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Great Model Railroads By Allen Keller Vol. # 29
Volume 29 - Chuck Hitchcock's Argentine Division of the Santa Fe Railway
Chuck Hitchcock's Argentine Division of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe is a railfan's dream come true! As a young man in the 1950's, Chuck fell under the spell of heavy traffic at Holiday, Kansas. Here, two districts become one, heading to Kansas City's huge Argentine Yard. Chuck dreamed of creating a model railroad based on this spot. This is big-time granger railroading, with 50 trains a day running on fully signalled CTC track. Chuck has also made a serious study of passenger train operations, and is particularly interested in the great name trains of 1953.
This model railroad was started in 1972, and has been continually upgraded, improved and modified.
Chuck's railroad is one of the best running layouts I've ever seen. Smooth trackwork, clean wheels and a finished layout room. It all adds up to a Great Model Railroad!
By George Ardwin
If you are a fan of the ATCHISON TOPEKA AND SANTA FE Railroad, you will really enjoy this video. CHUCK HITCHCOCK has captured the flavor of what it was like in 1953. His HO scale Argentine Division shows every nuance of the busy railroad in the Kansas City area.
The layout is 28' X 54', and is located in a basement designed especially for it. There are three staging yards to handle the multitude of trains that run during each session. You will see the "Warbonnet" design on many of the passenger trains. Most railroaders agree that they were the most beautiful trains ever run in regular service.
The topography includes many hills and cuts that are used to the best advantage to provide "view blocks" when needed. The groundwork is extremely realistic in both color and textures, and the weathering looks "just right".
The tracks are controlled with a CTC board and a full signal system. The structures are mostly scratchbuilt, with a few kitbashed ones thrown in for good measure. The layout is not overly populated, but there are a nice amount of vehicles seen.
One thing DID stand out. The locomotives were, for the most part, operated in a realistic Manner. I did not see a lot of jackrabbit starts and stops, which seems to be the norm on many layouts.
Here are the Demos shown:
- Using view blocks to hide staging areas.
- Mounting Kadee couplers on passenger cars.
- Mounting diaphragms on passenger cars.
- Using a maintenance log to service locomotives.
- Tips on keeping track and wheels clean, using Labelle 101.
- Scratchbuilding commercial structures along the right of way.
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