Monday, December 24, 2012

Spain and Portland

During the spring and summer I spent more time away from the layout then working on it.  As a result there is little changed on the Santa Barbara Subdivision.  In mid-May we took a trip to Spain.  We traveled across northern Spain from Barcelona to the Atlantic Coast in Galicia near the border with Portugal.  We returned along the north coast and the Pyrenees.  Traveling 3500 miles by rental car, we camped, hiked, and explored archaeological sites, beaches, mountains, cathedrals, monasteries, and cities enjoying the spring wildflowers and people. 

While we were there we visited two railroad museums.  The first was the Basque Railway Museum (Museo Vasco del Ferrocarril) in Azpetia in Basque Country. 

A small museum but a wonderful collection and a great staff.  They are located at the old shops of the Urola Railway which became part of  Euskotren - the Basque Railway system in 1986.  They have utilized the shops to store a collection that includes some of the oldest operating steam engines in Spain as well as the oldest electric and the oldest passenger car. 

1887 Stephenson

1925 Electric locomotive

1876 Passenger Car

They also have a turntable and the accompanying garden tracks. 

The old Azpetia station building houses a collection of railway employee uniforms over the years and a fantastic railroad timepiece collection from pocket watches to depot clocks. 

We spent the better part of an hour talking with one of the staff as we toured the collection.  Well worth a side trip if you are in Basque Country.

The Catalonia Railway Museum  (Museu del Ferrocarril de Catalunya) is 40 km south of Barcelona near the current station at  Vilanova i la Geltrú in the former RENFE (Spanish Railways) shops.  An incredible collection of steam locomotives is arrayed around the turntable in the roundhouse and adjacent garden tracks. 

They also have some more modern equipment including an early Talgo trainset. 

Just a few weeks after returning home we headed north to Portland for our son's wedding.  We managed to squeeze in a visit to Bill Decker and his under construction Southern Pacific Cascade Line  Bill's blog is documenting his progress on this large layout.  Bill hopes to have it open for the NMRA national convention in Portland in 2015.

My son's best man was Sean VanderJagt who my son Michael met at an operating session at Gary Siegel's L&N Eastern Kentucky Division about 12 years ago.  They reconnected when my son moved to Portland.  Sean had the batchelor party dinner on board a sternwheeler on the Columbia River.  We managed to see several trains during our cruise.  Sorry no photos.  The wedding went well and we have now expanded our family.

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