Saturday, September 10, 2011

Golden State

Today was to be a day filled with pounding and drilling, nailing and screwing as I tied all the modules together and leveled them in preparation for the first laying of new track for the revived Rose Gulch and Portland RR.  I'm not even sure it will retain that name.  Well, no work was done because Fr. Leo and I went on a journey.

The first part of the journey involved "Just Trains" in Concord, CA.  I was thinking about going out there some day to pick up another grade set so that I could have two smooth inclines, one up and the other down.  Fr. Leo was working on the curved trestle that keeps demanding so much attention, bending model timber into the perfect curve in preparation for attaching ties and then rails.  He had proceeded as far as he could when he said it would be good to go to "Just Trains".  I was all for it.  I ended up buying more than the incline kit: An HON3 car for the other railroad, some DPDT mini switches, and some terminal blocks.

We then decided it was time for lunch and the guy at the store suggested we visit the Polish Street Festival in Martinez, CA. It was "on the way" so we decided that a real polish sausage would be just the thing. It was a good choice. The sausage was delicious as was the potato pancake. I also had a brew which was also delicious. We also enjoyed some polish dancing and music - no, neither of us danced, there were young dancers doing traditional folk dancing.  Leaving Martinez, Fr. Leo suggested we should visit his old railroad club, a place he had not frequented for four or five years.

The club is actually called the Golden State Model Railroad Museum.  They are open to the public and have operating sessions open to the public on Sunday from noon to five in the evening, from April to December.  I suppose the winter months are difficult to heat because the layouts are very expansive.  If you just wanted to look, without much in the way of action, they allow viewing Wednesday from 11am - 3pm, Friday from 7pm until 10pm, Saturday from noon until 5pm, and Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day from Noon until 5pm.

There are several different scales represented: N-Scale of the Tehachapi Loop and Donner Pass.  There is also an Nn3 layout representing the line from Lake Tahoe to Truckee.  Accross the aisle is a huge O-Scale Santa Fe Western layout covering an area in and around Point Richmond.  Also represented in O-Scale is the Oakland, Antioch & Eastern interurban electric railroad.  In On3 is represented the Eureka & Empire railroad, winding up from the Eureka interchange yard to the lumber town of Empire.  In HO-Scale the first thing one sees is the local and inter-urban trolley system.  Also represented are the Southern Pacific, The Western Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe.  Both passenger and freight services are represented.  In HOn3 is represented the California and Nevada narrow gage railroad.

This group has been in more-or-less continual operation for over 75 years!  The whole display is amazing on many different levels: size, complexity, variety, detail, history and the folks who greet you upon visiting.  A Highly recommended visit!

No comments: