Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Muni Heritage Weekend ~ Sunday, September 27, 2015

Yesterday the kids asked to go to the Daiso store. Why not... We took the train to the City to go to a store on Market Street downtown. After buying cheap Japanese sundries and Halloween decorations we noticed several vintage Muni busses go by. It turns out that this weekend is a Muni heritage weekend.

After a quick snack stop at the Ferry Building we saw Muni's oldest streetcar, 578, conveniently heading the way we needed to go, back towards CalTrain (on the way back to the Metro East barn), and hitched a ride.

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Passing through Amsterdam ~ Saturday, September 05, 2015

Two observations.

1. The Dutch seem to like lollipops.

2. The airport has an open air waiting area (in the secure part).

It's nice to be outside for a few minutes since I've been indoors and on planes since about 10:00AM PST Friday. More airports should have this.

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Water Dog Lake ~ Friday, September 04, 2015

For years I've noticed some parks on maps in the hills behind Belmont, CA, and been curious about a place named Water Dog Lake.

This last summer (yeah, I'm getting behind on updating this blog) I took the kids for some hikes to check these places out.

On our first trip we did not find the lake, but there was some wildlife.

Be vewwy vewwy quiet...

Wini go this picture.

We also saw evidence of skunks. No direct encounters, fortunately!

On the second trip, we made it to the lake.

Some locals told us the water gets at least 10' higher on non-drought years.

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Happy World Cat Day ~ Saturday, August 08, 2015

Which seemed a good time to assemble this new Tama Train kit.

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My Train Just Stopped at Atherton ~ Thursday, July 23, 2015

Which is supposed to be weekends only.

Some people got on. The conductor said "you must be very important people".

They don't look like it particularly.  One is an old man who doesn't speak English.

We passed as train "in the hole" at the RWC yard. Maybe it broke down and dropped off some passengers at a non-standard location?

It is a mystery...

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Progress on Double-Tracking in Mountain View ~ Thursday, July 16, 2015

Some interesting equipment here. I like the improvised ballast hopper.

Also notice the special wire draped over the overhead and clamped to a rail. This must be to keep workers safe in case the power is accidentally turned on--by producing an instant (and probably spectacular!) short circuit that would blow a circuit breaker somewhere.

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Seen at the LEGO Store ~

A very cool modern articulated streetcar.

Unfortunately only available as part of a rather large and pricey kit.  But it shows what can be done in the medium.
Of course, as this blog post makes clear, even in Lego city not everyone is on the side of progress.

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The Seashore Trolley Museum ~ Monday, July 13, 2015

The Seashore Trolley Museum, in Kennebunkport, ME, is the world's oldest and largest. Naturally we had to visit.

To start with, the entry building has a nice reconstruction of the front end of a trolley, where one can see how controllers work.

We rode on Boston Type 5.

and this Connecticut Company open car, which suited the weather that day.

There are four or five barns like this one, full of classic electric car types that every traction fan needs to see.

This is an elegant private car, the City of Manchester.

You're not actually supposed to go up here, but the sign was turned so that the kids couldn't see it til they were actually up there. Now you know! :)

Give a kid a camera, and you're going to get some selfies. And maybe some nice scenic shots, too.

Tucked in the corner of a barn was this surprise: a cable car from Dunedin, New Zealand:

The museum also has old trolleybusses and a few subway cars from NYC and Boston.

This picture is not very exciting, but there is a place in my layout where I want to build a curved wooden-paved grade crossing just like this.

Finally, a classic steeplecab, which I took numerous shots for future modelling notes.

Incidentally, if you visit on a hot day, we recommend a visit to The Scoop Deck in nearby Wells, ME. They have a lot of flavors (I'm not kidding), serve cones that are decidedly not skimpy, and seem to function almost like the center of the community.

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The Maine Narrow-Gauge Railroad Museum ~ Sunday, July 12, 2015

When we were done with the "business" part of our trip, we headed up to Maine for a week of actual vacation.

Maine is famous for its 2'-gauge railways, and the Maine Narrow-Gauge Railroad Museum has preserved a nice collection and operates trains on the Portland, ME, waterfront.

Portland is a pretty nice city and worth a visit in its own right.

The museum will be moving to a new location at some point in the future, so now is a great time see the trains and Portland all in one visit.

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