Updated December 5, 2022 - Check out new pages including: Vintage Movies & TV

More of Larry's Trains More Real Trains Andy's Trains Vintage Photos Movies

Larry Ganders at Centennial Station, Aug. 17,2022 Welcome To Folks Interested
In Northwest O-Gauge Model Railroading

This is a great hobby and I like to share some of the fun with you.
My name is Larry Ganders
 and I live in Olympia, Washington, USA.

 Email me by clicking here:
Larry Ganders E-mail  

Larry Ganders Grandaughter Skye Granddaughter Harper, July 2022
Above, granddaughter Skye in August, 2022 and granddaughter Harper in July 2022

  LGB Engine, Christmas 2021
Above, my buddy Anthony, grandson Hunter, and our Christmas train. 

 Larry and Robin Ganders, Photo Bombed by Pete the Conductor of the Coast Starlight, June 2022 Daylight
Poppy Hudson displays his Polar Express Ticket Ryan and 'Steam Cloud Andy's Train Layout
Upper left, photo bombed by Coast Starlight conductor Pete on the first leg of our Michigan trip, June 2022. Lower left, the Empire Builder, a young granddaughter Poppy on the ZW transformer, a young grandson Hudson with his Polar Express ticket, a very young Ryan Arreola with "Steam Cloud," and Andy Rohrback with his Spokane layout. Upper right is the Daylight with Southern Pacific markings, pulling into Olympia-Lacey Centennial Station.

Anthony, March 2020  White Fish 2019  Poppy and Dinosaur Train
Anthony with a classic ZW transformer, bearing resemblance to the White Fish, Montana, station sculpture.
Right, Granddaughter Poppy with her dinosauer train.

Amtrak Cascades at Olympia-Lacey; March 2020  
Olympia-Lacey Centennial Station serving Amtrak Cascades and the Coast Starlight with colleague Barbara Howard

Skye, Oct. 31, 2021  Grandson Hunter, July 2022
Granddaughter Skye and Grandson Hunter

Larry With Sounder, July 2021  
Larry with Sounder, Grandsons Hunter and Hudson in Michigan, and the Coast Starlight coming into Olympia.

Larry is a hobbyist Enjoying Northwest

Roadnames in O-Gauge Three-Rail

Larry's First Train, Lionel Santa Fe switcher
Larry's first model engine was a Lionel Santa Fe NW2 switcherr made by Lionel in 1962. This was the General Mills-owned era of Lionel Trains. While a low-end switcher, it is relatively rare and sought by collectors.
Larry specializes in Northwest road names such as Great Northern, SP&S, Northern Pacific, Milwaukee Road, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, Burlington Northern, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and so forth. He models for the steam-to-diesel conversion years, about 1955 to 1965.

Fred Hecker

 He has modeled in O-Gauge since a youngster, tutored and inspired by the Spokane Valley Hometown Hardware Owner Fred Hecker, with a store on East Sprague Avenue. Fred had a basement Lionel steam layout in his home near Comstock Park - across from Larry's home

The Northern Pacific Northwest routes are at the beginning of the Ganders Family History in the United States. Larry's great grandfather, JJ Ganders, came to Washington Territory in 1884 from Switzerland on a Northern Pacific (Oregon Railway & Navigation Co.) train at what is now Arlington, Oregon (now the Union Pacific track). He took a crude ferry across the rushing Columbia River to the Washington side (east of Wishram) and backpacked to the trading post at Bickleton. That Columbia Gorge route with a train ferry at Kalama was a NP predecessor to the North Coast Limited route through Stampede Pass that began construction, also in 1884, with a route north of Bickleton from Seattle through what is now Mabton that served Yakima, Pasco, and Spokane before continuing on to Chicago.

Mabton & The Yakima Valley

Larry, who was born in Yakima, spent his very early life around some of the great Northwest rail lines. He watched the Northern Pacific steamers with bells ringing, switching at Mabton in the Yakima Valley.

 Wishram & The Columbia Gorge

He saw and rode the SP&S 4-6-6-4 Challenger at Wishram and watched trains lumbering through the Columbia Gorge on both Oregon and Washington sides of the river.  A favorite camping spot is Maryhill State Park with views of the main BNSF line on one side of the river and the Union Pacific on the south bank. A 1923 Great Northern Baldwin P-2 Mountain passenger train steam engine (GN# 2507) is displayed at nearby Wishram due to the efforts of Klickitat County. Larry remembers when the 4-8-2 Baldwin P-2, repainted to SP&S (Spokane, Portland, and Seattle) markings, was displayed during the 1960s at Maryhill State Park. The "Mountain" engine was purchased from GN as a gift to the county from SP&S. It was removed from the park for unsuccessful restoration efforts in Pasco before BNSF brought it back to the county for display at Wishram. Wishram is a current daily scheduled Klickitat County stop for the Amtrak Empire Builder Trains 27 and 28 between Chicago and Portland, Ore. The Empire Builder was among passenger trains pulled by GN 2507.

