Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Sprinter ~ Wednesday, November 02, 2011

This August (sorry to get behind in my posts) Wini's Ice Theater team took part in the 2011 State Games of America, in which thousands of young athletes converged on San Diego. The ice theater part of this even took place in Escondido, the eastern terminus of San Diego County's new Sprinter Diesel Light Rail line.

The western end of the line is the Oceanside Transit Center,

connection with AmTrak Pacific Surfliner, Coaster, and a block from the beach.

Nathan and I made as many trips by Sprinter as we could.

He really liked watching them, too.

And face it, that's a nice looking train. Those are Siemens Desiro's, which come in both Diesel and Electric versions, and run in many countries; in the US, they also run on Austin Capital Metro.

The Sprinter maintenance shop building, or "barn" as old-fashioned fans call'em, is in Escondido.

It has a few unusual features that seem to suit the inland Southern California climate well: a bank of solar panels, and fairly successful vegetable garden, with bean vines spilling over into the fence.

The Sprinter line runs on a Santa Fe (well, now BNSF) branch that still has a few freight customers. Freight trains run at night, after Sprinter shuts down. The Desiros are "non-FRA-compliant", which basically means they are not built to withstand a collision with a freight train, so this "temporal separation" is a legal safety requirement. Using this freight line for a right-of-way gives Sprinter somewhat more rustic scenery than the typical urban light rail line.

As far as the "business" part of the trip goes, the ice theater team's performance was a hit, winning first place.

(These photos by Wini's cousin Anna, who is an excellent action photographer).

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