Kansas Pacific and Santa Fe Railroad National Model Railroad Association

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Dr. James Budde - Kansas Pacific and Santa Fe Railroad

The Kansas Pacific and Santa Fe RR (KP&SF) is loosely based on the Union Pacific and Santa Fe prototypes during the period when the SF operated on the UP mainline (Kansas Pacific) during the flood of 1951. Both railroads operate on a 286’ dual mainline on the north side of the Kansas (Kaw) River. The line progresses from Kansas City through Lawrence and divides at Topeka—SF to Newton and La Junta, and the UP to Salina and Denver on the Kansas Pacific.

General emphasis is on passenger and fast freight operation, but specific emphasis is on passenger yard switching. Power includes big modern steam and hood and cab unit diesels of the transition era such as a SF SF 2-10-4, SF 2-10-2, UP 3985 Challenger, UP 4-8-2, UP FEF-3, SF PA/B/Bs, UP E7A/B/B, and so on. Switching is done with KCT NW7s and 0-6-0.

Kansas City Union Station (KCUS) is located on a peninsula (7’ x 22’) and includes 8 passenger tracks in addition to the Kansas City Terminal RR (KCT)
coach yard and service tracks. There is a kit-bashed model of KCUS. Nearby is located the post office, REA building, freight house, commissary, diesel shop, car shop, roundhouse, 130’ turntable and large UP coal dock with sand house. This is the major operating point that is switched by two man KCT crews. A unique operating feature is a towerman who aligns turnouts remotely (using DCC macors) for trains and switchers operating through the yard throat.

The layout is currently being remodeled to increase operating capability. Switching emphasis will be on assembling and disassembling trains at KCUS with switchers. The nearby Kansas City Terminal Railroad yard will be used to wash, service, and store passenger cars.

The layout is rather high to provide more prototypical eye level viewing. Most structures are kit-bashed and based on the prototypes. The backdrop is artist quality with large storm cloud formations.

A NCE radio DCC system with sound equipped locomotives adds a taste of prototypical operation for operators and rail fans when viewing their favorite trains such as the City of St. Louis, Portland Rose, City of Salina, Kansas cityan, Chief, locals, and so on.

General Concept: The SF used the UP right of way to operate their trains in the early stages of The Flood of 1951. The location is urban and rural Kansas. The major point of operation is the Kansas City Union Station and the nearby Kansas City Terminal RR coach yard, commissary, post office, REA, freight house, and steam and diesel locomotive service facilities. KCT switchers (0-8-0 and S2) switch passenger and head end cars. Trains operate to and from Lawrence and Topeka. Each has yards and switching.

Layout Design: Walk-in/around dog-bone design with hidden staging at one end and open staging at two other locations.

Layout Dimensions: 50’ x 22’ x 6’ with a 7’ x 22’ peninsula.

Mainline: 286’ with 6 yards--KC passenger, KC freight, Lawrence passenger/freight, and Topeka passenger/freight.

DCC/Sound/Turnouts: Power is provided through North Coast Engineering DCC that is radio controlled. Sound is provided through Soundtraxx and QSI units. Individual turnouts are operated remotly with NCE cabs that send signals to NCE Switch-it decoders that operate 2 Tortoise switch machines. Remote cabs also operate Macros (one command operates up to 10 switch machines) to set entire routes.

Operations: Operations occur primarily at and around KCUS, but trains also operate from KCUS through Lawrence and Topeka where cars are set out and picked up. The East tower at KCUS is the center for operating. Here a towerman aligns turnouts for arriving and departing trains but also switchers. Two switchers with two man crews operate at KCUS. When working from one side to the other (north/south), it is necessary for the switchers to use the yard throat. The towerman aligns specific turnouts individually or with macors for the crews. When working on the North or South side of the yard, switch crews operate at yard limits and also use hand ground throws.

Construction: Open grid with 7/8-cookie cutter plywood and cork roadbed.

Scenery: Hydrocal over screen with wood and Styrofoam armatures.

Backdrop: Latex and Acrylic—artist quality.

Track: Code (1:87) Flex on Main, Code 83 in yards

Minimum Radius: 36” (hidden Loop).

Maximum Grade: 1.8

Minimum turnouts: #6 also #8s.

Height: 54” to 60.”

Photo Gallery

  •  Bitter Creek

    Bitter Creek

  •  Castle Rock

    Castle Rock

  •  View from Bridge

    View from Bridge