Great Northern 4-8-2 Baldwin P-2 Mountain
Empire Builder, Wishram, June 11, 2022 Wishram, June 11, 2022


Hangman Valley & Spokane

He heard the haunting horns of the great Burlington Northern and Union Pacific diesels running along the cliffs of the Hangman Valley to Latah Junction near Spokane.

As an elementary school student in Spokane, he rode the orange Great Northern Empire Builder cars pulled by an F3, his favorite consist.


Great Northern Station, Spokane

(Also used by SP&S)
Havermale Island
Circa 1971

Sketch by Dr. Wes Moline, Courtesy Bill Moline, Spokane

Amtrak Empire Builder, Spokane 2022

Pasco & the Columbia Basin


As a local newspaper reporter, he wrote and photographed the last of the hobos at the Pasco, Wash. hump yards in a feature article for the Tri-City Herald. (April 23, 1979) 

Olympia & South Puget Sound
He now is a volunteer at Centennial Station, southeast of Olympia Wash., and south of Lacey along the Yelm Highway. This is where the Amtrak Cascades (EMD F59 locomotive)Talgo train between Portland or Eugene, Ore. and Seattle or Vancouver, B.C. stops multiple times every day.  Currently, the Cascades pulls Amtrak Horizon cars. It is the only station that serves the state capital and was the first  Amtrak station in the United States staffed completely by volunteers. It is now the fourth busiest station in Washington state. The horn of the the Coast Starlight can easily be heard from his home as it also makes a twice-daily Olympia stop on its passenger route between Seattle and Los Angeles. The main track also carries freight trains under both Union Pacific and Burlington Northern flags. It is the same track that carries the rumbling Genesis engines and other trains by Safeco Field during a Seattle Mariners game.

Amtrak NW Colors
Larry's model of Amtrak Cascades 469 with an EMD F59 in Northwest colors. Right, a similar engine 467 prototype with Cascades Talgo cars taken at Centennial Station (Courtesy Audrey Skaugseth.)

Not the usual gauge but my first model of an Amtrak Cascades  Siements Charger.

Great Northern 0-8-0 Switch Engine, #896 (Tacoma)

GN 896, Tacoma Railyards
Larry's GN -0-8-0 switcher is an MTH replica of the 1903 Alco locomotive that worked Tacoma's rail yards.The prototype was manufactured at the former Brooks Locomotive Works in Dunkirk, New York.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe

No. 2081

"The Boeing Switch Engine"

BNSF 2081 was built in 1972 and has spent most of her career as a GP-28 2 as a local engine serving Boeing in Everett to Skykomish and other areas of Western Washington.

Photo at right is 2081 at Index, Wash.,
returning to Everett from Skykomish.
Courtesy of Peyton Boyd of Monroe, WA
 and Stevens Pass Railfan.
BNSF No. 2081
GP-38 2 BNSF Np. 2081 BNSF 2081, Courtesy North Branch Photography, Everett
 Originally painted in the Burlington Northern pre-merger green, she now is part of the pumpkin power livery and currently still operates on familiar local routes in Washington State. She was featured on "Microsoft Train Simulator" and remains popular with Railfans. This model by Mike's Train House was originally produced as a QSI protosound unit. Larry has upgraded it to the Protosound 3 Command Control system on his carpet layout. Prototype on the bottom right is the lead engine., photo displayed with permission of North Branch Photography (Ben Stainbrook), Everett.

MTH, Lionel, and QSIndustries

Larry's operating layout utilizes features of the Mike's Train House (MTH) Digital Command System (DCS).  He has QSI 3000 and Lionel conventional locomotives as well.


 Olympia-Lacey Centennial Station

Larry Ganders and Dave Norton, Sept. 14, 2022

Larry and Dave Norton working at Washington's all-volunteer Olympia-Lacey "Centennial" Station, September, 2022

Centennial Station, 1993 Engine 251 CAB Unit, 2020

Left, original poster commemorating the opening of Centennial Station in 1993 by J. Craig Thorpe, a Renton artist who began painting railroad scenes professionally for Amtrak after completing the art commissioned by Bob Bregent of Olympia.  The station depicted was built with community grants and donations. Right, Amtrak engine 251 depicted in the poster (A representation of the then-Amtrak Pioneer train between Seattle and Ogden, Utah) is photographed 27 years later as a Control and Baggage Car (CAB) leading a Cascades Talgo train at the same Centennial Station.  The Amtrak CAB unit renumbered 90251 is still running on the Cascades route today. Note in the upper right portion of the poster is Mount Rainier, which is visible from Yelm Highway at the station driveway (though not exactly as pictured.)

