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The Treasure State Railway
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 Posted: Thu Jun 15th, 2017 06:35 pm
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Chet
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Joined: Sat Mar 9th, 2013
Location: Gallatin Gateway, Montana USA
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Great layout, but a crappy video.

This is a great layout of the late Pete Ellis. The video quality is not the best as the original 8 mm video was played on the TV and than recorded with a camcorder. There is also some distortion as the TV elongated horizontally to fit the video to the screen. 40 foot box cars look like 50 footers and the little consolidation looks lake a lot larger locomotive.

Pete started this layout in 1949 and the video was taken in 1995. This original part of the layout was built in a quanset hut on Pete's ranch in Cascade, MT. For years Pete would work on the layout, tearing out some older parts of the layout he wanted to improve on as he was limited to the space inside the quanset hut which I ma guessing was about 60 feet long by maybe 25 feet wide. You would never know what to expect when you visited as some completed areas would be torn out and a gaping hole in the layout would take its place. On the next visit a completely new scene would be in its place. It was like Christmas on each visit.

Finally around 1998 Pete built an addition onto the quanset hut to expand the layout, frustrated by the limited space I imagine. Pete was an NMRA member and has a Master Modelers Award. Pete, like myself, was lucky enough to have visited John Allens Gorre & Daphetid layout which I think really inspired him and you will see in the video. In some areas of the layout the scenery went right to the floor. In the original part of the layout, all of the track and turnouts were scratch build using code 70 rail. Pete did have a thing about trestles and bridges. I can't count how many he built as some may disappear from visit to visit. Most of the structures are built from scratch, along with many of the scenes.

He had quite a number of whimsical scenes that could be found around the layout also. ( John Allen? ) The layout was DC controlled by variacs. Those could wear you out by the end of an operating session as they weren't light, but gave excellent control.

Unfortunately, Pete passed away in 2003, but he willed his layout to the Montana Museum of Railroad History where it is now one of the main attractions. The original part of the layout did not apparently make the move as one wall of the addition had to be removed to move the layout after his death.

Please excuse the poor quality of the video and awful sound, but I would really like to share with everyone this stellar layout. Good scenery doesn't start until about three and a half minutes into the video. The entire part of the layout where the video starts is under construction. Let me know what you think of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFyOJRDsuWM


Last edited on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 06:36 pm by Chet

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