Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum Logo


Tucson, Arizona


Toy Train Museum Tunnel


Toy Train Museum Tunnel



Large Scale Railroad
Construction Progress 2017

Help Wanted

Work sessions are on Saturday mornings usually around 8:00am.
Come down and help build a railroad!

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Burt Wright (cell #) 444-0661

The Golden Spike Ceremony was December 1st 2012

[Large Scale Railroad info...] 

February 10, 2018

There will not be a “scheduled” work session Saturday due to the Open House Sunday. However, rumor has it that the completion of the concrete block stem wall for the turntable will occur Saturday so if you are looking for something fun to do, you are certainly welcome to come down @ 8:00 am and join this jolly group of masons while they work their magic. As usual, on Open House weekends, if your schedule only permits one visit to the Museum, please choose Sunday as we’ve been having a lot of difficulty getting enough help to run the train during Open House.

Last Saturday, Glenn Ellis & Tony Kanavage took on the placement of the first two courses of 8” x 8” x 16” concrete blocks.

Like any project, sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. With the weather cooperating, and with John Roads, Jesse Miller, Paul Kruppenbacher feeding Glenn & Tony mortar on demand, they dynamic duo made good headway. Laying block isn’t the easiest task on the planet, and laying block in a curved pattern on a sloped embankment with uneven surfaces doesn’t make it any easier. On top of that, QC inspection from Burt Wright, who was relegated to “gofer” as he was recovering from flu, slowed progress to a crawl, but even with the problems, the group managed to get two of the three courses laid and it looks pretty darn good.

Only one more course of 4” x 8” x 16” remain and then the grouting.

Hope to see you this weekend – especially on Sunday!

February 3, 2018

Wow, what incredible weather!

Sorry for the late notice but Saturday, beginning at 8:00 am, we plan on moving into the 3rd phase of building the turntable. That will be the laying up of concrete block to create the stem/retaining wall for that portion of the turntable that extends slightly into the drainage swale. Depending on the number of individuals who come, we may also address a couple of track conditions identified during Sunday’s Open House.

Last Saturday, a few brave souls showed up to complete phase 2 of the turntable project which was the mixing and placing of a concrete foundation into the excavation (Phase 1) created a couple of months ago for the turntable. We quickly re-established the elevation needed for the top of the footing and set some rebar stakes to help us establish where the top of the concrete needed to be. Then, we strategically placed the cement mixer (obtained from Raymond McDaniel) at the edge of the excavation. This allowed us to mix & dump the concrete directly into the trench eliminating the need to wheel concrete to the trench. To prevent dirt from falling into the concrete during the pour, a trough was formed using plywood and roofing felt. By the way, thank you to Raymond McDaniel for putting wheels on that mixer!

4 volunteers then mixed up the twenty, 80 pound sacks of concrete and managed to get 98% of it into the location where it belonged. Glenn Ellis ran the mixer and created a consistent mix each time allowing it to easily pour down the embankment into the trench. It only took about 2 hours, and the result was great.

With Glenn in charge of making the mix, Dave Pederson and Jurgen Zander worked the trench below pulling the concrete as needed to each end of the excavation.

Once poured, equipment was cleaned & put away and we retired to our favorite watering hole to listen to Burt complain about having to lift 1,600 pounds of concrete twice.

We have now completed Phase Two of the project. Phase 3, which is the laying of 3 courses of cinder block (2 courses using 8”x8”x16” blocks and 1 course using 4”x8”x16”) on top of the foundation, will begin this Saturday. If any of you have experience laying concrete block, it would be great to have your help. It’s not that many block – less than 35 total.

Below are a couple of snipped images from our design drawing:


As a look ahead, once Phase 3 is completed. Note that the phases indicated below are intended to represent approximately 1 work session at the Museum. Some may get combined and others may be split into multiple sessions depending upon the amount of help we get.
• Phase 4: excavation & grading at the surface creating a level area for the 360 degree 8” x 4” concrete grade ring.

  • Phase 5: form & steel setting for the grade ring.

  • Phase 6: mix & pour the concrete grade ring.

  • Phase 7: form, steel setting, and concrete pour for the center hub assembly.

  • Phase 8: build and place the turntable.

  • Phase 9: form & pour the curbing required for installation of the approach tracks into the turntable.

  • Phase 10: grade the ground from the existing track to the turntable and from the turntable to the engine house.

  • Phase 11: Install track connecting the existing track to the turntable and from the turntable to the engine house.

Hope to see you all this Saturday at 8:00 am.

Large Scale Railroad - 2017
Large Scale Railroad - 2015-2016
Large Scale Railroad 2014 (July-Dec)
Large Scale Railroad 2014 (Jan-June)
Large Scale Railroad - 2013
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (July - Dec)
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (Jan-June)
Large Scale Railroad 2011

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MAIL ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 85425, TUCSON, AZ  85754-5425

PHONE: 520-888-2222

[Page Published February 11, 2018 ]
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