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Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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AEM-7's at 4th & King ~ Thursday, July 29, 2021

These aren't used electric locomotives, retired veterans at the Northeast corridor, that Caltrain has bought from Amtrak for testing 

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Back at the Movies ~ Tuesday, July 27, 2021

I've never been to the Roxie before, and for a year and a half, we didn't go out to any movies.

This last weekend we went to see Cat Video Fest 2021, which was very cute.

The Roxie is an example of the kind of small neighborhood theater that mostly went extinct almost 100 years ago, somehow still going strong in the 21st century.

They have a good program booked for the summer, and we'll be back soon.

This wasn't quite the first movie we've been to this year. A week or two back we went to "F9", which I recommend. Nothing wring with a ridiculous but well-made action movie, especially one where only bad guys die and even then, not excessively or gruesomely. Last night we saw the new Space Jam, which unfortunately doesn't live up to the expectations set by the original. At least I can collect some Looney Tune Minifigs that LEGO is making as a tie-in.

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New Commute ~ Tuesday, July 20, 2021

I have an office again. And while we were all w@h, they built us a cool new building.

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Felix? ~ Friday, July 16, 2021

This tagger self-portrait looks like a cross between Felix the Cat and a Life in Hell bunny.

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Hidden in Escondido ~ Wednesday, June 30, 2021

On our recent trip to the San Diego area, we stayed near Escondido, an inland suburb in north county (and and of the line for the Sprinter Train).

Looking for a grocery store, I found an outdoor history museum in a city park. The town's original Santa Fe depot is here (I don't think this is the original location). There is an RPO car parked in front of it.

A recent graduate was using this as a backdrop for graduation pictgures.

There are a few other interesting old buildings gathered here, like a blacksmith shop and Escondido's first library.

Escondido's downtown seems to be lively. Sue met an old friend at a tea shop, and there are a couple of other likely looking spots for entertainment on Grand Ave, the town's main drag.

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The San Diego Electric Railway Museum ~ Sunday, June 27, 2021

While we were visiting San Diego, some local friends recommended meeting at the San Diego Electric Railway Museum (which I was unaware of), at the National City Depot. We arrived at opening time of what turned out to be the first day the museum had been open since before the pandemic, and our volunteer guide was happy to see people waiting to get in.

The first generation (Duewag) cars of the modern San Diego Trolley are now being retired to museums:


I rode some almost-twins of this car in Calgary.


Nathan testing the "quack horn" that the San Diego Trolley uses to encourage pedestrians to get out of the way.

Here's their oldest car, which was created by splicing two cable cars.

Like a lot of US cities, San Diego ran Birneys, and one is preserved here:

The car below and a few like it came from Vienna to San Diego for a proposed trolley line in the gaslamp district. But it turned out these cars don't turn very sharply because, even though they look like trolleys, they are actually subway cars. The project was eventually dropped and the museum got them for $1 each. These are also Duewag products (the couplers look compatible with the modern light rail cars).

Although the museum's collection focuses on electric railways, they have a few mainline railroad artifacts, like this handcar.

This Balboa Park car was restored by a private individual. Two other unrestored cars of the same type are on the property, giving some idea of how much work went into the restoration.

Note the PCC in the background above. I'ts painted like a San Diego car on the outside, but details on the inside reveal that this is a veteran of Muni.

This car is not part of the museum--it's on display (inside a glassed-in enclosure), across the street. We checked it out on a tip from our guide. It ran on the National City and Otay, San Diego's first interurban. Worth crossing the street to see!

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The Seal Beach Red Car Museum ~ Saturday, June 19, 2021

We stopped here on the way to San Diego.

I have an as-yet unbuilt Western Railcraft kit for one of these PE box motors. Really ought to make that some day!

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Grade Crossing ~ Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Away from downtown, my model trolley line switches from street running to side-of the-road.

In this picture, a city street turns into an unpaved country road, and needs to cross a siding track.

I've built up a grade crossing with bits of sanded balsa, wood filler, and strip styrene.

I don't know if wood filter is as dusty as plaster, but I plan to give this a coat of sealant just in case to make sure it doesn't mess up my motors.

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Paddling the Baylands ~

We've been getting our inflatable kayak out a bit lately.

This picture is from the Palo Alto Baylands, down by the end of Embarcadero Road. There was a strong incoming tide that day. We paddled against it and it took us about half an hour to get a hundred yards or so down the channel, to the edge of the open bay, then we had a relaxing time floating back in about 5 minutes!

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Nighttime Overhead Work ~

Overhead wires are be up over most of the southern half of the CalTrain line. Work is now in progress up on the San Carlos viaduct.

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