing the Colorado River.
  • Deck 3 has the city of Kingman, town of Yucca and Nelson. Kingman, in the heart of old Highway Route 66 is known for its Art Deco/Spanish style station and iconic water towers, the famous Brunswick and Beale Hotels, the Fourth Street Crossing, and the numerous industries served by the railroad in the day.

The division saw a rather large parade of passenger trains, being on the transcontinental route. Name trains that passed through included the Super Chief, El Capitan, Chief, San Francisco Chief, the Grand Canyons, the California Ltd and the Fast mail trains 7 & 8. There was also a local mixed traffic service that ran daily, many “extras” including the California Special and Scout excursion trains, and passenger equipment sending troops to the front with the Korean war in full swing. Also, on occasion when the Joint UP/SP/CBNQ transcontinental was blocked, the Santa Fe played host to their passenger and freight traffic.

Site Information

Layout Owner:John Arrowsmith
Address:14 Wattle Street, Bowen Mountain 2753
Phone contact:0411 400 049
Layout details:Name: The SANTA FE 1st Arizona Sub Division
Scale: HO with DCC
Size: 7 x 6m Triple deck
Special instructions:Steep long driveway. Drive backwards into property or walk down the slope from the street.
Refreshments available:Yes

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.