San Jose Railroads Car 124 ~ Monday, September 10, 2012
We've made many visits to the San Jose History Museum in Kelly Park, San Jose. The history museum has a carbarn and most weekends operates a Birney around a block of restored buildings (which I imagine were brought to the park when they were threatened by redevelopment) and replicas, including old turn-of-the-last century homes, a firehouse and a (functioning!) ice cream parlor.
The museum has a longer stretch of track that runs outside of the museum, down the edge of the park, all the way to the (back) entrance of Happy Hollow Zoo. They put wires up over this track a few years ago, and have a few other cars in the barn that can operate along it, but we've never managed to hit them on a day when they were operating anything other than the Birney on the short inside track. Operating the bigger cars and the long route takes a crew of two, and they only do it on special event days.
This Sunday the museum hosted an early car show and ran San Jose Railroads "California Car" #124:
The rubber-tired vehicles on display were nice, too. In addition to a lot of well-preserved examples of standard classic models, there were some more unusual vehicles, not available as N scale kits, but many of them suggesting interesting kitbashes.
There were also antique motors and machinery chugging away:
Inside the barn were the familiar yellow Birney, a single truck Brill from Portugal, and a restored San Francisco horsecar, which I learned from volunteers had just recently been tested with authentic horse power.
There are several varieties of miniature trolleys, too.