Engineer / Model Maker / Artist / Philosopher / BRL Products / Home


La Mesa Model Railroad Club

Car Department Interview

"How To Build Rolling Stock For Mountain Operation"

The La Mesa Model railroad club has been builidng an HO scale replica of the mainline mountain railroad through the Tehachapi mountains in southern California, from Bakersfield, in the San Joaquin valley, to Tehachapi in the Mojave desert. This is a single track mainline with many passing sidings. The steep grade requires helper units to move trains over 100 cars long up the hill. The La Mesa Club has been building this exhibit, in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, for over 25 years. Construction of the mainline is close to completion, with over 28 scale miles of track, rising from 33" off the floor in Bakersfield to 170" at Summit. Operating model trains over this difficult railroad requires strict attention to standards of construction of the freight cars. For 40 years, John Cathcart has been the car department foreman for the La Mesa Club since it's early days in Nebo Hall, La Mesa. His unique perspective on freight car construction is shared in this interview.

This first video is a 10 minute YouTube introduction.



This second video is a full 60 minutes.