Sunday, June 16, 2024

Union Paciic's Passenger Steam Locos in Victorville, & Attending Model Railroad Events

This time I will provide links to past blog entries about Union Pacific's passenger steam locos, and then I will cover a series of model railroad events and real railroad events that have kept me from working on my layout.

Here's one sample of the UP passenger steam locos we have covered in our past blog entries:

Here we see FEF-1 #813 in Nebraska in March, 1950 (after leaving California), thanks to Jack Pfeiffer:

Here's a list of links that should take you to any of the past blog entries for UP's passenger steam locos:

UP 4-8-2s – Jan-23-2022

UP 4-8-4s – Jul-10-2022

UP Early 4-6-6-4s – Jun-12-2022

UP Late 4-6-6-4s – Feb-26-2023

Here's a sample photo from each of these previous blog entries:

UP 4-8-2s – Jan-23-2022

Here's a beautiful Chard Walker photo showing #7019 as a helper in Victorville during UP's 1950-1951 return to using steam on Cajon Pass:

UP 4-8-4s – Jul-10-2022

Here's a beautiful action shot of #843 with the 2nd section of the eastbound Utahn at Pine Lodge in Feb. 1949 (a rare appearance after July, 1948), thanks to James Ady:

UP Early 4-6-6-4s – Jun-12-2022

They were used as road engines on freights, as well as serving as helpers on freight and passenger trains.  Here we see #3817 helping 4-8-4 #839 with the westbound LA Limited leaving Victorville in July, 1947, as shot by Chard Walker:

UP Late 4-6-6-4s – Feb-26-2023

These locos also pulled freights, but here is #3981 running late with the 2nd section of the westbound Pony Express below Cajon in August, 1947, as shot by James Ady:

Let's turn now to whatever minor layout progress I've made in the last two weeks, which is almost none, due to a series of model railroad events and some real railroad events.

Early in the week of June 3, I did some testing of the Touch Toggles in my C Tower panel, and I found a few problems, so I phoned Kevin Hunter a couple of times, and he figured out some fixes that he will send me.  I also ordered 28 of his 6" toggle wire extensions, so the wires should reach back to the board where all the base units will be attached.  That board and how to attach it have not been designed yet.

I tried again to mock up how the control panel will be hinged to the edge of the benchwork, and how a support board might be hinged under the panel to support it when it's horizontal, but using tape for hinges still did not work (too flimsy), so I planned to go buy some real hinges to try.

I found a source for more of the picture frames that I'm using for my control panels, so I ordered eight more frames and got them the next day.  I also bought a DYMO label maker to use to label my wires, as advised by Don Borden, instead of using masking tape.

On that Wednesday morning I attended an operating session at Bill Messecar's Santa Fe layout.  Here is the rest of the gang, before they took their three trains out of San Bernardino yard.  From left to right, we see Don Hubbard (with a new beard), Colin Kikawa, and Bill Messecar:

Then I got to work switching the San Bernardino yard.  Looking in the opposite direction, we see part of the yard and the big precooler plant in the far corner:

We all went out to lunch together, which was also fun.

Don Hubbard gave me the completed Standard Oil bulk dealer model he had built from a Grandt Line kit, so I posed it on my layout beside the Texaco station he had previously built for my Lower Narrows scene:

During the week I did some research into bulk oil dealers and got some ideas for moving things around on the Standard Oil lot drawing, as shown here in red ink:

The drawing shows adding a standpipe for (sometimes?) unloading tank cars via the dome, with pipes going to a pumphouse, both of which Don Hubbard plans to build from the Walthers Interstate Fuel & Oil kit that I gave him for that purpose.  

The drawing also shows adding a platform on the right side of the warehouse, so that oil drums can be unloaded from boxcars there.  A model for that has not been determined yet.  

Finally, it shows moving the tank truck loading station to the left and rotating it 90 degrees, so that its pipes will connect to the oil tanks.  The truck loading station is another part of the Wlathers kit that Don plans to use.

We are also working on plans to build the three horizontal oil tanks, using plastic pipes, plus the pedestals from the Walthers kit.

