Rocky Mountain & Santa Fe

Current and Future Operations

My emphasis has been on creating an operating railroad. This includes a train schedule based on prototype Time Tables. Current operation includes (6) trains staged through Raton, NM  with diesel helper service available. Future planning includes an expanded railroad with operation from the town of Raton, over Raton Pass, then to Jansen just west of Trinidad. There will be a 10 track staging yard with reverse loop operation at each end of the line.

This will provide for operating 18 trains each session.SF Chief Head.gif (2KB) In 1958, this would include the 6 to 8 scheduled passenger trains depending on if the Super Chief and El Capitan are combined, the 2 Fast Mail trains on the timetable, 2 regional freights, weekly local freights, and a variety of extra and work trains including coal and empties moving both east and west through Raton.

Current Operations:

I have a 7 day operating schedule with daily trains, extras and switching. Each time I operate is a different day with different train movements.  

Freight Trains have a Crew Change at Raton and Waycars are switched out at Raton on the daily 'Red Ball' freights #31 & 46. Helpers are available to assist all trains over the mountain.

1st District: LaJunta to Raton, and 2nd District: Raton to LasVegas local trains operate on a once a week schedule in each direction. Pickups and Setouts are made for local switching at Raton. LaJunta and LasVegas are represented by a double ended staging track.

A Raton Yard Crew switches locomotive fuel and sand, a track scale, freight depot, and the 1st street warehouses. South of the freight depot there was a Texaco fuel oil dealer and the Raton Crystal Ice and Cold Storage. A reefer with ice was spotted at the north end of the warehouse track for crew and supplemental passenger train ice. 

Coal moves from Koehler or Brilliant on the 2nd District, and Morley or Jansen on the 1st District to Raton with switching of the Raton Public Service Power Plant. Empties run west from Raton to (staging track) and loads return to Raton. A 2nd District Crew then takes the loads west to the Power Plant (staging track) and brings back the empties. Empties then go east to (staging track) and loads return to Raton. Loads then go west to the Power Plant (staging track) and empties are returned to the Raton yard. 

Coal was also moved from Jansen to LaJunta. Locomotives and a Waycar can depart Raton running light to Jansen. If you are modeling Jansen then you can pick up loads there to move east and then return empties to Jansen. And the power and waycar back to Raton. Thanks to Clarence Matthews for his assistance with this information.

I have added reverse loops at the staging yard which allow me to reverse my current trains. This provides for a complete 24 Hour schedule. To run a daytime schedule, only the combined Super Chief / El Capitan and the Grand Canyon need to be reversed. I also reverse Freights 31 and 46 to allow switching of the headend cars on Eastbounds and rearend cars on Westbounds at Raton as blocked from LaJunta or Belen. Raton Yard was switched from the eastend of the yard as the westend was single track. My current operating project is to add Car Cards and Waybills and a fiddle track at staging.


The chart below is a Timeline for Raton Pass Operations in the 1950's. There is plenty of both Steam and Diesel action with 8 scheduled daily Passenger trains and the 2 Fast Mail trains on the timetable. The daily Freights #31 and #46, the 1st and 2nd District Locals, and all Coal trains operated as Extra's.

The Steam to Diesel Transition for Helpers, and the last Steam for Passenger and Freight Trains occurred in 1953. F-Unit paint schemes also changed from the Catwhisker to the Cigarband in the 1952-1954 time frame. Changes in passenger equipment included the addition of Big Domes in 1954 and the High Level cars in 1956. The Super Chief and El Capitan were combined in 1958.

Train Orders with ABS Zebra Semaphore blades controlled train movements until CTC was installed from Trinidad to Keota in 1952 and 1953. The East Tunnel was closed in 1950 and sealed in 1953. CTC was extended to Raton and then to Hebron starting in 1958, and the track from Lynn to Raton was reduced to single track with a passing siding at Keota in 1959-1960. 

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Created by Jim Milliron -

Current Update May 30, 2012