Model Railroad Displays by Three Clubs in Scottsdale, Arizona
In 1967, ranch owners Anne and Fowler McCormick donated 100 acres of their ranch land to the City of Scottsdale of Arizona. The only stipulation they made was that the land be used as a park. Later, their son, Guy Stillman, assembled a 381 mm narrow gauge railroad and offered it to the city in 1971. He called it the Paradise and Pacific Railroad. The U.S. Marines helped in the railroad's expansion. The park was officially opened on October 4, 1975 as the McCormick Railroad Park. In 1996 the park was renamed. It is now known as the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in respect to Guy Stillman for his generous donation.
The 15 inch gauge train layout expanded.
The Paradise and Pacific Railroad is the main and original attraction in the park.
This 15 inch or 381 mm gauge train layout today has over a mile of track and 1400 feet of sidetrack. There are two trestles, a tunnel, a turntable, two crossing signals plus a water tank, a train shed, a loading platform and a workshop.The railroad's cars and locomotives include the following:
-- three steam locomotives
-- three diesel locomotives
-- a coach car
-- a trolley car
-- two boxcars
-- several gondola cars
-- two cabooses
Attractions at the Park
The Stillman Station was built as a replica of the Clifton, Arizona train station which had been built in 1901.
The Peoria Railway Station which had originally been built in 1895 was dismantled and then rebuilt at the McCormick-Stillman Park.
The Charro Carousel had been built in 1950 by the Allan Herschell Company was purchased and moved to the popular McCormick Park. It was put into good working order by the Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society.
Two children's playgrounds have also been built onto the property.
The Various Railway Scales
Three Model Railroad Clubs under one Roof.
Three railroad clubs operate at the McCormick-Stillman Park. Each railroad club is displaying their workmanship in the same large area which is known as the McCormick Ranch Bunkhouse. The names of the clubs and the scales they work in are below.
- Scottdale Model Railroad Club: H.O. scale model train layout.
- Paradise & Pacific Tinplate Club: O scale model train layout.
- Sun-N Sand Club: N scale model train layout.
Not everybody likes the same railway scale.
Some model railroaders like H.O. while others will work in nothing but N scale. Men and women are into the model railroading hobby. Some people love the G scale and others like the O scale.
The model railroading clubs displaying their work have the O scale, the N scale and then the H.O. scale -- in that order -- from the entrance to the building proceeding to the back. There is also a big Lego layout adjacent to the O scale layout.
Model Railroad Building at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
The Scottsdale Live Steamers
The model railroading building was built and dedicated in 2011.
The buildling has a miniature railroad surrounding the Xeriscape Arboretum which has 3000 feet of track plus a loading platform, a turntable, a tunnel, a train shed and two trestles. This railroad is 7.5 inch gauge or 190.5 mm. There are two loops on the layout, an outer loop and an inner loop. This is separate from the three operating railways in the building of O, N and H.O. gauges.
Children love this place!
When we were visiting the Model Railroad Building, a young girl about 11 years old greeted us as we began looking at the first display which is the Lego display. The little girl's father teaches model railroading techniques and has helped the girl become very knowledgeable. She shares her knowledge of each display with the children in each group. When the girl finishes giving a tour to the children, she takes them -- still in the parents' sight -- to a miniature caboose within the building to play.
On Display in the Model Railroading Building
Where is the Park Located and is there an Entrance Fee?
The park is located on East Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The model railroading building does not have an entrance fee. It's completely free to enjoy the displays.
The official website of the park states the park is open for visitors 364 days of the year.
Many More Exhibits at the Park
There are many other exhibits on the grounds of the McCormick Park. One is the Gabe Brooks Machine Shop. It was originally built in 1930 by Gabe Brooks. He was, apparently, considered the finest machinist in the United States during World War II. The shop has been rebuilt at the park.
There is also a Roald Amundsen Pullman Car which carried four presidents especially during campaign times. This car has a very interesting history. See the link below for more information.
There is a Magma Arizona Railroad, Engine #6 on the grounds.
The carousel looks fun.
Bring lots of water to drink if you visit on a spring, summer or autumn day in Arizona.
Which is your favorite scale of model railroad?
1. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCormick-Stillman_Railroad_Park
2. Author's personal knowledge
© 2014 Pamela Dapples