Having grown up about a ¼ mile from the Santa Fe line through Riverside, I was always interested in the Santa Fe. Also in the late 40’s I had made four trips from San Bernardino to La Junta on the Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Railroad was in my heart. When I started Modeling Railroading as a hobby, the Santa Fe was always number one.
After reading books about the Santa Fe and railroad history in Southern California, I became interested in early Santa Fe construction and the California Southern Railroad. To avoid the “it isn’t prototype” comments, I decided to free lance and needed a name call “My” railroad. Starting around 1965 I started using The NOT Line based on National City, Oceanside and Temecula which were towns on the California Southern. I choose Southern green as my paint scheme and painted all my engines and cabooses green. The NOT Line was OK, but somehow, I was never real satisfied with it. It just didn’t have the sound of a real big time railroad and in the end I didn’t like the green steam engines. (I should have just used Santa Fe from the start.)
After visiting the C&NW “Alco line” in 1978, I liked the initials CNW and really started to play with similar initials in my mind. With a slight modification, the north became south and the CSW was born, but I could not decide what to name it after. Chicago South Western and California South Western were two, but neither ever got me excited.
I decided to paint an engine in a green and yellow paint similar to the CNW scheme just to see how it looked and I kind of liked it. With my son Fred, I painted several more engines and was thinking about using this for my limited interchange with the P&RM narrow gauge operations at the time. Unfortunately, the divorce from my first wife ended this. After Fred took all the green and yellow engines I was really discouraged and eventually lost interest in green and yellow.
From the start of my Scale Modeling Railroading I enjoyed going out and watching real trains, mostly on Cajon Pass. By the mid 70’s, Fred and I were spending many weekends camping at MP57X, less then a mile west of Summit. By the mid 1980’s, I moved my camping to Summit where I could enjoy the luxuries of my travel trailer with my second wife and stepson Richard. I really enjoyed the Santa Fe and UP operations over Cajon Pass and I wanted that to be the center of my Alaska Model Railroad.
First of all, it was necessary to create an imaginary scenario on which to base my Model Railroad and bring the CSWRR into its existence. It is based on the Santa Fe Railway in Southern California, specifically from Barstow to Los Angeles, California, and in a time period around 1985. Then under the imaginary conditions, the Santa Fe has spun off its railroad from Barstow to Los Angeles to be formed into a separate subsidiary with the Union Pacific. The CSWRR is owned two thirds by the Santa Fe Railway and one third by the Union Pacific Railroad. The operation of the railroad is as an independent subsidiary and with all equipment supplied by the parent roads.
As there are almost no industries on Cajon Pass, it was necessary to extend the railroad west to make room for industries. This was done by modeling from San Bernardino to Corona and calling the west staging yard Los Angeles. (This was also the line that went near my house in Riverside so many years ago.) So to continue with the scenario, UP trains now operate over what was the Santa Fe Third Subdivision into Los Angeles, which was completely double tracked (years ahead of time). The CSWRR offices and Dispatching Center are located in the San Bernardino Operations Center. The Santa Fe Second Subdivision is only representatively modeled. While the UP line from Riverside to LA and the San Diego line are there, they are not part of the model or operation.
It wasn’t until about 1995 after I had moved to Alaska and one night while lying in bed and thinking about Conrail that Consolidated came to mind. I liked it, it fit and so the CSWRR became the Consolidated South Western Railroad.