On the rail line, Frannie is a junction point between the Main Line that drops down through the Wind River Canyon and into Casper, then on to Orin Junction, Wendover, and east to Crawford, Nebraska. It's named for the nearby little town of Frannie (pop. 168 today), itself supposedly named for Frannie Morris, the little girl of a man who ran a post office nearby. For more information about the town, see the Frannie history page. 

Frannie 2003.JPG (116930 bytes)Like so many other towns in Wyoming, the little town of Frannie seems almost timeless. Other than the modern cars, it looks much as it might have eighty years ago. Here's a view looking from the small yard in Frannie at the entrance to the town from the north.

Frannie Cody Branch junction.JPG (80521 bytes)Here's where the Cody branch takes off from the mainline. It's a very interesting layout. The mainline to Lovell and points south and east curves to the left, and the Cody branch exits the right-hand track, then jogs back into line with the right-hand track (my position while taking the photo makes it look more like it lines up with the left track, but it doesn't) after that one curves to the left. Funny sort of a zig-zag, isn't it? I wonder why it looks like that?


Orin Junction is basically just some tracks coming together in an almost unpopulated part of the state. I'll add more detail here as I learn more of Orin's history. Like Frannie, I'll add some pictures when I acquire them.

This is the yard at Guernsey, Wyoming, actually a little bit south of Orin Junction, and therefore off the layout. It's roughly the right era, though (1930s-1940s), and so provides a great "atmosphere" shot.


This is theoretically where trains bound northwest first appear on the layout, and trains bound east and south leave the layout. In reality it's pretty much the same thing, but it shares its interchange yard with Frannie, making a larger yard for each than either would have if they were separate. For continuous running, the connected yard is also the continuous loop connection, although this won't be used as such for operating sessions.

Here's the detail plan of Orin Junction / Frannie:

The combined Orin/Frannie two track yard (the third track is the mainline passing siding, but can be used to switch trains if necessary) is very simple - the Cody branch out of Frannie, or the mainline to Lovell, can be used as a yard lead when necessary, and as train schedules permit. No major switching will be done here, so no provision has been made for a dedicated locomotive. Trains passing through will either drop off or pick up full cuts of cars, as the switchlists dictate.

The Frannie Cutoff acts not only as a connection to the NP Mainline, but also as a connection to the CB&Q east through Wendover and Torrington and into Scottsbluff Nebraska and points east, as well as staging for C&S to Cheyenne, and all connecting points there. The NP Mainline doubles as these lines. The Frannie Cutoff acts as staging connections for both the north and south ends of the Wyoming Mainline. So as you can imagine, this location could become a real hot spot on the railroad. 

Twenty-six car trains will fit on the passing siding at Orin Junction / Frannie, the largest siding on the layout outside of hidden staging tracks. The shortest yard track (closest to the aisle) will hold 20 cars sans caboose and locomotive. The inner yard track will hold 24 cars. Eight- to ten-car cuts, sometimes two on one track, will be the norm.

I don't have any photos of this area of the layout - it doesn't even have benchwork yet. As things progress I'll add them.

Back to Lovell

On to Douglas!

Wyoming Main


Orin History

Frannie History