Old Lacey Train Station
Rebuilt Old Lacey Station, Northern Pacific Train bound for Tacoma, 1912

Replica of 1891 Northern Pacific Station in Lacey, WA built recently by the city.  Right, an E-3 4-6-0 Baldwin ten-wheeler pulling into original Lacey Station in 1912. Courtesy of St. Martin's University Abbey Archives.

Categories of Larry's Collection

Amtrak and Sounder
Modern Passenger Service
MTH P42 Genesis

Sounder 904, F59PHI

Amtrak Genesis
GE P42
Wave Scheme

Amtrak 469
F59PHI Diesel
Northwest Colors


Superliner Cars

The Burlington Northern Family

BNSF SD 40-2 Burlington Northern GE Dash 8 Upgraded to Proto 3

BN Santa Fe

GP 38-2
Boeing, Everett

Burlington Northern
GE Dash 8

Burlington Northern Lumber Car BNSF Box Car Burlington Northern Box Car Burlington Northern Cylindrical Hopper Car by Atlas Santa Fe Switcher
Burlington Northern
Lumber Car

Burlington Northern
Santa Fe Boxcar

Burlington Northern
BN 6-Bay
Cylindrical Hopper
Santa Fe
NW2 EMD Switcher

Western Fruit Express BN Atlas Caboose

Burlington Northern Western Fruit Express

Burlington Northern

Northern Pacific
BN Family Member

NP FT Diesel EMD F3 Passenger Diesel NP 080 Steamer
Northern Pacific
FT Freight Diesel

NP F-3 Passenger

NP O-8-0

NP Ice Car NP Vista Dome Car
Northern Pacific
Ice Car

Dome Car

Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway
BN Family Member

SP&S 910

SP&S No. 868

SP&S Caboose

SP&S Brown Boxcar

SP&S Green Box Car

Spokane, Portland and Seattle Oil Burner
4-6-6-4 Z-8 Challenger

SP&S #868
Alco FA-2

Extended Vision




SP&S MTH Airplane Car, MTH 30-76528

SP&S 150 General Motors GP-9 Electro-Motive Diesel

SP&S Airplane Flat Car by MTH

Great Northern
BN Family Member

GN 412A, EMD FT Diesel

Great Northern 080, MTH Proto 2

GN 2-8-8-2 R2 "Chesepeake" Steam Engine

GN No.7 Switch Engine S2

GN 400 EMD SD45

GN 412A
Western Star

Great Northern
(Tacoma Switcher)

Great Northern R-2
2-8-8-2 Articulated
Mallet (Chesapeake)
Great Northern
S2 Switcher

Great Northern
EMD SD45 Hustle Muscle

GN GP-20, Blue Scheme GN E-8 Long No. 525 Lionel Great Northern F3

Great Northern Blue Scheme

Great Northern
E-8 Long
# 525

Blue Scheme Switcher

Great Northern
Alco RS-3

Great Northern

Great Northern Crane Tender Car GN 1725 GN Mikado 3205, Alco

Great Northern
Crane Tender

Great Northern
Crane Car

Great Northern
Hudson  Engine

GN Alco Mikado
GN Cow-Calf

GN RDC GN Trailer Carrier GN Rotary Plow GN Jordan Snow Plow GN Rocky Box Car

Great Northern
Rail Diesel

Great Northern
Trailer Carrier
Rail Car

Great Northern
Snow Plow

Great Northern
Snow Plow

Great Northern
Rocky Goat
Box Car

GN Tank Car GN Side Window Caboose

Great Northern

Great Northern

Milwaukee Road

Turkey Car (QSI System)


Milwaukee Road
Turkey Carrier

Milwaukee Road
Coil Car

Milwaukee Road
Hiawatha Observation

Milwaukee Road

Milwaukee E-8, MTH


Milwaukee Road
E-8 Diesel

Milwaukee Road

Milwaukee Road
Hiawatha Steam

Milwaukee Road
Maintenance Truck Car

Southern Pacific
GS4 Daylight 4447 SP Observation Car

Southern Pacific
GS4 #4447

Southern Pacific

Northwest Logging

Weyerhaeuser Shay



The Union Pacific Collection


UP Northern 826

City of LA, E-8


M-10000 "Tin Worm"
Electro-Motive Diesel

UP Alco 826
FEF Northern

E-3 Passenger
City of Los Angeles


UP Caboose

Union Pacific Searchlight Rail Car

UP Passenger Dome Car

UP Extended Vision
Caboose 9706


"Searchlight Car"

