ATSF - St. Louis Division

Stacks Image 1646

Stephen Priest’s Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe, St. Louis Division

Stacks Image 3506
Stacks Image 3535

About the Layout

St Louis Division of the Santa Fe Railway. This is the first year that this new HO scale railroad will be open for operations, and Prairie Rail will be the first time out of towners will grace the rails. The railroad is theoretical taking into consideration that the Santa Fe Railway always wanted a route from Kansas City to St.Louis to Chicago. Set in the late summer of 1978 the railroad features heavy mainline action. St. Louis will be our major yard with a pair of Division Point Yards to be located “route wise” on either side of the major yard. The railroad also includes a very busy branch line down to Columbia Missouri.

The branchline is operational and will be the portion of the layout that will be operated during Prairie Rail.
Layout at a Glance 
Stacks Image 12327
Layout at a glance
  • HO Scale. Mainline is 800 feet long. Trains are typically 16-25 cars long
  • Walk-around/linear design. Layout Height - constant climb (two level)
  • Twin open staging yards for east and west ends of railroad
  • About half way sceniced
  • NCE Wireless DCC (Tsunami and Tsunami 2 sound)
  • Car Cards and Waybills (switch lists forms are available)
  • Dispatched via Fast Clock
  • Access is ground level (no "duck unders")
  • 10 Operators typically
  • Large branch line with 4 jobs.
  • Spacious crew lounge
Jobs on the Layout 
Stacks Image 12340
Jobs on the Layout
  • Dispatcher (using local operators)
  • Centralia Yardmaster – Works the yard.
  • Columbia Town Job – Primarily works the local industries and makes up trains.
  • Road Crews – These work the "over the road" trains, several perform local work.
About the Layout Owner 
Stacks Image 1196
About the Layout Owner
Stephen is the editor of Railroad Model Craftsman and does product design and consulting for the model railroad industry. His clients include Walthers, Athearn, Bowser, KATO, American Limited, Atlas, Intermountain, Fox Valley, Broadway Limited, and many more. If you have models from these companies Stephen probably helped in their design. An architectural engineer by trade, Stephen worked for the ATSF/ BNSF in the Engineering department and in train service. He was the assistant manager of the Track Geometry cars and traveled system-wide being responsible for his own pair of passenger cars. He ran trains on the ATSF/BNSF 70 mph mainline west out of Kansas City for 15 years.

He has been a model railroader since he was four and his current St Louis Division is his 16th layout. He is on the NMRA Board of Directors and has been a key developer and proponent of the new Layout Command Control specification (LCC) that is currently in its infancy. He has authored ten books about various railroad-related topics and is currently working on two about model railroading, one which will go to press in early 2018. Stephen is the chairman for the NMRA National Convention being held in Kansas City the August 2018. He is grateful for all the wonderful model railroaders he has had the opportunity to be associated with.

Photo Gallery (click to embiggen)

Stacks Image 952
Stacks Image 1050
Stacks Image 1067
Stacks Image 1094
Stacks Image 1139
Stacks Image 1237
Stacks Image 1210
Stacks Image 1183
Stacks Image 1254
Stacks Image 1325
Stacks Image 1308
Stacks Image 1281
Stacks Image 1359
Stacks Image 1403

Map and Directions to the Layout

You can click on the “show directions” tab to print directions from the host hotel to the layout. Or you can download them in Apple Maps or Google Maps on your portable device.