Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rose Gulch and Portland Railroad

Some of you may be aware that I also dabble in HO model railroading. I began some time ago while a student at St. Albert Priory in Oakland, California. There was not much to it as I was a student with very limited resources. Fortunately a priest-teacher at Daniel Murphy High School donated a great deal of mounted straight track after Dominicans departed the school and the Railroad Club there was disbanded. The two major layouts were given into the care of students.
Meanwhile, I built a single module with hand made turnouts and inserted it into the great loop around an attic room at St. Albert Priory. Another module was added later. Some rolling stock and a very nice kit-built steam engine allowed for some activity. Then classes and graduation and first assignments left the layout abandoned to the forces of others ... it disappeared.
Years later I was assigned to a house where there was actually room to do some building and it took off again. I must admit that a certain generous classmate had always been a part of this. Presently a distinguished profesor of history, he is also a gifted model builder. He built that first steam engine and in this present incarnation has built some very remarkable wooden box cars of the civil war era, passenger cars from an era shortly after that, and has contributed two 4-4-0 engines and an 0-4-0 engine to a great collection building up here.
The layout started out as a bedroom project, but early on I realized it would not be possible to move it if I were ever re-assigned. Thus I tore it apart and began building in modular form. The six modules I built are all bound together to form and area covering 9'x8'. No, it is not in my bedroom .. it would mean I would have had to move out. It is located in the basement on concrete floor with a finished ceiling. It might even have heat and AC, but I have not tested that .
I will add comments later as time allows.

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