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Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Home Again ~ Monday, June 29, 2015

Back from vacation. This is something you will only see on CalTrain, I bet! (No, that's not my bike!) And the guy in the seat in front of me appears to be studying a D&D rulebook.

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Steam on the Billy Jones Wildcat RR ~ Saturday, June 13, 2015

This is a park train in Los Gatos, CA. We've ridden it before, but its always been diesel powered on previous visits. Today they had a pancake breakfast fundraiser (expertly cooked by boy scouts) and fired up a nice steam engine that I've only seen in the round house before.

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Real-Life Shiny Overhead ~ Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One thing that's struck me sometimes looking at pictures of well-done trolley layouts is that the overhead, no matter how realistically built, it's always unrealistically shiny. It looks cool, and makes all that hard work much more visible, but copper or phosphor bronze overhead doesn't look like the grimy black of every real life trolley wire I've ever seen--until today.

As I've mentioned, the VTA it's double-tracking their Mtn View line, and has gotten to the point of hanging wire over the new track; and this brand new cemetery is shiny copper (I think actually a braid of copper and steel strands).

Probably the black we're used to seeing is from grease applied to make pans and poles slide more easily. Or maybe it's just weathering.

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Metrolink Cars on CalTrain ~ Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Los Angeles Metrolink has been upgrading its fleet with new crash-resistant cars (which have already proven their worth) and selling some of its older Bombardiers to CalTrain (which has a better record of avoiding crashes).

I saw these cars parked at the SF station a few weeks ago and they have just now entered service. They have not been repainted except for the logos, which makes for interesting consists. They are also riveted, unlike the rest of CalTrain's totally smooth welded Bombardiers.

I haven't yet gotten to ride one of the ex-Metrolink cars--they're not on my usual trains. CalTrain has been using them to make 6-car trains, which only fit at the platforms of certain stations.

They are slated for conversion to bike cars, allowing trains with three bike cars, which us bike/train commuters will really appreciate.

Of course, café cars (AM commute) and bar cars (PM) would also be appreciated!

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Mtn View Trackwork Progress ~ Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Interesting MOW equipment here.

Note the new overhead mast in the background too.

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Mustard Bank ~ Sunday, March 22, 2015

Nathan had a nice little wooden coin bank that he was quite fond of, but unfortunately the lid broke. We looked around the house for something round we could use for a replacement and found a lid from an almost empty mustard jar. A little Dremelling and we had a new lid for the bank.

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Gilroy Depot ~ Saturday, February 28, 2015

I was catching a bus to Gilroy. Sue and Nate were driving back from LA and this way I got to take over driving for the last leg. CalTrain runs to Gilroy but only in the evenings, so I rode Monterey/Salinas Transit (I wonder if the MST has a bus numbered 3000?).

The Gilroy transit center is at the old SP depot. The station building itself is now Greyhound. At least it's still in use for transportation instead of being a chamber of commerce or something boring like that.

The train board in the waiting room still lists the Del Monte, a train which once ran from San Francisco to Monterey (it was not long enough a route for Amtrak to take over, and the SP dropped it as soon as they were legally allowed too).

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Paul Bunyan in San Jose ~

Years ago I happened by a giant statue (well, considering the subject, maybe life-sized) of Paul Bunyan in San Jose. I didn't take a picture, and could never remember where it was. Yesterday I had an hour to kill after getting off CalTrain in SJ til the bus I was catching was going to show up, so I decided to walk over to a nearby used bookstore, and on the way, there was Paul--in front of a muffler shop appropriately named "Babe's". I'm pretty sure he was holding an axe last time, but some Sharks fan seems to have replaced it with a hockey stick.

There are some nice old houses in the neighborhood, too.

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Half Moon Bay's Other Station ~ Saturday, February 21, 2015

You may have come across an old station building on the south end of Half Moon Bay (on the way to the beach), preserved as a small   home.

This was the Ocean Shore Ry's Arleta Station, somewhat fancy by OSRy standards. It was planned as the center of a real estate development, but Arleta never took off.

The official Half Moon Bay station was closer to town and fairly humble. It still exists, but has been moved. It's current location turns out to be close to a school where Nate has been playing basketball on Saturdays, so today we took a look.

The big white building in the background is the Johnson House, and is 160 years old.

Across the road is a nice farmhouse with barn, etc, still a working farm. Interesting subjects in their own right.

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Fwd: Caboose BBQ ~ Saturday, February 14, 2015

This place is in Half Moon Bay, CA. We had lunch there  today, and it's pretty good.

HMB was once a stop on the Ocean Shore Ry, but I'm pretty sure this caboose is not from that line, since it's steel and the OSRy folded in 1921.

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