Ideal Frisco locations to model

Discussion in 'General' started by friscobob, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    In doing research for my small Frisco layout, I compiled a list of areas I knew about and have been to that would make good modeling locations. Since space is a consideration and I'm modeling in HO scale (with no desire to switch, sorry N scalers:p), I looked for areas I could model that would work well for me.

    I came up with several locations:

    • Miami, OK- the Miami Branch (former NEO)
    • Tulsa, OK- the Howard Branch
    • Ft. Smith, AR- plenty of action north & south of the yard
    • Paris, TX- Campbell Soup for starters, 3 other RRs included (four, if you model between 1910 and 1956)
    • Kansas City- the West Bottoms or the Fairgrounds Branch
    • Muskogee,OK- several large shippers, plus MKT,KOG/MV
    I left out other Frisco locales only because I've never been there, and I don't know much about them.

    Anybody here have their favorite locations that would fit into small layouts?
  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I say West Bottoms. There was a layout of the area circa 1890s in the last issue of Great Model Railroads. It was a nice layout feature.
  3. Rancho Bob

    Rancho Bob Member

    I'd go for Joplin. Not too many interchanges, but interesting track, passenger service. Etc. But you know, you probably are better off modeling what you know and have seen. You have a good list to start with.
  4. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    An excellent panacea for a small space is an urban switching setting. The tracks and setting can be prototypically congested, with lots of interesting brick structures, etc. Also, you don't have the worry of how to go about modeling even a hint of "expanse" between a small branch line yard and the first town as you do with a small space. Good luck whatever you decide... and have fun!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2012
  5. bob_wintle

    bob_wintle Member Supporter

    Joplin is a great idea. If I ever start over again I think that is what I will do.
  6. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I am biased, but would propose the FRISCO in Quanah TX (QA&P) would be a great little RR to model, they had 2 interlockings with the FW&DC RY, a very small yard, and tracks that were by any standard pretty short, several industries to model and an excuse to have what ever Frisco power you wanted. You could have an Acme Red River & Northern loco for the wall board plant at Acme, and The Matador Route too, depending on the era. QLA hotshots, auto racks and all.:)
    But again, I am biased.

    Tom Holley
  7. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Maybe it would help if you were to define "small."

  8. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    My original layout concept, which I have pretty much given up on, was to start with Cuba, MO, with its Salem branch, on down the Eastern Division, west through Rolla, down Rolla Hill to Newburg, past the Ft Wood branch at Bundy Junction, and up Dixon Hill to Dixon, Mo. Dixon and Cuba would be two names for the ends of the same town to complete the loop. Switching could be done at Cuba, on the Salem branch, at a few line side industries, at Rolla, at Newburg, on the Ft Wood branch, and at Dixon.

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  9. rc2477

    rc2477 Member

    I grew up in Rogers AR and I have most of the yard platts for the Fort Smith sub. so I'm a bit partial to that area, but I agree that the research for a nice Joplin based layout sounds like a lot of fun.
  10. mvtelegrapher

    mvtelegrapher Member

    If anyone is interested in doing a Joplin layout I have track maps and very large blueprints of Joplin including downtown, the depot and Ruth Yard. I also have a couple of other friends that have more maps and photo's of Joplin and the lines radiating out of town. Depending on the era modeled there is a lot of action in Joplin, even though it never was located on a main line. You have interchanges with five roads before 1946 and if you include interurbans seven before 1936. If you do a layout in the sixties your down to four and in the seventies three. If you do the era before the lead and zinc mining played out you have lots of things to switch and several passenger trains a day. A layout based in the 1920's would be extremely active with enough action to keep a large crew busy for hours.

    John Chambers
  11. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    I should have mentioned earlier that I chose the Paris, TX area to model. Had I the room, I would include the Santa Fe, SP and MP interchanges, but since I don't I'm concentrating on the Frisco trackage, so as to fit a layout into a 6 by 11 1/2-foot space.

    The list I posted is more of a discussion-starter for locations to model, especially city areas if one doesn't have the room for modeling mainline trackage.

    Joplin.....hmm...KCS main, Frisco, MKT......the TriState lead & zinc mining district...nice choice.

    Northwestern Arkansas (Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers/Bentonville) can keep one busy for hours switching, as well as running through freights and (until 1965) passenger trains.

    If I had even more room, the Arkinda Sub from Hugo east to Hope would be a decent place to work- the Hugo yard, Wyerhaeuser and the TO&E at Vallint, Idabel, Arkoma Cement, Ashdown with the KCS and GNA, and Hope (including the MP and an end-to-end interchange with the KCS).

    Mike Corley did part of the line in western Oklahoma, and Ed Adams was working on a small QA&P layout at one time. So the QA*P would be a good chouce, especially in the steam era and before Frisco switched the QLA over to the Avard Sub.
  12. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    I wanted a tunnel, so I am leaning towards Aurora, Mo. Of course the tunnels are south on Mopac. But you have the rail crossing at Aurora, the grain elevator (Mopac), and Bridges and Tunnels south toward Reed Springs. I am also thinking Winslow, the back tracks and small town is a draw. Ft. Smith is also great.
    Bill Jackson
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  13. mark

    mark Member


    In Joplin, please do not forget the Missouri Pacific and Santa Fe (via trackage rights).

    Hope this helps.


  14. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Obviously I've chosen Newburg to be my centerpiece, circa 1943
  15. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Newburg ia a great place. Guess I didn't know Mopac or Santa Fe went into Joplin on trackage rights. KCS runs close.
    Bill Jackson
  16. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Mopac went right through Joplin, but I thought Santa Fe had their own track in Joplin.

  17. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    I don't know, I just didn't remember seeing a rail crossing.
    I didn't think Mopac ran on Frisco into Joplin. Santa Fe of course
    had rail crossings in Agusta, Ks. Carl Jct. was the KCS.
    Mopac did run on Frisco Aurora to Springfield.
    Bill Jackson
  18. Friscotony

    Friscotony Member

    My favorite has turned out to be my own backyard and that is Wichita. Typical train to Wichita in the 70's was 3-4 Gp's of various sizes, B units, U boats of all kind. The 60's were mostly GP-7's and F units. Typical train seemed to be 50 cars. We had a lot of local switching here. Local interchange was with the Rock, MoPac and the Santa Fe. There was a train to Ellsworth and interchange with the UP, MoPac and Santa Fe. Lyons served a salt mine which shipped mostly in boxcars. From Neodesha, there was the cement plant in Fredonia, the Mobil refinery in Augusta and the typical elevators and other stops. Of course we had Beaumont and a connection to the Enid line. Frisco bought a lot of deisel fuel here from the Derby refinery here and that provided a large block of Frisco tank cars in each train. The local switch engine for years was #261 and it wore both the black schemes and of course the O/W. The daily passenger train was a neat little 2 car set up. A Baggage, mail and express car and a coach/chair car.

    Tony LaLumia
  19. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    One thing about the Frisco, not matter what time period you want to model, mainline or branchline, it has it.
  20. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    Any Place....................


    any Time Frame!.........

    After all......................

    it is............................

    "The Frisco"!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2012

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