Santa on Transit ~ Saturday, December 13, 2014
SJ Rainbow Tigers After Dark ~ Tuesday, November 25, 2014
This is at the San Fernando VTA light rail stop, close to the main San Jose railway station.
Repair Shop Signs ~
They have a big sign made of pictures of dozens of old repair shop signs--I need to reproduce some of these in a N scale city!
Recycling a Balloon Clip as a Clamp ~ Sunday, November 16, 2014
Trolley/Bike Bell ~ Monday, November 10, 2014
Also, the strap that holds it on is brass instead of plastic, so it's a lot less likely to fall onto the road than the last one.
Two bells means "go"!
Riding Muni 578 ~ Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Last weekend the SF Muni and Market Street Railway had a Heritage Weekend in which many seldom-seen pieces of equipment were brought out. I was particularly excited to get a ride on car 578, an 1895-built California-type-car (that is, open on each end and enclosed in the middle) "dinky" (single trucker). It looks like a cable car except for having a trolley pole, and being quite a bit shorter than any currently running cable car, though there were dinky cable cars back in the day as well. (The Muni was founded in 1912, but inherited this car when it bought out the Market St Ry).
I've seen this car before, but we've never gotten to ride it. We rode the first block standing on the footboard, until we were told we couldn't do that. On the face of this seemed kind of silly since they let you do that on the cables, but it's not totally unreasonable considering that it goes at least twice as fast, and that since it's a single-trucker, you get tossed around a bit more when it goes around curves. Of course, back in the day, they trusted kids to hold on, as this picture of a sister car in 1927 (from the White Front Cars book about the MSRy) shows:
This car is the almost-sole survivor of hundreds of cars built to roughly the same design that once went up and down the streets of dozens of California cities big and small (often, starting out in the big cities and finding second careers in small ones). In fact, I'd say probably more lines ran cars like this than didn't. There are some nice pictures on my trolley postcard site, especially for Eureka, CA; here's one of the best in higher resolution:
The 578 survived as a work car, hauling sand, and looked like this in that service (again from the White Front Cars book):
I said the 578 was almost the sole survivor of its type because there is one other nicely-restored example at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, Bakersfield and Kern car #4. I'll take the liberty of hotlinking one of their images:
There may be one or two other unrestored cars in the backlots here and at the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista.
There were also vintage trolleycoaches and diesel busses on display, including this GMC New Look/Fishbowl which looks like ones I rode to school.
Though I'm not sure I like seeing something made in 1969 considered "vintage"!
Halloween Report ~
We almost felt like decorating for Halloween was superfluous, after this guy moved into our front yard:
But we ended up putting in the usual sorts of ghosts and jack-o-lanterns.
For the trick-or-treaters, we like to set up a game that the kids have to play to "win" their candy. This year's game was "throw the pumpkin into the ghost". Here's Nate helping to make the ghost, and learning some valuable skills:
Test throw! The throwable pumpkins were actually dog squeeze-toys, from a clearance bin at PetSmart.
Kids also had a choice of throwing them into a jack-o-lantern picture with a cut-out mouth (pumpkin cannibalism?).share:
Steam Shovel Book on Project Gutenberg ~ Friday, October 24, 2014
Today I saw this new listing of a technical book on steam shovels, with a few cool illustrations.
Maybe there will be books on electric railways in the future--one can always make it happen, I suppose, by volunteering time to scan and/or proofread.
Lunar Eclipse ~ Wednesday, October 08, 2014
I braced the camera on the top of my car to hold it still for a long exposure (flash doesn't work for taking pictures of the moon!), and got this picture of the lunar eclipse at 3:something this morning:
Mega Double Rainbow ~ Thursday, September 18, 2014
Pictures taken on the way to the 73 bus stop.