Back to the Clovis Branch

I was back to visit Pierre Oliver’s SP Clovis Branch again last weekend. This is my second time operating the layout, and it continues to prove the merits of building a large basement sized layout premised upon the operation of two trains over a branchline. A unique twist to this operating session is the fact that you can read a few different accounts of the same day because all of the people at the operating session, including the host, are bloggers. Clicking on their name takes you to each person’s blog.

At my first operating session on the Clovis Branch with Robin Talukdar we operated the reefer extra. This time around we had two crews at the operating session, so Robin and I took the wayfrieght all the way up to Friant while Trevor Marshall and Stephen Gardiner ran the reefer extra. This was the first time the layout had been run all the way to Friant, so once again, Robin and I had the opportunity to prove the concept.

It was a great afternoon with good people and a fine dinner.


The wayfreight pulls into Friant with the loads from the quarry. The caboose is on the head pin from Clovis in order to facilitate the moves that will happen on the Pinedale branch.


Pierre’s approach to applying static grass creates the illusion of gently rolling flatlands. I’m hoping he writes up an article for this.


Street running through East Fresno is going to be a really cool scene when it’s finished. I’m looking forward to seeing that stretch of the layout evolve.

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