Jim Cooley's Arizona Southwestern Railroad


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The "Prototype"

The Arizona Southwestern is a model railroad based on a "what if..." What if the El Paso & Southwestern did not merge with the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1924 but instead expanded past its original Tuscon-El Paso-Tucumcari trackage. There were plans by the EP&SW's owners to build on to Phoenix and Los Angeles, so in my world, that idea was further expanded. The current ASW was formed around 1900 by combining the EP&SW with several other lines and trackage rights, eventually forming a system connection Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Kansas City and Houston. In the center of Arizona is where the ASW lines from West, North and East come together in the city of Agua Fria, (just outside Phoenix) where there are locomotive shops and service facilities. North from Agua Fria goes the line to Salt Lake City and San Francisco, going over the Mogollon Rim and the Colorado Plateau.

The "Model"

The section of the ASW system I model in the North line between the cities of Agua Fria and Mogollon. Agua Fria is the junction for lines heading East, West and North and is a major division point with locomotive shops and service facilities. It is also a major agricultural area, with packing sheds, clod storage plants and the Hayden Flour Mill, along with other light industry. Mogollon is a community on the edge of the Mogollon Rim that was originally the end of the helper district during the steam era but has since based its existence on the Timberline Lumber Mill, farmers and ranchers in the area as well as tourists and sportsmen enjoying the cool pines. A future gravel plant will bring more business for the ASW and jobs for Mogollon. In addition, the Santa Fe has trackage rights over the ASW to serve Phoenix. (Instead of the twisty Peavine Route!)

The "Layout"

The overall size of the layout is 18'x13". For continuous running there is a 7' double-drop leaf that is supported by a 4"x4" post. The drop leaf has two stub-end staging tracks. Behind Agua Fria are tow through staging tracks. The minimum radius is 24" on the main line and 18" on the spurs. I model 1960 to present, so right now there is a mix of equipment on the layout. In the future, I will set the period of the layout by changing locomotives, rolling stock, buildings vehicles and signs. Most of my buildings are placed on bases made of PVC board, so the can be removed and periodically cleaned. There are still many more projects to do on the layout than time to do them! The layout base is constructed from hollow core doors and blue insulating foam is used where a door was too big. Wiring is analog with a block system. Turnouts are all hand throws. I used Woodland Scenic N-scale road bed. The frame work is just right using 1x4 supports held up by 2x2 legs. (Webmasters note, Jim did not overbuild the bench work like most of us do.)


As always, click on a picture to enlarge it.

One of Jim's cabooses with a safety message.

You can see the detail Jim does on this building down to the missing paint.

The Coors warehouse in Mogollon.

Downtown Mogollon.

Another view of Mogollon.

A used car lot.

The Grand Hotel. Notice the window details.

Yes a bit blurry but again cannot say enough about the interior details.

The Stockman's Hotel.

The yard at Agua Fria.

The unfinished engine shop in Agua Fria.

Jim's award winning Dairy Queen.

The Dairy Queen from a different angle.

Route 66 in Mogollon. Notice the pot holes in the road.

The Agua Fria Union Station.

A new addition to the layout.

A Shell Oil storage facility.

Businesses in Mogollon. Jim hand painted the backdrop.

More of the town of Mogollon.
A closer view of the Grand Hotel.

A Santa Fe F3 passes by the Stockman's Hotel.

The hinged section of the layout.

The complete hinged section. Yes a small car can fit inside,

You can almost read the poster inside the cafe.

The front of the Agua Fria Union Station.

A new addition to Agua Fria.

The town of Mogollon.

The work truck could use a wash.

A Santa Fe CP60M and B unit pause at Mogollon for lunch.

The Sunkist warehouse in Agua Fria.

N-scale roadbed and automotive head gasket material make a good roadway.

The station at Mogollon.

A Santa Fe F3 passenger trains snakes its way through Mogollon.

A freight makes its way through Mogollon.
An ASW GP30 and caboose awaiting for orders.

An ASW GP30 passes the Anderson feed shop.

The afternoon freight passes the Lone Pine Cafe.

Notice the oil stains at this Mobil Gas Station.

Mogollon resides right next to the cool pines.

Route 66.

What is town in Arizona without a trading post.

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