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The mission of the Amarillo Railroad Museum is to preserve the rich railroad heritage of the Texas Panhandle thru the preservation of selected railroad equipment and thru model railroading.



The HO scale layout which is currently under construction will be one of the biggest attractions at the Museum when completed.  The layout was designed to reflect the Santa Fe’s railway across the Texas Panhandle spanning approximately 200 miles of the railroad from Canadian, Texas, thru Texico, New Mexico, with cameo appearances of the Fort Worth & Denver, and Rock Island Railroads in Amarillo.


This layout was professionally designed by Byron Henderson (see his comments page) for operation of model trains in a similar fashion to the railroad.  We made the decision early on to hire a professional layout designer to take advantage of their expertise and knowledge to provide a “blueprint” for the model railroad so we could build forward and not be dropping back to re-do track work because we forget something.  Our layout designer used actual maps and track charts with our Layout Design Committee to achieve the awesome end result.  The design was completed in 2007 and then we started building it.


This layout fills a room that is approximately 48-feet wide by 75-feet long.  The layout has 2 levels with the lower level starting-out at an elevation of 36 inches above the floor in our lower level Staging Yard that feeds Canadian, climbing to over 42 inches at Amarillo, which is the centerpiece of the layout.  From Amarillo, the track climbs a helix at a grade of approximately 1.4% to the upper level (approximately 2-feet above the lower level) where the track doubles back on itself to return to an upper level Staging Yard (Clovis) after the track passes thru the town of Texico, New Mexico.  A unique feature of this design is that it gives people the Highway 60 view of the Santa Fe Railroad with the objective being for visitors to recognize particular scenes they might have observed as they drove across the region.

The layout is set in the 1952 to 1970’s era.  The reason for this span in the era is to depict much of the railroad as it appeared during the last part of the steam-to-diesel transition era of the 1950’s and to include a few specialized industries that were located in the Panhandle such as the Santa Fe’s Centralized Rail Welding Plant that no longer exists.


One of the great things about model railroading is the hobby is many hobbies in one. You can specialize in carpentry and woodworking, metal work, painting, electrical, computers and digital technologies, and historical research to name a few. In the case of an organization like the ARM you can also help with marketing, leadership, member recruitment, or website development and maintenance (!!!).  

For anyone interested in participating in the effort to construct this HO scale layout, we teach all necessary skills.…and with more hands helping with this effort, progress on the layout may proceed more quickly.

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