The Santa Fe Railway from Canadian, Texas, to Clovis, New Mexico, in HO-scale
From the inception of the organization as the Amarillo Model Railroad Association, our main goal has been the construction of a large HO-scale model railroad depicting the Santa Fe Railway's route across the Texas Panhandle. Once we purchased land and the building was near completion, we sought out the help of a professional model railroad designer. It was an interesting venture. The primary reason to use a professional was to garner their expertise and create a guidebook of sorts that laid out how the railroad would be built. We believed that this would enhance our ability to work on the layout and be more productive since we would not have to resort to getting members to agree on the trackplan and concepts.
Our first designer (who will remain nameless) provided us with a totally unacceptable, pencil-drawn spaghetti bowl that he was unwilling to modify. He had come highly recommended, but knew little about modern-day layout concepts, operations, or DCC (just to name a few shortcomings). Layout Design Elements? never heard of them! Although we paid the fellow handsomely for his efforts, we finally bit the bullet, and moved on to find a responsible designer.
To our good fortune, we found Byron Henderson. Byron knows his stuff, and working with our Layout Design Committee, constructed a wonderful two-level railroad for us using 3rd Planit. After many itterations we received the final plans in 2007, and began building the layout shortly thereafter.
Framed by snow and a crystal clear West Texas sky, a Santa Fe local finishes up switching at Laketon, Texas, in the 1970s. Although Laketon, on the old Clinton-Oklahoma-Western (COW), won't be modeled on our layout, there is a cameo appearance of the line at Pampa, and it will generate a good amount of traffic to and from carbon black plants at Coltexo, and various small towns. Photo by Virgil Young.
According to the Santa Fe's employee Plains Division timetable 87 from 1955, we are modeling a portion of the Plains Division.
In the list below,
Districts in bold compose our mainlines.
Districts in normal type are partially modeled.
Districts in brown are not modeled on the layout.
At that time, the Plains Division included:
First District – Waynoka, OK, to Canadian
Second District – Canadian to Amarillo
Third District – Amarillo to Clovis, NM
Clinton District – Pampa to Clinton, OK
Borger District – Panhandle to Borger
Dumas District – Amarillo to Boise City, OK
Shattuck District – Shattuck, OK, to Etter
Skellytown District – White Deer to Skellytown
Buffalo District – Waynoka, OK, to Buffalo, OK
In 1955 the Santa Fe used the word District in two senses, first as a major part of a sub-company (ex. Southern District of the Panhandle and Santa Fe) and also as a part of a Division (ex. Second District of the Plains Division).
The name Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway Co. was a corporate entity the Santa Fe used to meet the Texas requirement that all railroads be incorporated in the state. The name was not used on locomotives or rolling stock in our time period.