This week I acquired a scratch-built HO scale precooler to add to my layout. The acquisition required a round-trip of nearly 530 miles but at least I had the UP mainline for some of the way to add to my enjoyment of temperatures of up to 109 degrees.
The addition of the precooler compels the construction of a second level below the nearly completed existing level. This new level, a possible generic urban switching layout, was something I was planning for but until now was not committed to building.
The model was built by Dave Dunaway of Las Vegas, NV. He had a layout with many large scratch-built industries which was dismantled due to Dave’s move to a smaller residence. His layout also included a very large Santa Fe-style roundhouse. Dave is a past recipient of an NMRA Achievement Program’s Golden Spike Award. Here is a link to photos of Dave’s layout. The precooler is Photo #3:
Dave also was an NFL wide receiver with the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants, and played college football at Duke.
The precooler model in total is 81 inches long and 31 inches wide at the precooler machinery room section. The four-track shed section is 71 inches long and 14 inches wide, or a scale 515 feet by 102 feet. There is capacity for forty-eight HO scale refrigerator cars.
While the precooler model has signage that indicates is a Santa Fe precooler, it does not resemble the railroad’s San Bernardino precooler.
If anyone knows of a prototype for the precooler, please let me know. As of now I have been unable to contact the builder.