Thursday, January 17, 2019

Initial Layout Planning

Medford, Oregon, ca. 1950, John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library
I recently made a request (plea) on the Espee group on for Sanborn maps for Medford, Oregon. My query was met several days later with emailed .pdf files of the whole enchilada and extremely close to my modeling date of late 1951. I converted the files to images and roughly stitched them all together to create a "map" of the SP right of way through Medford with the corresponding adjacent industries included. This gave me the figurative blueprint I need to begin initial layout planning.

To backtrack a little, I have settled on Medford as the area I want to model. However, there are many caveats with that decision. First, I am not going to model it faithfully. In fact, while my fictional town is in the same area of southern Oregon, I have renamed it "Jefferson." The reasons are numerous, but fall into a few categories. At present, I have neither the time nor inclination to conduct the research necessary to replicate many buildings exactly as they were. My goal is to recreate in scale something that is "SP-ish" and "southern Oregonian" in nature. My primary goal is to create a highly plausible stage to feature and operate my rolling stock.

Industries and structures will certainly reflect the flavor of the area. However, I will draw upon commercially available kits that will be modified to suit the space or scratchbuild where necessary. The space? I will be building the layout as a switching layout in a spare bedroom. That will be the subject of many, many posts to come in future.

Below, I have inserted the Sanborn maps for the SP right of way in Medford as stitched and cropped by me and separated into six images. The files move from geographically roughly north-northeast to south-southwest in succession (or east to west on the SP) and in the same direction from left to right in each image. The red-bordered industries are ones that have piqued my curiosity to model. There are also a few photos from aerial surveys (I am pulling more of those as well). More to follow in the future...

Shell Oil Company of California

Gilmore Oil - Jackson County Oil Pavement - Richfield Oil

Tidewater Associated Oil
Note that the big lumber operation adjacent to the Tidewater Associated facility is mighty tempting, but I don't have the space necessary for that.

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