The In-ko-pah Railroad



In choosing a theme and locale for my railroad, I had specific goals in mind. I wanted steep, rocky terrain; a desert environment; lots of tunnels, trestles and bridges; various types of mines and mining structures; some small, aging mining towns; and a few older, abandoned structures. I also wanted to run mostly steam-type locomotives, and occasionally some early diesels. And I wanted a continuous loop of  track so I can sit back and enjoy watching the trains run through beautiful scenery, with just enough sidings and spurs to provide operational interest.

I wanted to make the footpaths through the layout as inconspicuous as possible, so as not to detract from the appearance of the railroad. To this end, the upper level pathway was designed to be hidden from normal view. Anyplace where the path crosses over mountains, the steps were made of stone, or given a stone-like texture, in order to blend in with the miniature environment. Additionally, the steps going up the slope at either end of the layout were also given a stone-like texture and stone borders.

Minimal maintenance was also a requirement, and the rocky terrain aids in this. The few weeds that sprout up can be easily pulled or sprayed. Only a few live plants are used for scenic purposes -- the rest are artificial and designed to last for years.