Escondido, California 1974

By B. Smith

September 24, 1974 when I chased the ATSF local from Oceanside to Escondido.

Below is a photo I took around San Marcos.

 

 

A bit further along a covered hopper was set out below.

My beautiful picture

Editor’s note:  This scene inspired Ponderosa Feeds on the Rails West layout.  Click here to see it.– ©B. Smith photo

Escondido was, and still is, the end of the line.
My beautiful picture

— ©B. Smith photo

I don’t believe the line ever extended beyond Escondido.  I’m standing at the end of track in this photo (below) .  A lumber yard is off to the right and was still served by rail shipments.
My beautiful picture

— ©B. Smith photo

Below, a short spur ran to a ramp, probably to unload farm machinery.  I don’t know why the tank cars are over on that spur.  Today a pool supply company is located next to that spur.  Could these be chlorine cars? They don’t look like chlorine tank cars.

 

My beautiful picture

– ©B. Smith photo

My beautiful picture

– ©B. Smith photo

The local arrived having already run around a car of lumber and put it ahead of the engine.  One of the crew rode the point by sitting on the flat car.

My beautiful picture

– ©B. Smith photo

Two GP-35s were the power today.

My beautiful picture

– ©B. Smith photo

Of course, trains still had cabooses in 1974.

My beautiful picture

– ©B. Smith photo

The load of lumber was spotted first, the covered hoppers were then spotted by the colorful silos and empties pulled, the SP box was left on the stub end track by the station which served as a team track.

My beautiful picture

– ©B. Smith photo

The train to return to Oceanside barely fit in the run around track so the engines could get to the head end.
My beautiful picture

– ©B. Smith photo

Today this line still exists.  The area along the entire line has been turned into housing and the line hosts the Sprinter Light Rail system, but amazingly, the business with all the colorful silos is still there, and rail served.  The station is gone as is the ramp spur track.  Many photos over the years by Steve Vincent on railcarphotos.com are taken at this industry. One can enter “Escondido” and “CA” here to see them.

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Revisiting one of my favorite spurs in Texas

 

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View of spur from road looking west.

Along the Union Pacific in San Marcos, Texas, there’s an interesting short spur.  The spur was busy June 16, 2014 .  Two cars filled with what appears to be oats were spotted.  I discussed this same spur during the series on derails March 29, 2014.

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CNW 490119 spotted in San Marcos, TX on June 16, 2014

The unloading operation is simple and great for a model railroad–lots of operations, little space required.  All you need is an auger.

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There are no kits of an unloader of this nature.  It is a nice scratch-building opportunity.  Here is a post of one modeller’s efforts.

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The oats unload into this bin.

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Bin into which the oats are unloaded.

Then brought up the auger and put into a truck.

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CGEX 1781 spotted at San Marcos, Texas, June 16, 2014

This time, there was a second car waiting to be unloaded.  It had an aging, but attractive Cargill logo.

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The derail I discussed March 29 is still on the job!

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Here is an aerial of the spur.

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Aerial of spur

Here is a close-up.  Truck to which the oats are unloaded can be seen in this photo.

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Note truck with red cab standing by to receive unloaded oats.

Short spurs like this can add a lot of operational interest to layouts.