Whit Towers' Bus

Updated 1/27/2013

On August 15, 2009 I attended an estate sale sponsored by the Glendale Model Railroad Club. One of the things I purchased was a Tootsie Toy bus designed to look like a Twin Coach bus. At the same sale my dad purchased some buildings that came from Whit Towers' Alturas and Lone Pine (ALP) railroad. As my dad searched model magazines to find pictures of the buildings he bought, he found a picture that showed my Tootsie Toy bus on the ALP. I now own a piece of this historic model railroad.

Whitney K. "Whit" Towers (1917-1999) was a well know model railroader and was one of the early model railroaders to actually operate his railroad similar to a real railroad. Whit also served as National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) western Vice President from 1958-1960, Pacific Coast Region (NMRA) president from 1970-1971, and NMRA national president. He also served as NMRA Bulletin editor. In 1998 he became one of NMRA's "Pioneers of Model Railroading."

From the USC Trojan Family News Spring 2000 "WHITNEY K. TOWERS 39, of Brentwood, Calif.; June 12, 1999, at the age of 82. He worked in the aircraft and home construction industries, but model railroading was his lifelong passion. At the age of 45, he sold his businesses, built a new home with a large railroad room and settled down to devote his time and energy to the field. More than 100 of his articles about the construction of the Alturas & Lone Pine Railroad were published in Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman and the National Model Railroad Association Bulletin. He bequeathed his home and an industrial building to the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and was an annual donor to the USC Marshall School of Business."

On the ALP

To see a picture of the bus on the ALP, check out page 71 of the January 1983 issue of Model Railroader. The photo on the upper portion of the page show the bus about to go under a railroad bridge in Alturas.

The bus goes on the road!

Bruce Petty's Los Angeles and San Fernado Valley (September 7, 2009)

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At Burbank Jct. (Bruce Petty Photo)

In North Hollywood (Bruce Petty Photo)

In North Hollywood

In North Hollywood

Second visit! (September 3, 2012)

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In front of the Union Pacific Glendale freight station

William Novak's Solo Peso (October 31, 2009)

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In front of the Food Giant

Jim Minor's Santa Fe and East Irvine (November 1, 2009)

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Waiting at the grade crossing

Next to the depot

Next to the depot

Waiting at the grade crossing with an excursion train passing by

John Signor's Model Railroad (September 3, 2012)

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with an SP Cab Hop by the Santa Ana depot

Next to the Santa Ana depot

Making a left turn in Orange County

Passing the Helms Bakery

A special "Thank You" goes out to the model railroad owners who have allowed Whit's bus to come by and visit. Would you like Whit's bus to visit your model railroad? If so please email me at: rtd1121@yahoo.com

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Please email comments and questions to: rtd1121@yahoo.com