The Redwoods & Pacific Railroad

Welcome to the Redwoods and Pacific Railroad, an HO-scale model railroad by Thomas Beutel. The pictures you see here are of the original layout, which was torn down in 1995. A new bigger and better layout was started in 1996, and is still being built (as of 2012). Pictures of it are posted on the Redwoods and Pacific RR Facebook page

The original layout occupied an 8 foot (2.5 meter) by 14 foot (4.3 meter) area. Eventually the new layout will expand to about 5 times that size.

[Photo of layout]
Overview of the mountain division

I started the Redwoods and Pacific R.R. in 1988, using Malcolm Furlow's book You Can Build a Narrow Gauge Railroad as my guide. My goal is to represent a standard gauge shortline traversing coastal hills and redwood forests, similar to Southern Pacific's line in the Santa Cruz mountains. The time frame is 1939, just at the very beginning of the diesel era, so most locomotive power is still steam. I do plan to run a few modern diesels though, such as E-7's, just for fun.

[Photo of trestle]
The trestle over Redwood Canyon

My inspiration comes from two local railroads - the Northwestern Pacific, and Southern Pacific's former San Jose/Santa Cruz mainline. Both these railroads set themselves apart from other local lines by being close to the coast and by using mainly small steam power (2-8-0's, 4-6-0's). From a modeling perspective, I felt that the smaller outlines of this type of railroading were a better match for the space I had available. Also, I grew up here and I love the look of the coastal forests. The hills are verdant and alive as compared to the drab brown interior of California where big time railroading takes place.


The R&PRR connects the metropolis of Bayside to the agricultural riches of the Ocean City area. Steam trains must struggle over a mountain pass to bring the bounty of the sea and land to the hungry folks of the City by the Bay. I draw impressions from San Francisco and Oakland to create Bayside, and the Monterey/Salinas Valley will be the basis for Ocean City.

I currently have a dedicated crew of friends helping me with the scenery. I am using HO-scale Atlas code-83 track and turnouts, controlled by tortoise switch machines. I wire the track for traditional A/B cab control, even though I plan to use DCC in the future. The initial operating track plan will be point-to-point with loops on both ends. Trains will run according to schedule and be dispatched by train order.


Copyright (c) 1999 by Thomas Beutel

The Redwoods & Pacific Railroad is a model railroad built by Thomas Beutel