Skilled craftsmen have been working for the last five years on building a historically accurate and very realistic model train layout.
It depicts railroad operations on the Central Coast of California
during it’s heyday in the 1950s, when railroad operations were at their peak.
This detailed HO-scale train layout is located in the city of San Luis Obispo, on California’s central coast. It sits within a wooden freighthouse that went in to service back in 1894 when the Southern Pacific railroad arrived in San Luis Obispo. This historic building was recently restored, and is now home to the San Luis Obispo railroad museum.
While the Central Coast Model Railroad is still a work in progress with much remaining to be completed on the detailed scenery which recreates locations all along the Central Coast, the track and electrical wiring is nearly complete and this finally allows for these model trains to make a pretty good run around the layout.
Among the trains featured in this video are a Southern Pacific steam locomotive with a cab-forward design that worked well for running through tunnels, without asphyxiating the crew.
You’ll also see a model of a steam locomotive on the Pacific Coast Railway in a detailed scene representing Avila Beach and Port Harford, which is now known as Port San Luis.
There’s also an EMD E7 diesel locomotive in Southern Pacific’s famous “daylight” paint scheme. These were a common sight in San Luis Obispo county after World War II.
You’ll also see the Southern Pacific “Lark” passenger train with Pullman sleeping cars, and a model of the Amtrak Superliner which runs up and down California’s coast in these modern times.
In my next video, scheduled for upload about a week after this one, I’ll follow a train through the entire layout that was running the day I visited the Central Coast Model Railroad.
For more information, visit
Music credit for the end of the video:
Guiton Sketch by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (