Peter Everitt – Horse Creek
The year is somewhere around 1957. Horse Creek is a small settlement in southern Wyoming, just to the East of the Rocky Mountains. The name comes from the ‘intermittent’ river which flows through it taking melt water from the Rockies down to join the Mississippi River and eventually to reach the Gulf of Mexico.
At this point the creek is crossed by the main line of the Colorado and Southern Railway. First generation cab-unit diesels (F3 & F7) are the main power and the road switcher or hood-units (SD7 & 9) have just arrived; however there remain some isolated pockets, the C&S is one, where steam still operates.
The C&S is a short line (740 route miles) which, with its partner the Fort Worth and Denver and their parent the Chicago Burlington and Quincy, provides the most direct route between the North West coast (Seattle) and the ports on the Gulf of Mexico (Houston). Local industry generates traffic in minerals, livestock and beet sugar; while timber products from the North East and oil from Texas generally pass through.
The model, as always, is incomplete and is not intended to be a precise replica of the prototype but to be typical of the High Plains (4500ft) with their bare, wide open spaces. In this set-up Horse Creek is converted from a through station into a terminus. In this guise the main traffic is iron ore from the mine – empty hoppers in and loaded ones out.
Construction is lightweight open frame (mainly 6mm ply) with styrofoam and plaster shell landscape. The cutting walls and most rock faces are cast in plaster from home made silicone moulds (using bathtub caulk from the local DiY store); the moulds cast on a suitable piece of natural rock or an ‘artificial’ master.
The model is HO scale, set in the 1950’s, requires a minimum of two operators and may be transported in one (large) hatchback/estate/MPV but normally requires two cars.