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Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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From Project Gutenberg: American Architecture, 1892 ~ Monday, January 14, 2019

PG has just released the 1892 book, American Architecture, full of interesting illustrations of Mansions and public buildings.

The chapter "Glimpses of Western Architecture" does not get any farther west than Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. I'm not sure if this simply reflects an east-coast bias, or an aesthetic judgment--that the over-the-top homes of mining barons, such as were up on pre-1906 Nob Hill, were too tacky for a book about serious architecture...

This gripe aside--there's lots of interesting details in here.

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Out of Service Steps ~ Monday, January 07, 2019

These are at San Carlos, and have been closed off for about a year due to construction. The landscaping is taking over.

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The Petersen Automotive Museum ~ Wednesday, January 02, 2019

On Christmas Eve we visited the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA.

Although a big focus of the museum is a collection of Porsches, there are also some interesting examples of very early cars:


The engine of a Stanley Steamer.


An early electric.

And a few famous cars from movies:


Still in its road-dependent form!

We also walked around and saw the La Brea Tar Pits, walked under the famous LACMA rock, and saw a bit of the Berlin wall (on display by the Wende Museum).

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The SLO RR Museum ~ Tuesday, January 01, 2019

On our drive home from southern California, we visited the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum, which is down the street from the SLO Amtrak station inside a former freight house.

Those are narrow gauge boxcars from the Pacific Coast Railway; they are now attached to the museum building, and you can see them from the inside--by visiting the restrooms, which are built into them.

There is a dual-gauge model railroad that reproduces in miniature the local part of the SP Coast Line, the Pacific Coast Railway (this picture shows the PCRy's dock at Avila), and the Santa Maria Valley Railway.

There are also various railroad-related artifacts.

The last item above is a breathing tube, which steam engine crews in the early days (before cab-forwards) used to breathe (relatively) fresh air out of air-brake lines to avoid the smoky air in long tunnels.

There is a parlor/observation car with a very nice interior--including the smallest piano I have ever seen.

This "critter" was once the base switcher as Camp Roberts, near San Miguel.

After seeing the museum, lunch at the nearby Cajun restaurant Bon Temps is highly recommended.

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Hermit Crabs ~ Monday, December 31, 2018

On Christmas we went to the beach at San Pedro to inspect tide pools during a super-low tide. There were lots of hermit crabs.

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Hi-Rail Drives Off ~ Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I've seen Hi-Rail trucks on the tracks and on the road before, but this is the first time I've watched one make the transition.

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Light Rail in the Fog ~ Tuesday, December 11, 2018

There was a thick fog this morning, which made this rural-looking stretch of the VTA line in Mountain View quite atmospheric.

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Trespasser Incident and Tamales ~ Wednesday, December 05, 2018

CalTrain had an "incident" tonight.

I biked from Palo Alto, but it started getting dark so I decided to take a bus the last bit.

I stopped to wait for the ECR at a stop that happened to be in front of a new Mexican restaurant. Good tamales!

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Engineer's Sketchbook from Project Gutenberg ~

This Book, full of sketches of elements from the mechanical engineering of 1902, just came up on Project Gutenberg.

There are lots of bits and pieces of interest to fans of railways, trolleys/trams, and cable cars here. Here's some samples:

Fig. 220. "Plan of four-wheel car, with swivelling gear for curves.", is reminiscent to the Brill Radiax truck (here is Brill's patent), as used in the Muni Type J cars (aka, "E-Line Dinkies").

I have never seen, but would be interested to, a clear view of one of these cars on a tight curve and taking advantage of this unique truck design.

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Buongiorno! ~ Tuesday, December 04, 2018

I've never seen an AdWrap for an entire country before.

Also note: that's not smoke; it's good old Bay Area fog. Whew!

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