I first became aware of the Los Angeles Junction while in high school and instantly became mesmerized by it. As the decades slipped by the thought of eventually modeling it was always in the back of my mind. I always thought that when the day came, power would be in the form of a CF-7. Oddly, it was a YouTube video of a tandom of two warbonnet emblazoned GP60M’s working a spur that pushed me to “The time is NOW” point. As I spent hours doing my Bing and Google virtual railfanning I wasn’t really finding a scene that inspired me. One afternoon I happened to drift a few blocks away to a neighboring UP spur and found my inspiration at the intersection of East 38th Street and South Alameda Street in Vernon, CA. The layout will be relatively small L shaped shelf project with just a few turnouts. As with my old East Rail layout I’ll use the prototype as something to draw ideas from without following it exactly.
Just modeling the LAJ alone wouldn’t be justification enough to start the project. I want it to be a platform to learn new skills, try new ideas, and apply previously used techniques more effectively. Some things I’d like to experiment with are:
- Battery power
- Powdered glue for ballast and soil adhesive
- Air eraser for weathering and fading
- Photos instead of paint for roads and pavement
- Printing on vinyl instead of paper
- Still lighter bench work
- More realistic dead grass
- More realistic vegetation
- A structure core material that is more stable than .060″ styrene
Room preparation is well underway. I’ll keep you posted. (The Downtown Spur layout is alive and well with no plans for dismantling).