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A northwest mountain garden railroad

By Fred Konkell | August 9, 2022

The Pacific Northern Railway was constructed by a retired garden-center owner and his grandson

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two model trains at a station

A northwest mountain garden railroad: The Pacific Northern Railway was formed when the Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railroads merged in the early 1960s. I chose the name “Pacific Northern” because it included parts of the names of both of the original railroads. The two-tone green passenger-train colors were used because famous designer Raymond Loewy had recently redesigned the color scheme in the late 1950s, and it was cheaper to use this paint scheme than to repaint all of the equipment.

The actual date in history modeled on the railroad is June 25, 1966, which is the last time I rode the North Coast Limited. My father worked for the Northern Pacific during my growing-up years, which sparked the love affair with the NP. Dad was a coach cleaner and washed the windows of the dome cars when the streamliner rolled into Missoula, Montana. Occasionally, I still get nostalgic as I watch the North Coast Limited roll into one of the towns on the Pacific Northern.

Learn about the Northern Pacific.

See a Great Northern photo gallery.

Name: Pacific Northern Railway

Size of Railroad: 66′ x 52′

Scale: 1:29

Gauge: Nº 1 (45mm)

Era: Mid 1960s

Theme: Class 1 railroading through mountain region

Age: 14 years

Track: 600′, code-332 LGB brass

Maximum gradient: 3%

Minimum radius: 16′

Structures: Kit, kitbashed, scratchbuilt

model train crosses bridge over river model train crosses bridge over river
Model people on a platform with passenger train Model people on a platform with passenger train
model locomotive travels under bridge model locomotive travels under bridge
Model gas station with truck and locomotive Model gas station with truck and locomotive
two model trains at a station two model trains at a station
model switcher on track model switcher on track
overview of model staging yard with engines overview of model staging yard with engines
model switcher on track model switcher on track

One thought on “A northwest mountain garden railroad

  1. Great railroad. Where are you located? I model the Wallace Idaho area in 1926 in G-Scale in the Portland Oregon area including the towns of Wallace, Mullen, Gem, and Burke. It is a railroad built for conducting operation sessions. I am just finishing converting 12 engines and 60 cars from Colorado road names to NP. Building the Wallace station will be the next project after completing the seven stall roundhouse. (Wallace only had 6 stalls, but who is counting) It would be great to hear from you. Bill Derville bill@derville4.com

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