A Dispatcher's Desk for Moss Landing

The new dispatcher's desk at Moss Landing

The PVC RR had register stations at both Spreckels and Watsonville (the primary southern and northern terminals of the railroad). To add some authenticity to the layout, I decided that I'd try to operate my PVC RR the same way, and have designated work stations at both Watsonville and Spreckels.  

Last summer, I built a small dispatcher's desk for use at the Spreckels end of the layout. It serves as a place to store the layout's control system, fill out paperwork (potentially), and keep various layout necessities - uncoupling sticks, track and wheel cleaners, etc.

The original dispatcher's desk at Spreckels, updated with a new front panel and handles

I decided that there wasn't room to model Watsonville, so the layout ends at Moss Landing. (I may add a small staging track to represent Watsonville in the future.) Moss Landing was home to a handful of large Pacific Coast Steamship Co. warehouses, and saw a number of ships pass through each week. While the PVC RR's presence here was minimal, the coordination with the steamship company at this site justifies the addition of an operator's station, in my book. And should I add that bit of removable staging representing Watsonville, this desk will serve as the Watsonville register station.

Construction was the same as the first go around - a simple box with a hinged writing surface. I decided to mix things up and add some dividers in the drawer, inspired by a filing system I recently saw inside of an old ATSF caboose.

ATSF #999531 at the Lomita Railroad Museum

The small dividers are about 1.5" x 5" 

The contents in the drawer are largely for show. I like the idea of having some time-period appropriate checks, timetables, pens, and other miscellaneous items. The Pacific Coast Steamship Company pass is from 1910. 

At some point, I may add a fast clock to the left side of the drawer. For now, it's just a small space for additional storage.

The drawer is 12" x 20" x 4" deep

The front face of the drawer was made from red oak hobby wood, and matching trim. The drawer pulls are inexpensive ones, with an antique brass finish. 

This new desk at Moss Landing is about three feet from the Spreckels dispatch desk, however when standing at it, it feels like its own unique area much further down the line.


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