ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Model Railroad Displays by Three Clubs in Scottsdale, Arizona

Updated on July 16, 2014
Magma Arizona Railroad Engine No. 6, built in 1906 -- at the McCormick Stillman Railway Park
Magma Arizona Railroad Engine No. 6, built in 1906 -- at the McCormick Stillman Railway Park | Source

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 Stillman Station
The Stillman Station | Source

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.

'O' Gauge Display
'O' Gauge Display

On Display in the Model Railroading Building

O Gauge if memory serves.
O Gauge if memory serves. | Source
This was my favorite scene.  O Gauge
This was my favorite scene. O Gauge
N Gauge if memory serves.
N Gauge if memory serves.

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.

This was part of a modelled house -- bigger than a doll house.  Very detailed as you can see.
This was part of a modelled house -- bigger than a doll house. Very detailed as you can see.

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?

See results


1. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park,

2. Author's personal knowledge

© 2014 Pamela Dapples


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      5 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Glad you enjoyed the model railroading hub. I like Lionel. My husband only likes H.O. Happy hubbing.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Got my Lionel Super Chief in 1952... loved modeling since! Great story about these clubs. What fun! Fascinating the votes are evenly distributed among the four choices, as I passed by!! ;-)

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      5 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      FlourishAnyway, thanks for stopping by and reading. Yes, these displays were really fun to look at.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I wish I were closer. I'd love to go see this and take my nephews.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      5 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Thanks for the heads up on Thoraldby. I'm sure my husband would love to see it in person. Trouble is, he and I don't like traveling anymore. If we could just land in a helicopter for a day trip and not need to take a 24 hour excursion to get to the UK -- but just drop in magically without the long trip. A family member of ours is leaving for Scotland from here in August. We salute them. It takes stamina to travel these days. Thanks, again, alancaster149. If we can find anything online about it, we will be looking at it.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      'Thoraldby' is a layout based on the North Eastern area of early British Railways days (early 1950s), a fictitious country town station built some way away from the town - as they often were - somewhere in the area south-west of Darlington and west of industrial Teesside. Plenty of mineral workings, some fish trains, parcels, mixed goods and a regular 'pick-up' goods service for local coal merchants and dealers. Take a look...

      (There are a couple of places called Thoraldby, as there are also many other place name duplications in a county the size of Yorkshire)

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      5 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Willstar, I didn't know you lived in Phoenix. Awfully muggy these days, hey? I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      5 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Alancaster149, wow -- lots of information about English modeling. Thank you. I'll have my husband read your information. He's the train buff.

      What is Thoradldby -- is it a show? I'll google to find out. Thank you for coming by.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      We meet again Pamela. Couldn't do the poll, as I model OO, a weird scale created here after WWII that uses HO scale track and 4mm scale model body sizes. Weird, like I said.

      Interesting project this. Any more pics? The HO might be a revelation. I gather Frank Sinatra had an extensive layout. Rod Stewart has an American HO set-up in his home. What's yours like?

      We have O gauge here, 7mm=1ft, same as you. Both gauges are very popular here, as is 2mm - another weird one that uses half-size OO body dimensions and half P4 track gauge, 18.83mm. P4 or Scalefour is a bit elitist here, with a wheel back-to-back measurement, then there's EM Gauge, or eighteen millimetres scale, again 4mm bodies but 18mm back-to-back.

      *[Have you seen Thoraldby lately? (Rites of Passage - 18). Lots more work been done there in the shed area].

    • WillStarr profile image


      5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Wow! This is just a few miles away, so we'll have to go see it! Thanks for a super Hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)