Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Elusive Goals

Why is it that if I set goals at the beginning of the year, I manage to not complete any of them?

At the beginning of last year, I set some goals for myself and for the layout.  While I have been working on some of them, most have been languishing.  I am an excellent procrastinator and am easily distracted.  Such has been the last 14 months before my recent post here on the SP Santa Barbara Subdivision.

In the intervening time, I have done a lot of traveling.  First, in May 2013 it was off to the Denver area for Rocky Ops North, (a wonderful model railroad operations event), where I operated on four wonderful layouts and even took my wife out dancing on our anniversary.  We returned by way of my son and daughter-in-law's in Portland, OR,  where we also managed to find time to visit two layouts.  In late June 2013, we traveled to Baton Rouge to visit my sister where I also visited 5 train layouts and operated on one.  From there we traveled through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and back to Atlanta for the National Model Railroad Association convention.  At the convention I operated on three more layouts and toured several others as part of the LDSIG Wednesday Layout Tour.  After the convention we made a brief  stop to see the 'General' at the Southern Museum in Kennesaw, Georgia and then headed home through Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.   After we got home I was in charge of a railroad event at the South Coast Railroad Museum.  The end of August found me in the hospital twice in two days.   I still managed to get to the Southern Pacific Historical Society Convention in Fresno at the beginning of October followed the next week by the Central Coast Railroad Festival.

My health issue was finally resolved with some surgery in early January.  After a week or two I was back to normal.  Then I was off to the Bay Area SIG meet in Alameda where I saw another 6 layouts and operated on Otis McGee's Shasta Route.  In early March my wife and I managed a few days skiing in the Sierra.  The beginning of May found me at the Pacific Coast Region convention in San Luis Obispo.  At the end of the month, I participated in the second SoCal Ops event managing the operations at Gary Siegel's L&N Eastern Kentucky Division layout and assisting the crew at Jon Cure's SP Inyo Sub.

As a result of all this traveling and activity, my layout progress has been slow at best.   Apologies for regaling you with all these personal details.  I will try as promised in the last post to more regularly report on progress on the SP Santa Barbara Sub.

Meanwhile here are some photos from my adventures.

First, Rocky Ops 2013

Detlef  Kurpanek's Great Northwestern Railway Company
Warm Springs Yard and Engine Facility

Warm Springs and El Vado

Warehouse at El Vado

Detlef overseeing operations at Valley Gate

Black Water Falls Resort

Bonus layout
Main Yard on right.
This yard is equipped with a bar code scanner that monitors all trains in and out of the yard.

John Parker's BNSF Fall River Division
Maxum Petroleum truck entrance

Rockman aggregate facility

Local News Coverage of Rocky Ops

In addition, here is a link to a video from the BNSF Fall River Division.

On the way home we went to visit our son in Portland, Oregon.  Here are a few train photos along the way.
Here are some shots of Eastern Idaho Railroad at Rupert, ID.
Locos just east of Rupert, ID

More locos in the Rupert Yard

More locos in Rupert

Spare wheels, locos and stores at Rupert

Bay window caboose at the elevator

Here are some RDC's of the Wallawa River RR at Elgin, OR with a few bonus shots nearby.

Elgin, OR depot and diesels
Nebraska Central near Island City, OR

Idaho Northern and Pacific locomotives at the Island City, OR storage yard

Here are are a few more shots from Bill Decker's SP Cascade Line.  Remember these are from 2013. Compare to the 2014 photos in the July 10, 2014 post.
Bill next to the beginnings of Springfield yard

Oakridge Yard 

Bill's Eugene Yard before any tracks were laid

Union Pacific train passes the real Eugene Depot on National Train Day

Here are a few photos from our trip to Atlanta.

Lynch, KY
We had lunch here at the Depot with a US Steel Alco switcher and L&N caboose .
US Steel had a coal mine here and shipped coal from here to it's steel mills up on the Great Lakes.
Gary Siegel has these coal trains traveling over his L&N Eastern Kentucky Division

Copper Creek Viaduct on the ex-Clinchfield.
This served as the prototype for Gary Siegel's Powell Creek Viaduct.

Eskridge, KS on Jared Harper's ATSF Alma Branch.
I had the pleasure of operating on the Alma Branch during the NMRA Atlanta Convention

Running through a cut.  Not a lot of elevation change in Kansas!

Steam on the Canton

We did not just ride trains.  We had lots of switching work along the way.

Large scale caboose in the shops.

General locomotive used in the Andrew's Raid during the civil war.
Now at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA, the locomotive was the inspiration of Buster Keaton's classic "The General" silent movie and Walt Disney's "Great Locomotive Chase" 

Some photos from the Southern Pacific meet in Fresno in October.

Fowler Depot
One of several depots visited with Henry Bender

Hillcrest & Wahtoke RR 

Hillcrest & Wahtoke RR  shop.
In the back is a steam powered speeder.  In the front is a Ford firetruck under restoration.

Chuck Harmon's HO scale Wawona Packing Co.

