The Shasta Pacific RR is an
imaginary subsidiary of the Southern Pacific
RR that a STB ruling protected from being swallowed up by the
yellow peril meger. It is predominantly the SP Shasta Division in western USA but stretches from
Portland to Bakersfield & Mojave via Tehachapi & covers a loose
time frame 1940 - 1996. [Modeling license]. The Shasta Pacific uses
mainly leased SP locos,
plus a few from other RR's, but repainting of some of the equipment in its own
colors is progressing as time & traffic permit. Colors
are similar to SPSF Kodachrome, but with a forward leaning slope in
lieu of the war bonnet curve. Some locos that didn't
require full painting were patched. Shasta
Pacific CEO, Ken Leitch, is a long time SP fan, so several of
SP’s famous “Name
Trains” are operated in authentic colors as tourist
The HO scale
layout is housed in a 2-car garage (6M x 6M) in
the backyard at Beerwah (nearby Australia Zoo) & is the 4th
layout built. A decision was made about 1990 to go with DCC
control system. A Lenz system was obtained & was great to
operate. In 2000, an
purchased to take advantage of later technology with
easier operation, & 4 radio throttles were added in
are Lenz, NCE, TCS & Digitrax,
plus Soundtrax, LokSound & QSI sound decoders.
Servos, Switchmaster, Cobalt or Tortise
motion switch machines power all mainline turnouts, & are
controlled by DCC accessory decoders (NCE, Cobalt,Tam Valley & EasyDCC)
buttons. Using additional DCC Boosters, the layout is divided
into 3 power districts.
Minimum radius is 28.5” with
most mainline curves 33” radius, some super-elevated. Early
construction was code 100, but later additions are code 83.
Height of the layout is designed to assist my aching back.
Lower level is 48”, & upper level is 54”. A hidden 4-track staging yard
has been built below track level on the northern wall.
DC point to point section with automatic reversing has
been laid to model the operations of SP subsidiary, Pacific Electric
– great for running in a loco, also. This section will soon be
converted to DCC as access to new eastern staging. (Below main yard).
A narrow gauge section
(HOn3) depicting Southern Pacific 3 foot gauge operations in Death
Valley was started but has been abandoned due to future standard guaging of
portion of narrow guage trackage.
All types of scenery
construction are utilized with plaster covering chicken wire,
polystyrene, calico, or cardboard. Some sections only have base
scenery & will have more detail added in due course. Rock
moulds & bridge abutments are being added as time permits. This
is a work in progress.
The Shasta Pacific CEO
started modeling in 1952 with Hornby Dublo 3 rail trains and has had an interest in Southern Pacific
since 1957 when he purchased his first HO rolling stock – SP
‘Golden State’ passenger coaches made by Rivarossi (from
Athearn moulds) & Athearn rubber band drive F7A & RDC units
plus a Lionel (HO) GP-9 unit.
is also active on the exhibition scene, having exhibited various
layouts in South-East Qld over the last 54 years. (Missed only 5 years.)
Current exhibition layout is a N Scale layout
called Shasta Crossing, built to Australian T-Track standards, but with
individual modules combined into 3 large modules for ease of transport
and set up. A 4th large module is under construction to give an optional viewing.
late 2015, a 7.25" guage 0-6-0 diesel ride-on loco, Jumbuck #4, was
obtained & gives rides to young & old at Nambour Model Railway
Park every 4th Sunday of the year.
Ken is a Life Member
of NMRA, honorary life member of Gold Coast Model Railway Club, &
currently a member of Caloundra District Model
Railway Association & Sunshine Coast
Railway Modellers Society.