Why Division 1?
The upper level of our layout models 'The Big Hill of Southern California'. There were only two approaches to Los Angeles from the East through the mountains. The flatter, but longer, southern approach through Soledad Canyon was taken by the Southern Pacific railroad. The shorter, but steeper, northern approach through the Cajon Pass was first used by the Santa Fe in the 1880's.
The Union Pacific first considered building its own approach to Los Angeles around 1900, but the decision was made in 1907 to lease after trackage rights were offered by the Santa Fe. The decision was based on the prohibitive costs of building its own trackage and the economics of the Santa Fe offer.
As result, both Santa Fe and Union Pacific equipment are at home on the upper level of our layout.
Our layout strives to model things as they might have looked on January 1, 1956.