UP Passenger
Dome Car

Obervation Car

UP NW2 Switcher with Proto 2

UP SW-9 Switch Engine With Proto 1

UP Box Car

UP Cattle Car

EMD Switcher
Cab 1085

Cab 1834

Box Car

UP Cattle
QSI Sound

Old Lionel Trains

Lionel 2046, originally owned by Karl Boehmke

Lionel 2026 Prairie

NYC F3 by Lionel

Lionel 224E

2657 Lionel Tinplate Caboose

 Lionel Lines 2046 4-6-4 Hudson Steamer
Made in 1950

Lionel 2026
Prairie Steamer
Circa 1949

New York Central F-3 Early Lionel AA Diesel
Made 1949-54

Lionel Lines 224E
2-6-2 Steamer
Made in USA 1938-1940

Lionel Tinplate
2657 Caboose

Lionel Cattle Loader and Car

Lionel Cattle Car, Pre-World War II

Automated Milk Car by Lionel

Sunoco Tank Car No. 6465 by Lionel

3652 Car

Lionel Cattle
Car and Loader

Lionel Cattle

Lionel Milk
Automated Car No. 3472

Lionel Sunoco
Tank Car No. 6465

Lionel Barrel
Dump Gondola 3652

Specialty Cars
Pacific Fruit Car  Hand Car Armour Hog Car W/QSI Chevron Tank Car Bobber Caboose Car

Fruit Express
UP and SP



Chevron Tank

Great Northern

Diabolical Nose Art Suburban Propane Car Hooker Chemicals, Tacoma Atlas O 8,000-gallon Olympia Beer Tank Car Rainier Beer Car Modified Lionel Box

World War II
Nose Art Tribute

Propane Car


Olympia Beer
Tank Car

Rainier Beer
Box Car

Olympia Beer Box Car Schlitz Beer Box Car

Olympia Beer
Box Car

Schlitz Beer
Box Car

Carpet Training

 The Coast Starlight
General Electric Genesis P42 Diesel

 My newest model train, acquired in March 2020, is this Genesis P42 engine the locomotive currently on The Coast Starlight and The Empire Builder. It is made by Mike's Train House and equipped with the Proto 3 system.


Sounder Commuter Train
F59PHI Streamlined Electro-Motive Diesel

 My train room carpet loops feature this commuter train between Lakewood, WA and Seattle, an MTH with PS2 modeled after the streamlined diesel F59PH and matching passenger cars, the prototype trainset built by Bombardier of Canada (now owned in 2020 by Alstrom of France.) Right photo shows the iPad wireless control for the Proto 2 engine.


Easter Sunday, 2011

Bob's New York Central:
Early Lionel F-3 Diesel

 In between permanent layouts, Larry has taken to "carpet training" for the last several years. He is pictured with the late Bob Plotts running a vintage model diesel engine purchased by Bob in the 1950s.  We miss Bob, a huge fan of all types of transportation.

The New York Central F-3 was among the first two types of model diesel engine manufactured by Lionel trains beginning in 1949. It came out shortly after General Motors built the first real 1,500-horsepower F-3 engines between 1945 and 1949. The F-3s were used for both passenger and freight trains. Bob's locomotive is one of the original Lionel 2333-20 models manufactured in both NYC and Santa Fe until 1950.  Bob estimates that he purchased it in 1954 in Spokane, so it is at least a 57-year-old toy train. With a little lubrication and maintenance, it still zooms around the track like it did when Bob was a lad. And the "A" unit still carries a D Battery that makes the horn blow, a horn technology that reportedly gave Lionel fits during development in the 1940s. Lionel must have perfected it, because this model still blows its horn on command today.

Bob also had a Lionel 2026 "Prairie" steamer (2-6-2 Wheel Configuration, circa 1948-49, designed for 027 track) when he was young and kept it the rest of his life. It was displayed in his living room at the time of his death.

(Photo by Roseanne Plotts.)

Bob's Lionel 2333-20, Vintage 1950 Model

Lionel 2026, Bob Plotts

Top, The New York Central F-7.

Below it is the 1948-49 Lionel Prairie Steamer as photographed by Larry in 2014.

Scale railroading colleague Andrew Rohrback helps Larry carpet train a vintage 224E Lionel steamer. Check out his layout.

Nothing runs like a deere!*

This site is operated and maintained by www.ganders.net