ATSF - Plainview District

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Paul Grayless' - ATSF, Plainview District

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The ATSF Plainview District is a secondary mainline in the Texas Panhandle that connects Amarillo, TX with Lubbock, TX. This line sees overhead traffic between the Gulf Coast and Denver, CO. Run-through trains from the St. Louis & San Francisco via Florida to California also pass through.

The town of Plainview is located about half way along the District. Plainview has a yard, and the Floydada District begins here. The Fort Worth & Denver crosses both lines on the east side of town.

The layout is set in mid-June 1960, so the winter wheat rush is on, so the several elevators in the area are doing a booming business. Livestock and cotton are other sources of outbound shipments. All of the towns in the area are booming, so there’s lots of inbound traffic for them.

The layout is now 10 years old and scenery has finally been started. You’ll want to bring your walking shoes, as the towns are relatively long (20 - 35 ft.). They are based on the track charts, Clicbooks and USGS aerial photos.

The layout is HO scale and currently occupies about 700 sq. ft. in the basement (access is by stairs only). An additional 400 sq. ft. now holds the permanent staging yard. There is also a separate crew lounge.

Traffic is controlled by Timetable and Train Order. There is a pair of scheduled passenger trains which connected Lubbock to Amarillo with sleeper service to Chicago. All of the remaining trains are run as extras as per ATSF practice. There are overhead freights, grain locals, stock trains and the district local.
Layout at a Glance 
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Layout at a glance
  • HO Scale. Mainline is 200 feet long. Trains are typically 16-24 cars long
  • Walk-around/linear design. Layout Height - 52 inches (single level)
  • Open staging yard in second room
  • Minimal scenery at this time
  • Digitrax Wireless DCC (no sound though)
  • Car Cards and Waybills (switch lists forms are available)
  • Timetable & Train Order Operation via Fast Clock
  • Access is by stairs with a drop gate (a duck under leads to the staging area)
  • 6 Operators typical
Jobs on the Layout 
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Jobs on the Layout
  • Dispatcher (no Operator position planned at this time due to layout’s size)
  • Plainview Yardmaster – Primarily keeps the yard, but also does some local work.
  • Plainview Town Job – Primarily works the local industries.
  • Road Crews (3) – These work the over the road trains, three of which perform local work.

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.