Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Southern Pacific Santa Cruz Division

One of my big problems with the SP Santa Barbara Subdivision is that I really enjoy operating on other peoples layouts to the detriment of progress on my own.  This post is from Gary Siegel's Southern Pacific Santa Cruz Division.  I have enjoyed working on its construction and operating on the 'finished' railroad.

It is a 1:32 scale model of portions of the former narrow gauge South Pacific Coast Railroad from Santa Cruz to San Jose. [Originally, the railroad went all the way to Alameda, CA near Oakland.]
In the early 1900's the Southern Pacific standard gauged the line.  It became very popular in the 1920's with a train called the "Sun Tan Special" which ran from San Francisco to the beach and Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.  In 1934, SP stopped the passenger service and soon after stopped freight service abandoning the line in the 1940's.  Gary has modeled the line as if it were the 1970's.

The mass of the larger locomotives and rolling stock, along with the Tsunami sound systems make operations very enjoyable.  We usually run with a dispatcher who communicates with the crews via FRS radios.  The crews actually do work along the way, setting out and picking up cars at various stations.  At Felton there is a branch line to Boulder Creek and beyond.  We sometimes run passenger trains and almost always run a McKeen car for the passenger service on the branch.  Here are a few photos of the McKeen car.

McKeen car at Boulder Creek

McKeen car in the trees

McKeen car on the Boulder Creek Branch
passing under the bridge east of Felton

Here is a photo of a Baldwin VO-1000 working at Zayante.

Lastly, I have posted a video from the most recent run session on YouTube.  You can see the video here.  http://youtu.be/I24YowiGeMU

There are other videos of the SP Santa Cruz Division here:

You Tube video of SP Santa Cruz Division taken several years ago at a Parkinson's Association benefit

Cab ride east bound

HiDef video taken from a GP38-2 on the SP Santa Cruz division [You may want to turn down the volume as the engine sound can be overpowering. Also you may need to adjust the resolution depending on the speed of your internet connection.]

I am caught up on my late posts so there should be some progress noted on the SP Santa Barbara Sub in the next few weeks.

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