The treasure State Railway

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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#1
Last year I posted a video of the Treasure State Railway built by the late Pete Ellis. The first part of his layout was built inside a quanset hut on his ranch near Cascade, MT.

Here is the original video posted last year. The video quality is quite poor as the video was originally recorded on an 8 mm video camera and recorded off of a TV. The video was also stretched slightly horizontally slightly to fir the video on the screen. A 40 foot box car looks like a 50 footer. The layout was started in 1949 and the majority of the structures are all scratch built. The track is all hand laid code 70. A lot of the things we take for granted today had to be build or invented by the modeler back then.


I found another short video taken a few months later. Again, very poor video quality. I do have more videos of the layout but have no idea where the tapes are.


Pete, like myself, had the opportunity to have visited in person the Gorre & Daphetid railroad by John Allen and I am sure you will see the influence it had on Petes layout. A lot of the scenery extends to the floor.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#3
Chet: What a remarkable layout! Pete Ellis was truly a craftsman and I enjoyed watching the video. The fellow working on the station roof is a nice detail as well as the operating wig-wag signal.

What ever became of the layout after the passing of Pete?

Thanks for sharing.

Greg
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#4
Pete was quite the craftsman. He was an NMRA master modeler by the way. The original part of his layout in the quanset hut could not be saved. He donated his layout to the Great Falls Montana Museum of Railroad history. Here's a link. http://mmrh.org/index.html They were able to take out a wall in the addition building. This was removed and taken to the museum. Click on the layout tab on the site. They have a photo of Pete and the layout being removed from the building.

In the first video where the train passes the wig wag signal and quarry is where there was a town that was eliminated for the tracks to pass into the addition. That is where the turntable and roundhouse was that Pete showed up at my place on afternoon with. Scratch built out of brass,

IMAG0866.jpg


This was powered by an old player piano motor. These old time modelers sure could come up with some interesting solutions to problems.

It was of course DC and he used variacs for controllers. Operating sessions could be interesting if you weren't familiar with the block switches. DCC would have made sessions so much easier.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#5
The Treasure State Railway must of been so well constructed to enable the move from Pete Ellis' site to the museum. The detailed turntable must of been a great surprise to you being as a gift for your Logan Valley Railroad.

It was fortunate that the layout was saved and is available for everyone to enjoy.

Greg
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#6
I had just started the yard area where the turntable ended up. Quite an addition. It is a shame that the original part of the layout couldn't be moved. With the scenery going down to the floor level it would have been quite a job, but also the way the original part was built, it would have pretty well been destroyed in a move. I am sure that many of his scratch build building were saved.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#7
Chet: How much time did Pete Ellis devote to working on his layout? It seems that with the amount of scratch built structures and rolling stock, Pete must of dedicated much of his time to modeling and his layout.

Thanks.

Greg
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#8
Quite a lot of time. He had retired from ranching and had leased the land out so he did have plenty of time on his hands. He also traveled quite a lot visiting NMRA events and other model railroads.

It was amazing how things would be changed from one visit to another. Complete areas that had scenery could be cut out and a matter of weeks later something completely different would be in that place. If you look at the area where the station was having the roof put on in the first video and the same area in the second video with the narrow engine house sitting where the area was blank in the first video.

Model railroading was his passion. He even had a special run of boxcars done up for the 50th anniversary of the railroad.

IMAG1169.jpg


He also had showcases filled with brass locomotives and other railroad items. I have some photos (somewhere) showing some of his projects under construction and of many of his railroad items.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#9
Nice videos of a wonderful Model Railroad, Chet! Thanks for sharing this. I especially love the turntable and roundhouse!
 



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