Update – Tom Sullivan’s On30 SR&RL

Tom Sullivan continues to make great progress on his On30 SR&RL and I have some photos to share. But before you check out the photos, I’d like to complement Tom. Understanding my points will help you understand how Tom has achieved so much in such a short time.

  • Tom is a doer – He get’s a vision and starts with the whatever information he has
  • Tom listens – He seeks inputs from others and listens to it.
  • Tom has thick skin – He takes critique positively and moves on it to make his railroad better
  • Tom acks on feedback – Because Tom acts he get’s more and more input from others and his layout get’s better and better! He again the doer part comes in.

For reference, consider these posts about Tom’s layout.

On to the photos – A tour from Farmington to Strong. Tom has been working on Farmington structure and scenery, so that’s the emphasis of this tour.

Tom is developing an extension to hold the freight house at Farmington. Since this image, Tom has reduced the length of the extension by 50% so that operators can get through the door during an operating session. The extension will only be in place during operations.
A view of the depot area. Tom has completed the SR&RL canopy at Farmington. The depot behind the canopy is a stand in from a previous layout. The small Grey and Green building is the SR&RL freight agent building. To the left is the Coal storage building where standard gauge cars unloaded coal for the residents of Farmington. It may be that coal could have been loaded into narrow gauge cars for private parties along the SR&RL. While the curves of the MEC track are sharp, the trackage does capture the essence of the MEC in Farmington.
A closeup of the SR&RL Canopy in Farmington. The curved braces were custom laser cut wood. The roof is evergreen.
Looking north through Farmington Yard. The curve keeps the eye wondering and making the scene seem larger than it actually is.
A closeup of the coal shed and the SR&RL’s water crane is to the left.
The Grainery was an iconic structure in Farmington. The upper portion is wood and the lower is stones.
This closeup of The Grainery shows off the stonework and shingles.
There was a shed in the SR&RL’s Farmington yard that might have been an old engine house. Here is Tom’s rendition.
A closeup of the Farmington transfer tracks.
The northern end of the SR&RL’s transfer yard at Farmington.
SR&RL trains traveling north out of Farmington cross Rt. 4 and pass the Estes Russel Box Factory.
The Barker Steam covered deck bridge was an iconic photo location on the SR&RL. Here a Strong bound train is caught on the bridge. Tom still has equipment labeled for his earlier freelanced railroad.

We end the tour at Strong. A Kingfield bound train is collecting passengers before backing up through the Kingfield Switch. Once on the other side of the switch, the crew will move the points toward Kingfield and head north!
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5 Responses to Update – Tom Sullivan’s On30 SR&RL

  1. Chris Mears says:

    What a fantastically well-timed post. I really needed to see this, this weekend. I’m really happy with what’s happening in my own modelwork but most of those I follow are working in other scales or modelling prototypes different from my own so I was probably spending a little too much time wobbling about over whether or not I was following the right muse.

    I see so much in Tom’s layout that looks like what I’m trying to do. We often use words like “inspiration” in this hobby but in looking through this and then clicking on your links to read the related posts it wasn’t just inspiration but a kind of reset or reminder reconnecting me to what I’m enjoying so much and how I found my way to my own work in On30.

    I’m already looking forward to updates on Tom’s layout. I love the way he’s using the scale to model larger railroading (longer turnouts, longer trains, bigger scenes). In these posts there’s references to his previous layout work. Is there somewhere I could look to catch some of the backstory?

    Thanks again


    • narrowtracks says:

      Tom’s old blog is here: http://upalongthegauley.blogspot.com/
      It seems that he has now made an end of year 2021 post to that blog. Maybe he’ll start posting about his On30 SR&RL there.

      • Chris Mears says:

        Thanks for that link. In between “day job things” here I’ve already started reading Tom’s blog back through to the beginning. There’s some truly fantastic work in those posts and I’m thrilled to see some new posts for this year already.

        Thanks again


    • Tom Sullivan says:

      Hi Chris……..thanks for the comments I appreciate them! As you can see I’ve got a somewhat limited space but wanted to capture the feel of the SR&RL in some part…..Strong to Farmington with Phillips as staging. My blog is a bit out of date, but I’ll get it updated soon.
      If you like you can contact me directly at tsull49738@live.com (as On30 geeks we can discuss our “unique” circumstances!). tom

      • Chris Mears says:

        Wonderful to hear from you here Tom. Thank you for the comment. I’ll send you an email so you have my connection too.

        I just saw your comment over on Prince Street so you’ve already started seeing some of the tangents I chase through and, I hope, how their pursuit has guided me to where I am, good or bad, now.


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