O-scale sugar beet loader

CS22 Depot on the O-scale layout

San Joaquin Valley RR train parked adjacent to the south Fresno industrial area

Lastly, here are a few photos from the Bay Area SIG meet.  This meet has been held for many years in various locations around the San Francisco Bay and brings together the LDSIG, the OPSIG, and the PCR for clinics, layout tours, and operations.  Information is available on the PCR website.

Assembled attendees  watching a presentation at the Elk's Club in Alameda

The 'royalty enthroned' - Jim Betz, Mike O'Brien, and Steve Hayes

N-scale modular layout downstairs set up just for the meet.
Steve Williams and Pat LaTorres having a discussion

Tony Thompson demonstrating his staging drawer on the layout tour

Unocal wholesaler on Tony's layout

Gravel plant on Steve Van Meter's N-scale layout

Bob Jacobson dispatching on the CTC machine on Otis McGee's SP Shasta Route 

Engine and Helper Crews, Jonathan Esposito and Hilding Larsen, leaving Dunsmuir

Robert Bowdige and Tony Thompson at Dunsmuir Yard
I served as the assistant yardmaster in Dunsmuir during the op session.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Needed Inspiration

Those of you who have followed my posts for a while know that I suffer from too many activities and a great ability to procrastinate.  I have not published a post to this blog for over 14 months.  To be honest, not much has changed on the layout.  I have done a little work on the track, added a couple pieces of rolling stock, but if you saw it 14 months ago and then looked at it today, you would be hard pressed to tell what has changed.

I needed a break and some outside inspiration, so my wife and I took a vacation.  We headed north to see my son in the Portland, OR area.  The prime reason for the trip was that my son and his wife now have a beautiful daughter.  She is our first grandchild.  Here is a photo of Skyeler with her Grandma Andrea:
Andrea and sleeping Skyeler
My son has even started indoctrinating her into her Grandfather's train culture.  Here is a photo that Skyeler's mom Jessica took of Skyler, Michael and Skyeler's other Grandfater Gene, taken of them riding the train at Shady Dell Train Park in Molalla:

Of course while we were there we had to do some train activities so while son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter were at work - yes my granddaughter accompanies my daughter-in-law to work at the day care with other young ones - we  headed southwest to McMinnville where our friends Bill and Janet live.  Bill has been working on a large HO-scale model railroad depicting the Southern Pacific over Cascade Pass.  You can read more about it at Bill's blog http://espeecascades.blogspot.com/   Bill is well on his way toward showing off his layout at the NMRA National Convention in Portland next year.  Here are some photos I took during this visit:
Oakridge to the left with the Cascade Summit Benchwork and Platform on the right over the lower level track

Eugene Depot

Eugene Yard

Eugene Yard and Engine house showing turnout controls on fascia, car card boxes and work surfaces

Eugene engine house

Willamette River Bridge

Willamette River Bridge 

During my visit, I asked Bill how he keeps energized to keep up the momentum and the progress on his Espee Cascade Line.  To give you a bit of some background, Bill and I have known each other for a while back when he and Janet lived down in California.  He was an early follower of this blog and would 'harass' me when I did not post on a regular basis.  So his secret to progress was have a plan or list of tasks/goals to be accomplished and post on your blog every two weeks.  Bill admitted that on occasion the two week period between blog posts was about to end and he had to actually do something on the layout so he would have something to report.  It seems to be working for him as the progress is obvious to me who has been visiting over the past few years.

I will give this method a try, so you can expect a post every couple weeks and we will see what I can accomplish on the SP Santa Barbara Subdivision.

In addition to the inspiration I got at the Espee Cascade Line, I joined in an operating session at the Willamette Model Railroad Club in the basement of the Clackamas Commnity Club.  I was crew on two grain trains one westbound and one eastbound.  I was the engineer on the westbound and conductor on the eastbound.  Both were through trains but we died on the law on the second train part way through our run.  Here are a few photos I took earlier:

While Andrea and I were running around Portland on Friday, we stopped by the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.  This is the new home of SP 4449, SPS 700,  an Alco PA1 painted up as NKP 190 and ORN 197.  These were all moved over from the Brooklyn Roundhouse.  [See my September 24, 2011 post at http://spsbsub.blogspot.com/2011/09/portland-in-september.html]
A lot nicer facility as you can see from these photos.
PA1 on left,  OR&N on right

Another view of Alco PA1

SP 4449 under repair

SP&S 700

UP caboose, Nickel Plate RSD5, UP train on main in background

On the way home down the Oregon coast we also took a few photos of the Coos Bay Rail Link.  The Coos Bay Rail Link is now operating the former Southern Pacific Coos Bay Branch from Eugene to the coast near Florence and south to Coos Bay.  They have videos, photos and more information on their web site   Here are a few photos:

Woodchip cars and Centerbeams
and a short video:

It was a good trip and hopefully Bill has inspired me so you will hear from me more often and see some progress on the Southern Pacific Santa Barbara Subdivision.