Lander is a small town that, for the most part, has changed little since I lived there in the mid-1960s. Visiting in the summer of 2003 was almost like stepping back to my childhood.

Lander Depot now CofC.JPG (50843 bytes)The depot still stands, and it's on the opposite side of the highway from where I always thought it was. Compare this picture with the one of the depot at the bottom of the Lander History page. Looks a lot warmer here, but not nearly as inviting somehow. This structure is all that's left of that great old building. The Depot is now the Lander Chamber of Commerce.

It's been 32 years now since the last train left Lander, but the influence is still seen in the town. The old Ralston grain elevator sits empty and is up for sale. As you can see in the photo, some part of the old depot still remains, and still radiates it's railroad heritage. The spot where the rails crossed the highway as you come into town from the east is still apparent, though the rails are long gone. 


The track arrangement for Lander:

This diagram is rotated 90 degrees clockwise from it's orientation on the main plan. East is to the top. The line from that direction comes from Shobon.

I haven't done much development of Lander's track plan yet - just this basic first draft. The track in Lander will sport a small turntable for turning locomotives and the occasional Pullman. I don't know if there was a turntable in Lander or not, but since I don't have room for a wye there, a turntable is the only option. There will most likely be a small coal facility, since the photos I have of Riverton don't show one, and the round trip from Casper to Lander and back was something over 300 miles, and of course, the ubiquitous water tower.

Looking at the plan, the highway that crosses the tracks leading into town will be perpendicular to the tracks just to the left of the "L" in Lander. Unfortunately, this road will run straight into the backdrop about two feet from the edge of the benchwork. I'd like a much longer road so as to give more of a feeling of distance, but that's the way it goes. The other side of the backdrop is Laurel Montana, with it's somewhat more extensive engine terminal, so there isn't much extra room on the Lander side.

Just below "Lander" on the plan and immediately left of the two long tracks (below where the road will run) will be the Ralston grain elevator. That's what the short spur coming up from the direction of the turntable serves. I have to include the elevator, since it's by far the most defining feature of the Lander landscape.

Tracks on the other side of the road are for as-yet undefined industries, and the track layout may well change (but all the track in Lander may change - as I said, this plan is just a first draft. I'll try to add a scenicked version of the plan within the next few site updates.

Lander Branch


Lander History

Lander Industries