This layout loosely represents 62 miles of the Santa Fe Mainline which travels over Raton Pass between Raton, NM to Trinidad, CO. I did not want to model the original lines 3.5% grades so I’ve limited mine to 2.2%. To gain the necessary height between decks I created a loop which is a reverse replica of Santa Fe’s Tehachapi Loop, thus the fictitious name Ratachapi Sub for the layout. The layout has 3 levels ranging from 28” to 64”, a minimum radius of 32”, staging to represent Barstow, CA, Colton, CA, Denver, CO and Chicago, IL. and interchanges with SP, UP and the C & W. In ordered to allow the movement of trains between all 3 levels there is an 8 level Helix with layout connections at levels, 1, 4, 6, 7 and 8. I have included many fictitious industries to provide more switching opportunities than were originally available on this line. For trains, I’ve included some of Santa Fe’s famous Passenger trains, Ice Reefer trains, TOFC trains and Coal trains. There are 2 mainline switching jobs that serve industries at Starkville, CO and Morley, CO plus lots of local switching at Trinidad and Raton. Future plans are to add a Dispatcher for a DTC style operation.

Prototype LocationSanta Fe Raton Pass – 62 Miles between Raton, NM and Trinidad, COEra1970
Size600 Sq Feet over 3 roomsScaleHO
Clock SpeedReal TimeCrew5 People
Car Forwarding2 Position Car CardsMainline Length250 Feet
Passing Sidings6Number of car spots60
Rolling StockFreight 270, Passenger 30TrackStaging Code 100 – Balance Code 83
ControlDigitrax with Simplex, Duplex and WiFiSession Length2.5 to 3 Hours
DispatchingNone – Easy Ops at this timeRolling Stock200 freight cars
CommunicationVerbalAccessibilityBasement Stairs – no Wheelchair access
% scenery completed1 %Yards2 Raton and Trinidad
Motive PowerFirst and Second Generation DieselYards2 Raton and Trinidad
Train Length10 o 15 carsSession AtmosphereCasual