Sunday, January 29, 2017

Southern Pacific Santa Rosalia branch operations session

The town of Ballard in the foreground. Santa Rosalia with end of the line in the back
I've been following Tony Thompson's blog "Modeling the SP" for a couple years and I've referenced it a couple times from this blog. It was great to experience the layout and Tony's flavor of prototype paperwork in an operations session today. I was paired with an knowledgeable operator and off we went. The layout atmosphere is decidedly 1950's California with palm trees, the Southern Pacific, and lots of era- and location-appropriate details.

View down Nipomo Street in Ballard
This team started out on the Ballard side of the layout with the local having just arrived in front of the depot in Ballard. For the next 1 1/2 hours we were busy switching Ballard and taking a trip down the branch to Santa Rosalia.

Thick oil hoses for unloading tank cars, made from wire. Simple, yet effective.
We were early on our return trip to Shumala, and waited at yard limits until the team switching in Shumala was ready to take us in.

"Let's go to the cafe on Chamisal Road. I hear they have a good lunch menu."
Shumala is on the Pacific Coast main line which runs on a bluff right next to the Pacific Ocean. Tony has captured that scene nicely with the MOW house high up on the cliff. I can almost hear the seals barking on the beach. I love how Tony has incorporated vignettes like this on the layout to create a feeling of place.

After the other team had left Shumala we go to work on our part of the session on the Shumala side. Throughout the day, I had a great time, and enjoyed the friendly chats, banter, and hospitality before, during, and after the session.

Thank you for hosting us today, Tony.

Chamisal Road down at the tracks


simmonmt said...

There's a typo in your link to Thompson's blog. It should be modeling rather than modelling.

Bernhard Beck said...

Thank you, Matthew. Fixed.