Glen Frazer Free-mo Module
My Glen Frazer module is based on a real location in Franklin Canyon near
Martinez, CA at milepost 1173 of Santa Fe Railway's Stockton Subdivision, circa 1995.
The real Glen Frazer siding was approximately 1 mile long, and this
module is about 20 feet long, resulting in a scene compression of 3:1.
The loading ramp was used by Santa Fe maintenance crews to load/unload
track equipment on/off flat cars. Now BNSF, only the main track remains today.
This four-section module provides a handy passing siding for model
trains and is a scenic and operational highlight of Free-mo modular layouts.
The super-detailed scenery includes hundreds of trees, dozens of trackside
details, a small bridge, and a section of Franklin Canyon Road. It features fully
operational ABS-style signals using the Modular Signal System (MSS) I co-invented.
Rail Model Journal magazine published my 3-part article in
April 2003 (overview), May 2003 (construction), and August 2003 (scenery).
My article about the Modular Signal System, first tested in this module,
was published by Rail Model Journal in February 2005.
Top: Aerial view of the real Glen Frazer site, with white line overlays showing how the module sections align with reality.
Above: Photo mosaic of the four-section module set, with the section names to help orient you.
Below: Overview scenes of HO scale model trains operating over the Glen Frazer module set at various Free-mo layout events.
1997: Design and construction began
1999: First use in a modular layout
2000: Public debut at the National Train Show in San Jose, CA
2002: Scenery completed
2003: Modular Signal System (MSS) prototype installed and tested
2004-2015: Additional detailing, frequent use in Free-mo layouts throughout California
2015-2018: Out of service due to track profile issues
2018-2019: Restoration to stabilize mechanical structure, repair main track profile, and update MSS electronics
This page features overview photos of the completed module. The links below
focus on each of the four sections, design overview, and construction history.
Note: Many photos were taken by others - if you see one of your photos here,
please accept my gratitude for allowing me to present it! In a few photos, distracting
backgrounds (people, furniture, weird venue wall decorations) have been "painted out".
West Switch section
East Switch section
Above: Gary Green's Santa Fe F-units with a reefer block
eastbound through the Derail and Ramp sections.
Left: My mid-1980's era mixed freight eastbound,
lead by SD40-2 5134 at the East Switch section curve.
Below: My rust-bucket SD26 4674 leads westbound
freight into the West Switch curve.
Below: Double-stack intermodal trains pass on
the Derail (left) and East Switch (right) sections.
Below: At the end of each Free-mo layout event, the separated
Glen Frazer sections are tipped on their sides, legs folded up,
and electrical connections stowed for transport.
Right: Here my son Eric helps load the Derail section into the
custom-built transport rack that fits into a cargo van or pickup
bed - see the Construction page for a better photo. The East Switch
is already loaded (center), and the West Switch will go into the
leftmost slot (the module seen riding above the rack is Iona, another
small stand-alone Free-mo module not associated with Glen Frazer).
Below: A westbound mixed freight passes an eastbound
intermodal train on the Ramp (foreground) and Derail (background)
sections, depicting a mid-1990's scene.
Below: An eastbound local on the
maintenance-of-way spur, Derail section.