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SP's Siskiyou Line in Southern Oregon during the 1980s

Since 1991, I have been building an HO scale model railroad of the Southern Pacific's Siskiyou Line as it existed in the 1980s.

This site presents details about my model railroad and its prototype.

Model Railroad Hobbyist - Joe Fugate's latest hobby media project! Coming January 2009 - Click to learn more.

On January 1, 1995, the Southern Pacific (now the Union Pacific) sold its Siskiyou Line to the Central Oregon & Pacific (CORP). Since I am modeling the 1980s, the information at this site refers to how things were during the decade of the eighties.
The prototype Siskiyou Line begins at Springfield Junction a few miles southeast of Eugene Yard ... from there the track ran south 300 miles through Roseburg, Grants Pass, and Medford to Black Butte, California.

At Black Butte, the Siskiyou Line rejoins SP's Shasta Line between Klamath Falls, Oregon and Dunsmuir, California. Click here for a map.

Included in my model Siskiyou Line is a freelanced version of the Coos Bay branch, built out of Roseburg, Oregon as originally planned in the late 1800s. However, when the Coos Bay branch was actually completed in the early 1900s, it exited the main at Eugene, so the real Coos Bay - Roseburg branch only made it as far as Myrtle Point, Oregon.

On my model, I alter history and assume the Coos Bay branch made it all the way to Roseburg instead, and the connection out of Eugene was never built.

CV turnout techniques!
Click to learn more

list Tuesday 05 January 2010 by Joe Fugate
page hits: 1024874 — comments: 53
04 May : 15:49
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Very nice! I especially like the jump to the scenery clinic section of the forums and that the forums open in a new window.

Best of luck!

Alan Baker
04 May : 17:13
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I like it I thought you could not improve much on the old one - Mccain you done it again
Will there be more photos from your collection in due course?
Cheers from Downunder ( where the kangaroos bound down Macquarie St)
Alan Baker
04 May : 18:59
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Yes, I'm hoping the fact I can update this site just by using a web browser means I'll be more inclined to add content to it more often.
Ian MacMillan
08 May : 03:29
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Joe very very nice!

One of the best CMS software packages I have seen in a while!

While Im a techy mega nerd...I think I might try this for my site!

16 May : 22:59
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Joe pre AT&SF merger units are OK, but never, ever UP!
Chuck Geiger
16 May : 23:00
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Meaning the new SP scheme that was pre merger that never happened, before the merger that happened. Love the new look.
17 May : 01:23
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Yep, it's 1986 on the layout now, and the first Kodachrome units are showing up! There will be a few UP units now and then, but the yellow jackets will only appear now and then ... it's the 1980s permanently on my layout
20 May : 00:01
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I like the new set-up. Looks nice and clean, easier to use than the previous one. used to bugger with my computer. (slow piece of junk). Nice layout too by the way. Looks awesome.
Bill Arseneau
22 May : 21:18
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Before events in my personal life required me to dismantle and store my railroad equipment, I had begun a layout based on the same ideas that you have chosen.

My railroad was based on the UP in the Blue mountians of Oeregon between Lagrande and Misson, with staging 12 track staging yards at both ends, representing Portland to the west and Nampa, ID to the east.

However, what's gone is gone and I'm pleasently suprised and happy with your CD's, I've ordered them all.

Your CD's are the most informitive that I, in 40yrs of modeling, have ever seen. They are fantastic and will go a long way to inspire and help anyone to build thier own layout, no matter the size.

24 May : 20:23
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It was a pleasure to meet you last Satuday! Your modeling and videos are truly inspirational. I'm looking forward to a visit to your miniature empire sometime this year...

Steve in Bellingham, Wa.
26 May : 11:51
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Joe I have to tell you! Your web site has inspired me to create my own web sites. I always hated web design. I did most of mine with frontpage. Blahhh! Thanks for introducing managed web site content. Never new it could be so easy.
26 May : 19:07
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Yes, welcome to the world of directly editing the web page in your browser and to getting some really cool extra goodies for running a web site right out of the box! Content management software like e107 finally gives you the ability to jump way ahead of the run-of-the-mill web sites without even working up a sweat!
01 Jun : 12:59
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I have been following your postings on MRR forums and have been very impressed with your knowledge and writing skills. I have been in MRR for 1 year using Lenz DCC, Decoder Pro and building a freelance transitional layout. I am now going to order some of your DVD's to help detailing the scenery, etc.
Keep up the good work!
11 Jun : 13:17
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I've been out of MRing since I reluctantly dismantled my VICTORIA NORTHERN (HO) in 1967. Browsing around I came across your site and was greatly impressed. My! How the years have changed the face of the hobby.
I wonder if I have enough time left to get back into the Model Railroading frenzy?
Roy Dohn, MMR#10
12 Jun : 10:00
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Wow, Roy, I'm honored to have you visit my site and leave a post! I've been a fan of your Victoria Northern as a kid, and I have made your June 1968 MR article on layout design analysis a key component to all my layout design efforts. You are referenced in my Layout Design Analysis article here on this web site!

Welcome back to the hobby ... I encourage you to come visit the forum and post any questions or comments you may have about the hobby there. The forum regulars are a great bunch, ready and willing to help out their fellow modelers.

24 Aug : 22:32
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Dr. Roy Dohn:

What a glorious surprise to see you here! Well, as of last May per your post!

I went to McGill in Montreal during the 60s and was delighted to get out to see the Victoria Northern plus do some operating. Yours was one of the very few truly operating layouts in those days.

I doubt if you will remember me but I sure do remember you.

Glad you are around and please, jump back into the hobby.

Peter White
St. Augustine, Florida
22 Oct : 19:56
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I'm getting back into model railroading after having to dismantle my layout in 1965, so I've been thinking about the layouts that inspired me then. I can think of 3 - the Gorre and Dephetid, of course, the one (was it GATSME?) that showed double-headed Yellowstones on the cover of MR, and Dr. Roy Dohn's layout. So, Dr. Roy, PLEASE get back into model railroading! The state of the art has progressed to the point that someone with your expertise could only inspire us all the more!
26 Jun : 11:18
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Hey Joe,
I just heard from my friend Barry Anderson that he is signed up to operate on your layout the Friday of the PNR convention in August. I am riding down with him and am in hopes that you still have one more space for me to join Barry and the other operators. I operated on your layout some years ago when I travel down with Larry Rice so am a little familiar with the set up. Thanks for the consideration and looking forward to seeing you again in August.
26 Jun : 15:01
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Cool, JP, I'll add you to the list! Sounds like this should be a great op session -- I'll have to post photos from it on this web site. I'm sure everyone else would be interested to hear how it goes, and to see all your smiling faces at the session.
Ten Wheeler
02 Jul : 00:55
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Joe... I just signed up today, and am looking forward to your Scenery Clinic. I bought your DVD series also, and found it to be the best money I have spent in a long time (I am looking forward to your Vol. 4, later this Fall). Thank you once again for producing such a great learning tool.
03 Jul : 20:45
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oregon operations of the southern pacific at its best .something for southern pacific modelers to measure there operation against.
13 Jul : 21:38
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I Joe: I have your first tape and am very impressed. I to have Easy Dcc the new version. No Layout yet but lots of Black Widows and some WP. Look forward to building a new layout . Thanks for the great video.

Bill Shanaman
24 Jul : 19:29
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Hello Joe and all. I seem to have finally got over here to Joe's web site. I like the ease of use for browsing. Very nice.
27 Jul : 20:50
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Hey Bill, good to see you here. I'm hoping to make it to Fred's Ops Session in August.

Ken Biles

28 Jul : 14:50
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Hi Joe
I signed up so I could see that section on the sound decoders. I was amazed to read that you use Soundtraxx LC's, it gives me hope that maybe even I can do sound in more than just one or two locos!
01 Aug : 16:52
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Hi Joe,
I just signed up after reading about the convention over on another forum. I model the UP in the Blue Mountains and yet live in Virginia! I turned on several of my friends that help with the layout to your site after drooling......er, looking at it myself! I was most interested in the scenery and the scenes you have created. I was amazed at how similar the scenery techniques that you used could be helpful to me in the very near future. I'm currently in the plastering stage and need to work a little more with my backdrop but really got stoked when I saw some examples of your work! All of my friends were ready to catch a plane to the convention and do some operation! Hopefully, on a future trip to the Blues, we'll be able to come for a visit.
Good luck this weekend and have a great time! Please post some photos of your operating session if you have a moment.

Jeff Thaxton
Bill Arseneau
26 Jan : 18:59
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Joe, is it possible for you to give Mr Thaxton my email address? I might have some info and docs that he could use on his layout of the Blues in Oregon.
29 Jan : 19:30
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Sorry, Bill ... Mr. Thaxton posted anonymously and left no email.
Bill Arseneau
30 Jan : 01:34
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If anyone out there knows Jeff Thaxton, please contact him or my self, I have some things that he could use. Thanks for the info.
Matt Gidley
02 Aug : 15:07
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Hi Joe. I emailed you at the addy below, but I'm not sure if you got it. ANyway, I wanted to let you knwo that your pictures aren;t displaying on the about me page. Only the first one comes up.
09 Aug : 16:25
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Hi Joe!

I am amazed my your SP Siskiyou Line!
20 Aug : 10:04
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what is the purpose of the spst toggle switch that is used in conjuction with the 1156 bulb for dcc shorting purposes? I currently have feeders for every six feet of flextrack (i solder the joints together to from six feet and when i connect the next six feet i leave a slight gap in the rails for expansion and contraction) also, i see that you are using suitcase connectors (automotive type connectors) - are you using solid or stranded wire for your bus and feeder lines! thanks for your help
20 Aug : 23:59
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Ted, the SPST toggle allows quickly shutting off power to the block for any reason -- it's easier than getting out the screwdriver to disconnect feeders.

