ATSF Howard Branch

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Updated March 2016

September 2014 photos

My latest efforts are my grandest. After years of collecting locos and cars, probably more than I can ever run, and years of researching my favorite Santa Fe, I have selected Emporia, Kansas, and the Howard Branch for my latest and probably last layout. My extensive research on this area can be found on the Santa Fe Society website. Starting it at age 57 (August 2005), I hope to see it finished some day. Since this is an ongoing work, I will create pages on this to update as progress is made.

I took a bedroom that was 10'x12' with a 2' deep closet and added on to it, removing the closet, and creating a room that is 14'x20'. The layout has two levels. The lower level models Emporia circa 1950. The Howard branch cuts off at the eastern end of the layout and runs around the wall at a steep 4% to come out on the upper deck at Eureka. It then runs through Small, and Climax before coming to Moline. Both Emporia and Moline are fed by staging tracks with a lot of industries along the way.

Track is code 100 in staging and is recycled (Sandifer Salvage) Atlas. The Main line in Emporia will be code 83/81 with a combination of recycled, Central Valley, and Micro Engineering. Yards, industries, and the line to is code 70 Central Valley and Micro Engineering. Some additional industries will be code 55 Central Valley and Micro Engineering. Control is from North Coast Engineering DCC. All turnouts are hand laid and many on CV switch blocks. The roadbed is cork, cut from 3'x2' blocks of 6mm stock.

Lower staging is 26" feeding the lower main deck at 31." The upper deck is at 55."

See my track plan (subject to constant revision):

How to Clinics

Construction History

Ride in the Cab around the layout (July, 2013)

New: November 2015 video tour

Video by Art Houston, February 2016


Moline, Kansas
Crusher, Limestone Quarry at Moline
Moline Elevator
Climax, Kansas
Eureka, Kansas, showing MP crossing
Eureka, looking down the MP
Cornett Seed and Feed, Eureka, Kansas

Eureka Elevator, Eureka, Kansas

Stock Yards

Sinclair Oil, Eureka

Moline Engine House
Oil Well Supply, Eureka
Continental Oil, Eureka
Eureka Coal
Murphy Oil, Moline
Oil Storage Tanks, Moline
Moline Depot



Steve Sandifer