Checking up on Some Old Friends ~ Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Last Sunday the family and I visited the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Jct, CA.
We rode a Key System Bridge Unit to a pumpkin patch. These originally ran over the Bay Bridge from Oakland to San Francisco. Considering they were built in the 1930's, these articulated cars are strikingly modern looking.
Other than the older style of pantograph, they look a lot like modern LRV's. Modern LRV's don't have leather seats, though! One oddity of their design is that the two halves are different lengths. It's kind of hidden by perspective in this picture, but count the windows. I've heard this was to done to dampen oscillations that it was feared might get the whole bridge swinging!
Parked outside of the barn was a a Muni PCC which I understand has gotten a little much-needed TLC lately. This is a prototype I'm hoping to build a model of some time, and I've never gotten a chance to see it outside before, so I did not miss the chance to take lots of pictures, which I'll include one of here.
Another PCC was parked in the barn, with a caboose conveniently on the next track over, very nice for getting a look at the roof.
It's a fundamental paradox of modelling that roofs are seldom seen in real life but quite visible on a model, and we're often left scratching our heads what exactly to put up there. SF Muni PCC's are somewhat unique in having poles on the front end and all the usual hardware that goes with them, and this shot, whatever it's deficiencies as photographic art, is going to be quite useful in getting all of these details right.
We stopped by a few other favories, like this Salt Lake & Utah interurban observation car, which for various reasons we suspect may be haunted!
There were non-trolley things to do too, such as a giant mountain of haybales with an innertube to jump on on top, and cute farm animals to pet. I also did a little early x-mas shopping. I hope everybody likes pumpkin butter!
To me, at least, the best thing about the WRM is that it lets you experience actually riding an interurban, along a couple of miles of tracks under wire.
That's it for this time. I'm keeping up the modeling, but not much to show for it yet... stay tuned.