I use stranded wire in all my connections -- I prefer stranded over solid wire because it's more flexible and won't easily break from flex fatigue like solid does.
22 Aug : 19:10
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This web site is now getting more and more comment spam, so anonymous comments posting has now been turned off. You have to be a registered user to post comments.
Jeff Fry
30 Aug : 17:38
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I am intrigued by layout analysis as set forth here, but what do I do for a (largely) double track layout?.
30 Aug : 19:40
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This question comes up a lot. Treat one main as mainline, and the other as alternating between connecting track and passing sidings, as you prefer.

The end result will be a double tracked layout can move a lot of cars -- which is just what you would expect.

However, be aware much of the fun of dispatching is arranging meets and figuring out how to get one train past another. A double track mainline will be less of a challenge to dispatch since few trains will need to pass each other unless there are a lot of locals blocking the main. Such a layout will move lots of trains, so you'd better have lots of staging on each end to supply the double track with trains -- and you'd better have operators who love just rolling off the miles on the main. Many find single track railroads are more interesting operationally -- just something to be aware of.
Jeff Fry
30 Aug : 22:13
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I appreciate the operational advantages of single track, by and large, but modeling the D&RGW 's Tennessee Pass in the steam era demands a (largely) double track main. I'll look at the numbers modified as you have set out.
05 Jan : 04:26
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However, the real skill with double track is to keep the slow trains out of the way of the fast ones. And there is always the fun of dealing with work time for locals. Both single and double track have their own sets of problems. If it is dark or ABS territory it takes teal skill to keep the hot shots and Psgr. trains moving without delay. You can always build a non clearing except for a very few sidings train and really muck things up. The kinda neet, ya Right, thing about the prototype is that you don't have to manufacture the problems; Mr. Murphy in the form of a yardmaster that wants to do spring cleaning, or an agent that reports x cars to move and when the P/U gets there it has grown to X+Y create all the fun one needs. Then just for laughs a unit fails. Oh what fun Andy
10 Sep : 22:39
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Hi Joe,

Just signed up. I love the Espee and the way you've captured it on your layout. I'm looking forward to visiting quite often.
27 Sep : 12:15
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I recently subscribed to your video series. Although I just have the first three volumse, I consider it a great investment of my limited MR$. I am an expirenced modeler and have build several HO scale layouts. Your videos have given me a new perspective on layout design and construction. Great work! THANKS

PS: Can't wait for the next volume.
26 Oct : 10:40
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Welcome back, Joe Very happy to see your latest Ops Session in MR Forum. Great pics and commentary. Are there any switchers on your layout, or are they all road switchers and SD's? jc5729
Bill Arseneau
26 Jan : 19:20
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Joe, is volume #4 still on for delivery in January ?? I'm sure looking forward to viewing it.
29 Jan : 19:23
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Yep, vol 4 master was done today (Jan 29th, 2007) and went into the gang duplicators!
Bill Arseneau
30 Jan : 01:32
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Thanks for the info Joe, I'm eargerly awaiting it's arrival.
04 Feb : 16:03
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Volume 4 is a great program. Keep them coming
Bill Arseneau
01 Mar : 01:03
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I received volume #4 a few weeks ago and hustled home to eagerly open and watch it. I was NOT disappointed, it's great. Thank you for another great CD, I'm anxiously awaiting all of the future installments.
23 Mar : 22:50
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I stumbled across your page by accident and found it very interesting. My father worked for the SP as a locomotive Fireman, then Engineer for almost forty years. He worked out of the Brooklyn Yard in Eugene and spent much of his time on the routes you have recreated. All of the small towns sound so familar, Coquille, Drain, Klamath Falls, North Bend, Coos Bay & Roseburg. Nice job!
24 Apr : 11:52
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Joe I am new to the forum & I was wondering if any of your material was available for sale but not on a download basis but in printed form (book) or DVD. I especially like your scenery techniques using everyday commercial storebought items and not ,for the most part, products from WS and others.
Bob Dondero
Jay Smith
21 May : 00:33
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Great railroad, definitely one of the greats!
05 Jun : 20:11
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Hi Joe,

I have been a big fan of your railroad (and the SP) for some time. I have all your videos and I think I have put the scenery lessons to ggod use on my layout (htttp://www.tamvalleyrr.com). Thought you might like to know that your work is getting out there and making a difference!

San Diego
02 Jul : 14:47
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Are DVDs of operating sessions available? How do you order a DVD of the operating sessions? What is the cost?
Thank you
Bill Michael
03 Jul : 15:24
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Sure thing ... just check out the In Video sidebar here on the home page. You want the first two OPs Live volumes.
Killwall Sub
03 Oct : 05:39
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Dear Mr. Fugate,
I really enjoy your modeling and this website, a fine job indeed! I model the Burlington Northern in the Pacific Northwest and hence try to study your scenery to get some killer ideas. Would you mind too much if I threw in an adress for my website here??
I hope not so here goes, www.killwallsub.com
Again, really enjoy your work, take care.
The Killwall Sub
"Adventures in HO scale"

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