1:PC&N Yard and Shops Scene

grundge rays sepia

Prototype Research

The NPC had its largest set of switchyards and railroad service facilities in Sausalito, CA.  The structures in these yards were added at various times over 35 years.  All may not have existed at the same time.

  1. An engine house – two stalls designed to house narrow gauge engines.
    The engine house is on the right.  The buildings on the left would be likely to include the machine shop and blacksmith shop among others.  I suspect the two with chimneys are the machine shop (stationery steam boiler) and the blacksmith shop.  The machine shop was also likely to be at least partially dedicated to Carter Brothers Rolling stock production.
  2. A car shop – It is in this car shop that it is likely that the Carter Brothers manufactured rolling stock under contract to the NPC.  This was labeled as the Standard Gauge Engine House on the following prototype track plan.  But these photos were taken under the Northwest Pacific ownership much later than the date of the track plan.  On the 1890 plat map that follows it is labeled as the car shop.
  3. An engine service facility and turntable devoted to servicing narrow gauge engines.
  4. A  number of other small buildings and related structures like oil tanks.

The following 1890 plat map shows the track layout for this facility.  Note that there is a separate siding for the Carter Brothers plant.  MacGregor in “Birth of Narrow Gauge” indicates this may be a second Carter Brothers shop.  Because I need to compress the Shop/Dock area, I’ll eliminate some of the trackage and focus on the narrow gauge facilities.


Track Plan

The Sausalito Yards in the model railroad will be a subset of the prototype track plan.  They will focus on the portion of the yards devoted to narrow gauge.  I would like to model the engine service facilities as completely as possible as well as providing a yard for staging incoming and outgoing consists.  The staging yard track plan has an interface to the docks on the south end and a line to Point Reyes Station on the north end.  My width constraint (24″) eliminates space for a number of buildings that were on the left side of the prototype track plan and shown in the photos.  I have placed the machine shop and may place other facilities.

PCN Layout 7 Sausalito Yards

With the exception of eliminating the standard gauge facilities, the model railroad track plan closely approximates the prototype track plan with the following exceptions:

  • The engine service facility has three bays rather than four.  It can only be entered from one side.  This facility will be modeled using a Banta Sargents Roundhouse.
  • The engine house has three bays rather than two.  It will also be modeled using a Banta Sergeants Roundhouse.
  • The turntable is between the two facilities.  Placing it there eliminates a significant number of turnouts.

Rolling Stock

  • Incoming and Outgoing Consists – The main line passes through this area on the way to and from the dock and to northern parts of the layout.  So consists running through this area will have almost all of the of the variety of rolling stock used by the North Pacific Coast — passenger consists and freight,  In addition, virtually every engine on the roster will appear here from time to time for service.  Some consists will be assembled in this area.  Others will merely pass through on their way north and south.
  • Engines will normally be the PC&N Road engines as well as one or two local switchers serving the yards and the docks to the south (not shown).  However, any PC&N engine could be sent here for service.


  • Main Facility – The major buildings making up this complex will all be modeled.  That includes the two engine service facilities, the turntable, and the machine shop.
  • Other Structures – Are yet to be determined but are likely to be made up of a number of smaller service structures and will certainly include fuel and water facilities, etc.
  • General Terrain – Terrain will be mostly flat and mostly ballasted.
  • Nearby Scenes – The Sausalito docks to the South and the Richardsons Bay trestle to the north.
  • Static Modeling – This complex will give me the opportunity to model two specialized facilities I’ve wanted to model including a machine shop and blacksmith shop.  In addition, modeling of a number of other specialized railroad facilities is possible.

What follows is builders logs on completed and active projects for this scene.  They are in reverse chronological order.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>