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   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]
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.


  1. Welcome back to the blogosphere!


  2. Bruce,

    I too have been neglecting my layout, but your blog has motivated me to get it in gear, especially with Desert Ops South coming this February 2015. Monthly ops sessions need to be reinstated, so I need to get the layout back up and running. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Gary G G, Superintendant
    SP Miami Branch (AZ)