On Saturday morning, June 8, I attended the annual 4th Division Meet of the Pacific Northwest Region of the NMRA, which this year included a train ride from the North Bend depot to the Northwest Railway Museum shops near Snoqualmie.  Here's a shot of the train as it was boarding at North Bend, with Mount Si in the background:

At the museum and shops, we each attended two of the three excellent clinics and also spent one of those three hours getting a rare tour of the shops where they restore old rolling stock.  Here's a shot of their NP 0-6-0 in the shop, which was scheduled to run under steam on Father's Day weekend:

At noon we all met for a sandwich lunch and then the annual business meeting in the museum building where all the restored rolling stock is on display.  For example, this Heisler geared loco is on display there:

Outside the museum building, a full-size model of Thomas the Tank Engine is on display, along with the diesel that actually pushes and pulls the train from the other end when they have a special Thomas weekend:

At about 1:30 we all boarded our train back to North Bend, and then some folks (not me) drove to visit layouts that were having an open house that afternoon.  It was a very good event, with perfect weather.

The next day I got two new photos from Craig Wisch in Victorville, showing more progress on the Hayward Lumber store that he has been building with cardstock.  Here's the front of the building -- the clerestory had been removed while he worked on the roofing, but the office wing had been added on the left side:

And this was his photo of the track side of the building:

Bill Messecar was continuing to work on the freight carbody to go with his passenger carbody, so thanks to him and to all of my helpers!

On June 9 I practiced giving a bit of my "Modeling Postwar Victorville" clinic via Zoom, with Don Borden and Mike Davis also in the meeting.

I spent a lot of this week getting my clinic updated and reviewed in time for my Saturday, June 15, Zoom presentation to the East Coast Santa Fe Modelers Meet in Doylestown, PA.

As one of the updates to the slides, I wanted to show them the HO models of Victorville buildings that some of my friends have been building for me. Last week I showed you two models by Don Hubbard, and here's a new photo of some of the models that Bill Messecar has scratchbuilt for me:

In the foreground is the Victorville depot, and behind it is the scene with the water tanks, section houses, and pump houses, with the elevated fuel oil tank for the wye area on the left.

I also shot a photo showing the buildings that Craig Wisch has built for me:

From left to right are the Peterson Feed Store, the Lower Narrows Switching Station, and the Old Jail, with the large Victorville Lime Rock Plant in the background.

My presentation via Zoom went well, although they were 40 minutes behind schedule by time it was my turn.  This was the schedule for the main day of the East Coast Santa Fe Modelers Meet:
I got to watch Kevin Hunter's slide presentation about Touch Toggles, which was just before mine.  My presentation included about six new slides about my own use of Touch Toggles.

This week I had more email discussions with Don Borden and Tim Fisher about how to mount my control panels.  

My current idea is to hinge each control panel from the top, so that it normally hangs vertically and is out of the way in the narrowest aisles, but it could be rotated up to about 25 degrees short of horizontal when in use, and also rotated all the way up by 180 degrees if I need to open the back of the panel to make changes to the track diagram and toggles.

Then the larger base board, which will hold all the base units and power units for the panel, could be mounted on hinges behind the control panel, so that when the control panel is rotated up by 180 degrees, the base board could be rotated up to horizontal when I need to work on it.

I recently bought some hinges to try out, and I bought some craft boards to cut to size and use as base boards.  I need to make some drawings for how all of this might work, and how the panels and base boards could be supported when not hanging vertically.

Today I got some new photos from Craig Wisch, showing his virtually complete cardstock model of the large Hayward Lumber store, which was between the depot and the feed store.  This week he made some sign boards to go on the rooftop by the office wing.  Here is the front of the model:

And the rear, track side of the model:

Many thanks to Craig Wisch for his great work on this large model!

Today I had a wonderful Father's Day with my family.  We met for lunch in nearby Snoqualmie, WA, then waited at the depot for the steam train special to arrive for its 1:00 pm departure with a new load of passengers.  Here we see NP 0-6-0 #924 (which burns wood) shortly after it arrived:

Of course, I had to pose in front of it, as in other years:

Here we see the train departing, amid lots of smoke and steam and noise (wonderful!), as it crosses the street by the depot:

Here is a going-away shot, in which you can see the wood in the tender:

There was a diesel at the back end of the train, to serve as the guide loco when the train is backing up.  Here's a shot of the train as it returned toward the depot, with the orange diesel on the far end and the steam loco backing up on the rear:

After all this fun, I need to get back to work on the layout next week.


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