The HO Santa Cruz Northern model railroad is an operation oriented layout set in the early 1970’s. Jim Providenza made this double decker so he could railfan his favorite spots in California. The Santa Cruz Northern is a bankrupt, down on its luck carrier that is owned by the Santa Fe and the Western Pacific. The regular operating sessions bring the layout to life. This means the model becomes a real railroad set in an actual time period with all of the economic and political facts of life. The Santa Cruz Northern runs through the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Pacific Ocean on a route laid out by the former South Pacific Coast railroad.
Allen Keller asks Jim why is operation so important to him on this layout? For Jim, it gives him a chance to be with his friends and work with something he has created. The Santa Cruz Northern shares its room with the family car. The double deck railroad occupies about eighteen by twenty-two feet of the two-car garage. The two decks join at the helix, which is partially open. The visit of the layout will begin on the lower level at San Jose, California.