San Pedro’s Operations

One of the things I read about frequently in model railroading is that the project was too big or that the perceived operations were not desirable due to various issues. I will be the first to admit this has happened to me. As an operational model, San Pedro is rather simple in design, no complex time table operational or opposing train meets to worry over with this layout . The DRG&W ran a mixed train, 425 south, 426 north in my selected time period of late 1930s-1941. The motive power during this time period was always one of the K-28’s. Some days, the mixed was the RPO and Chili Line coach. Other days there were various types and numbers of freight cars along with the RPO and coach. Switching at San Pedro is limited to dropping off a car for the freight house/ team track or loading a stock car at the stockpen chute. Taking on water at the water tank and departing are the other activities. The recent change to the water tank end of the layout provides another siding (track #9-244′ on the photo below) for MOW set outs or water cars to be filled from the reservoir. Unique operations for that small siding and extra maneuvers as it will be a facing siding for Santa Fe bound 425.

Not much operation there you say. That may be true if your only interested in running trains. However, it gives me time to put into the other parts of the hobby I enjoy or want to try. I have several older PBL stock car kits I would like to build as double deck cars for sheep, the primary livestock shipped out of San Pedro. I would like to model the DRG&W’s automobile flats, both the loaded and tarped southbound flats as well as the northbound empties with just their hoop frames. The DRGW tank cars used for water transportation will also be something to learn more about with the recent design change. Another area of the hobby to learn more about is battery operation and San Pedro offers the perfect layout to learn this aspect of the hobby.

San Pedro’s Operation@Oct 2018

By: H. Mathews

A Trip to Strasburg Railroad

This past Friday , I took Graham to Strasburg Railroad in Strasburg, Pennsylvania for an early birthday present. A hostler tour, train ride and visit to the Pennsylvania railroad museum. I cannot say enough about the two hour long hostler tour. What an educational experience on not only prepping a steam locomotive for a day’s work, but many other facts about steam engine operation and mechanics. Even better was the chance to climb into the cab of my favorite Strasburg locomotive, ex Norfolk and Western 475, a Mollie from 1906. Below are several photographs of many we took.

The highlight of the tour for Graham was climbing into the cab on three different occasions to peer into the firebox as the grates were cleaned, the banked overnight fire was broken and spread and what the fire looked like at various stages as it was prepped and built for the day’s work.

After the tour, we took the 11am train to Paradise , Pennsylvania and back in the lounge car. It’s the fist time we rode in that car and we enjoyed the experience. The chairs were so comfortable that Graham almost feel asleep! We had lunch at the Red Caboose motel’s “Casey Jones restaurant” and then spent several hours at the Pennsylvania railroad museum.

A Trip to Strasburg Railroad@Oct 2018

By: H. Mathews