Zenith Southern Pacific California
A Railroad designed by Sid Pat
While visiting some railroad friends in Dunsmuir back in 2015 we were discussing layouts and the subject of a big and interesting SP N scale layout came up. I was some what surprised that N scale and interesting would be referenced together in a sentence because these fellows are long time dyed in the wool HO scale enthusiast and only lend a brief sympathizing ear to my interest in N scale. So of course I inquired to know more before the conversation drifted into another direction. Upon that I was handed a rolled up plan designed by one of our own N scale brethren by the name of Sid Dawson. The drawing was not a small rolled up letter size drawing no it was on large draftsman paper. Anticipating something very comprehensive judging by the size I was anxious to see what was rolled up in that giant paper roll. Before I unfurled the roll I noticed that attached to the drawing was three handwritten pages that Sid attached to the drawings.
In the corresponding pages Sid explained that the plan is one that he intended to fit in a new home he had planned to build but unfortunately due to circumstance had to abandon. Sid went on to say that even though he was disappointed that his plan to build the new home never materialized. He didn’t want the circumstance to interfere with the plans for his railroad. In fact designing the layout is something Sid said he found to be an enjoyable process. So rather than abandon it or make something less than what he had envisioned he decided to step it up and extend its scope. So step it up he did, he reached beyond Southern California and all the way to San Francisco the heart of Southern Pacific.
I hope Sid won’t mind my taking the liberty to name his expanded version of the Southern Pacific in Southern California to the Zenith of Southern Pacific. That is what came to mind as I was viewing the track plan drawings. Being a student who has studied the historical locations of the SP I was impressed how quickly the drawing captured my imagination and conveyed the vision of itself so remarkably to its prototype. The attention and consideration afforded to the direction and flow of the ROW and how artfully it was designed to fit into the confines of a walled structure are impressive to say the least. It has the potential for a realistic operation providing continuity of station stops much like its prototype counterpart. There are so many good ideas wrapped up in this design I am sure sections could be taken out and enjoyed in part. But it would sure be cool if someone decided to build complete as designed. Perhaps some of us of the N scale brethren might pick up the baton (plan) and run with in full or part.P.S. I hope you will invite me over when you decide to build it.
View the layout plan:
View the layout plan: