Southern Pacific’s Dayton Depot in May of 1980

One of the more popular posts on Rails West covered train orders and old school railroading.  That post has triggered a great deal of interest in seeing my photos of the depot.  In fact, one reader said his mom was in the photos and asked for more.  He said she’d be thrilled to see these pictures.  If I can make someone’s mom happy, I’m going to do it!

So I am sharing all the photos I took of that depot on that overcast day in May of 1980.  I loved that depot.  It was very photogenic, and I love capturing the work of dedicated railroaders keeping the freight moving!

Dayton Texas station May 1980 doorA thing of beauty –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Dayton Texas station May 1980 putting the ordrs out IIGetting ready for a train –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Dayton Texas station May 1980 putting the ordrs out–©photo by C. E. Hunt

Dayton Texas station May 1980 reverse side IICotton Belt caboose parked near depot to right –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Dayton Texas station May 1980 reverse sideKind of muddy, love the old cars –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Dayton Texas station May 1980 semaphoreSemaphore! –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Dayton Texas station May 1980 towards millRice mills in distance –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Dayton Texas station May 1980A little messy –©photo by C. E. Hunt

And here is a sequence from when a train came by.

SP freight Dayton TX May 1980Here it comes! –©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP freight Dayton TX May 1980 III love the sounds and feeling of an approaching train! (especially the old SP)–©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP freight Dayton TX May 1980 IIIGrabbing the orders –©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP freight Dayton TX May 1980 IVCool, new GB&W boxcars –©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP freight Dayton TX May 1980 VMore cool, new boxcars –©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP freight Dayton TX May 1980 VI more ordersLove how interesting freights were back then, railroaders in action working to get both the engine and caboose personnel informed.–©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP freight Dayton TX May 1980 VI more orders cabooseI love that era of railroading! –©photo by C. E. Hunt

I also had to go capture that caboose parked near the depot!

SSW caboose Dayton TX May 1980I miss these! More great cars.–©photo by C. E. Hunt

I am so glad I recorded these scenes.  I hope I made someone mom’s happy (and all my readers).

 

Alpine, Texas in the late 1970s, Part I

The Trans-Pecos region of Texas just north of Big Bend National Park offered some great rail operations in the 1970s when the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe served the region. Scenic Alpine, TX where the SP and ATSF met was in particular an interesting locale.  B. Smith was there to record some great shots.
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©B. Smith photo

The SP (now UP and Amtrak) depot, seen here in June, 1976.  There’s a box car spotted down the track to the left at Big Bend Wool & Mohair.  It was a regular receiver of rail shipments in the 70’s and 80’s.
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©B. Smith photo

Big Bend Wool and Mohair.
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©B. Smith photo

Short run-around track allowed cars to be spotted by train traveling either direction on main line.  For a brief period in the late 70’s short line box cars were spotted at white building on left to be loaded with lignite that was mined down south.  I don’t think many cars were loaded before operation ceased.  But I do remember six or seven box cars sitting here, 50 footers.  I was lucky a couple of times and saw this siding being switched by a main line freight.  There was another spur to the right of the depot that ran to Foxworth lumber yard that saw occasional rail shipments in the 70’s.
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©B. Smith photo

Big Bend Wool and Mohair with two cars spotted in August, 1977.  Spur track to lumber yard in foreground with switch to another spur that ran west (behind photographer) to a couple of warehouse-like buildings that had long ceased receiving rail shipments.  All these spur tracks have been removed in Alpine.
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©B. Smith photo

Spotted Big Bend Wool and Mohair, Alpine, TX, December, 1978.  Bringing in cattle feed supplement in bags.
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©B. Smith photo

The ATSF depot in Alpine (now Texas Pacifico).   ATSF had an agent here until about 1978! June 1976 photo.
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©B. Smith photo

Dumping ballast near the ATSF depot, July 1977.
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©B. Smith photo

Where the ATSF met the SP to get over Paisano Pass.  The interchange track is on the left between the ATSF track the photographer is standing on and the SP Sunset Route behind the box car.  July 1977 photo.
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©B. Smith photo

ATSF train with box cars going to Mexico.  August, 1977.
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©B. Smith photo

A caboose brings up the rear of the train.
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©B. Smith photo

ATSF has trackage rights for almost 12 miles over the SP to Paisano Pass.
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©B. Smith photo

An SP freight approaches Alpine from Paisano Pass.  December 15, 1978.
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©B. Smith photo

Amtrak Train No. 1, the Sunset Limited west bound departs Alpine, December 15, 1978.
Part II, will focus on an obscure customer north of Alpine.

San Fernando Valley, the epilogue

By B. Smith (all photos by author)

It has occurred to me that I haven’t said anything about how SP operated the branch.  I wish now I had paid more attention to this aspect.

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SP’s Burbank station on the Coast Route.-–©photo B. Smith

Growing up in Van Nuys I’d hear the train as it passed the Sepulveda Dam Recreational Area (then the Sepulveda Flood Control Area) as we lived two blocks north of where I took the photo of the track by the old barn.  For many years corn was grown in the Flood Control Area.  But by the time I’d get on my bike and get to where I could see the tracks the train was well out of view.  For a time in high school  where we waited for the school bus to take us home after school (My family now lived up in the hills over looking the Valley) was across the street from the Encino team track and if the local was running later than normal I would catch it there.  The baseball fields where I played little league were located on the old RKO Ranch movie lot denoted on the Encino map and I’d see the train there, although baseball games were on evenings or weekends and the train rarely ran then.  One Saturday though the train did come and two girls had walked out on the long bridge spanning the Los Angeles River.  Our field was the closest to the bridge.  Someone shouted here comes a train and the game stopped as parents rushed to the bridge to warn the girls who just made it off the bridge in time.  I don’t remember the train sounding its horn or slowing down.  And yes, I too was guilty of walking across that bridge a time or two.

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Tail track of the Chatsworth wye, with spur to the only ready-mix concrete plant along the San Fernando Valley Branch still getting rail shipments.-–©photo B. Smith

The trains I saw were almost always running east to west, from North Hollywood to Canoga Park.  From the maps (see post of December 13, 2015) you can see the majority of the switches would be trailing point with this direction of operation.  Cars going to the few facing point switches would be dropped into the spur using the flying switch technique.
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Site of SP’s Chatsworth station in May,1972.  The two story station had stood by the tracks on the far side of the three palm trees.  Nearby is where the San Fernando Valley Branch rejoined the Coast Route. It was from this location on September 12, 2008, that a Metrolink commuter train departed, ran a red signal, and collided with a UP freight.  View is looking north toward the Santa Susana Mts.-–©photo B. Smith

The San Fernando Valley has an Anheuser-Busch Brewery and had, until 1992, a General Motor’s Assembly plant just north of the Van Nuys airport on the SP (now UP) Coast Route.  I believe the local for the branch began there where it gathered the cars for the day’s run, ran east on the Coast Line to Burbank where it then entered the wye for the track to North Hollywood.  After working its way through Van Nuys, Encino, Reseda/Tarzana, and Canoga Park, it would rejoin the Coast Route in Chatsworth and run east back to the yard by the assembly plant and call it a day.
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SP beet train about to enter the first tunnel through the Santa Susana Mts. as it leaves the San Fernando Valley on the Coast Route.  May, 1972.-–©photo B. Smith

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It was around this curve where the Metrolink/UP freight collided in 2008.-–©photo B. Smith

There was one time a derailment on the Coast Route at the north end of Van Nuys airport that closed the line for a day or two and all SP freights had to divert through the San Fernando Valley Branch.  It must of created some backed up auto traffic in the valley as these long trains, and there were quite a number in those days, made their way along the line at maybe 20 mph, not sure what the track speed was, but it wasn’t fast.
This concludes this series on San Fernando.  We hope it triggers pleasant memories for some of you and great modelling references for others.  Thanks to B. Smith for sharing his great research, personal recollections and awesome photos!
Click on the below links for the previous posts in this series–

San Fernando Valley Branch, 1973 (Part II)

In an earlier post, I shared B. Smith’s excellent coverage SP action in the San Fernando Valley in the early 1970s.  In this post, we will drill down a little further into the nuts and bolts of the line’s operations again in the early 1970s with a few new photos, maps and field notes made by B. Smith as he documented the line in 1972.  This will be very useful for people interested in modelling the line and give the rest of us food for thought as to how many lines operated in the 1970s and somewhat beyond.

Here’s an overview map to start (Each of the boxes will have detailed maps and field notes to follow.  All the photos were taken July 20, 1972 and copyright B. Smith)–

San fernando Map bright.jpg

North Hollywood

Let’s head east to west and visit a little around the North Hollywood area to start.

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The San Fernando Valley Branch as it travels up the center of Chandler Blvd. in North Hollywood.  Looking east from near Laurel Canyon Blvd.

San Fernando Valley Branch passing under the Hollywood Freeway.  Facing west.

San Fernando Valley Branch passing under the Hollywood Freeway.  Facing west.

Noth Hollyhood Maps

Map of North Hollywood area.

Notes North Hollywood improved

B. Smith’s field notes on North Hollywood.  (The letters correspond to locations on the maps.)

North Hollywood map area, looking west with Lankershim Blvd in the immediate foreground.  he North Hollywood team track is just the other side of Lankershim on the right i

North Hollywood map area, looking west with Lankershim Blvd in the immediate foreground.  Hendricks Builders Supply (G. on the map above) was once the North Hollywood Pacific Electric station.  The North Hollywood team track area is just the other side of Lankershim on the right in the open area.  Pameco-Aire-Refrigeration is the brick building (darker color) in the center of the picture in the distance.

North Hollywood

Car of lumber being unloaded at Blanchard Lumber in North Hollywood, May 20, 1972. Looking east toward Vineland Ave. Pacific Electric cars once ran on a track that was where the photographer is standing.

OK, let’s head west on the branch over to Van Nuys in 1972.

Van Nuys

My beautiful picture

Looking west across Hazeltine Ave. in the Van Nuys map area as the San Fernando Valley local freight train disappears down the tracks.  Modern Materials Inc. is visible to the left of the tracks.  Between Modern Material and Hazeltine is the Shell Oil Co.distributor whose spur track is no longer used and blocked with 55 gal oil drums.  The Shell Oil Distributor located here about 1926 and received rail shipments until truck shipments took over.

Van Nuys map

B. Smith’s map of Van Nuys, 1972.

Notes Encino II

B. Smith’s field notes on Van Nuys, 1972.

My beautiful picture

UP box car spotted at the Glesby Building Materials Co. spur in the Van Nuys map area. The ready-mix cement company does not receive rail shipments nor was there ever a spur track located to it. The spur track leading off to the right goes to American Forest Products, a major receiver of rail shipments with about 25 cars per month.

Heading further west, we go near the Sepulveda Dam Recreational Area.

San Fernando Valley Branch as it skirts the Sepulveda Dam Recreational Area near the intersection of Victory Blvd. and Havenhurst St.

San Fernando Valley Branch as it skirts the Sepulveda Dam Recreational Area near the intersection of Victory Blvd. and Havenhurst St.

Now easing a little further west, let’s poke around the Encino area just a bit before heading over to Reseda.

Encino

Notes Encino

B. Smith’s 1972 map of Encino.

Reseda (Tarzana)

Notes Reseda

Map of Reseda area.

Notes Reseda II

Reseda field notes.

Now let’s end this tour at the most western part of the branch around the Canoga Park area.

Canoga Park

My beautiful picture

Facing south in the Canoga Park map area with Canoga Ice Co. on the left, here since 1927. Today this is a bike path and a dedicated bus route! Pyramid Pipe and Supply, which would have been behind the photographer is still in business, but everything in this photo is gone!

Canoga Park map

Canoga Park map.

Notes Canoga Park Picasa

Notes on Canoga Park

My beautiful picture

Looking north on the Canoga Park map area from near Vanowen Blvd. Conrock and Skyline ready-mix concrete companies are on the right but it’s been 3 years since a load of cement or gravel has been spotted on their spur track.

Wrap up

As we wrap up our visit of SP operations in the San Fernando Valley in 1972, let me leave you with a couple of overview documents.

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The best customers of the branch.

Notes 3

Here’s the stats on the number of carloads per customer in 1972.

Again, this is an amazing gold mine for anyone interested in modelling this branch in the early 1970s.  The operations were very diverse and interesting.  It would make a fascinating layout.

Next post will feature a detailed description of switching around Tarzana on July 12, 1972.

 

 

 

 

 

Rail Memories, Part II

Last post I shared some vignettes where I have done a little modelling to capture poignant rail memories.  This post I will share additional photos I took when I was a teenager of other scenes that evoke special memories that I may seek to at least partially evoke through modelling in the future (somehow).

Frito Lay Plant in Houston c. 1978-80

BN Hopper at Frito-Lay on Griggs Rpad in Houston July 1978 --©photo by C. E. Hunt

BN Hopper at Frito-Lay on Griggs Road in Houston July 1978. (Love the old tank car too) –©photo by C. E. Hunt

I loved riding by the Frito-Lay plant in the late 1970s.  There was almost always a tank car and a covered hopper, and it was frequently switched out.  The covered hoppers were almost BN or predecessor roads.  CB&Q and a variety of NP cars (green and gray) were common.

NP at Frito-Lay Jan 1979--©photo by C. E. Hunt

NP at Frito-Lay Jan 1979–©photo by C. E. Hunt

Wish I had taken many more photos there!

Cabooses!

Caboose on MP freight near Houston, August 1979. --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Caboose on MP freight near Houston, August 1979. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

I loved when cabooses trailed the train.  It was a nice closing to the experience of seeing a freight train.  It gave you closure as a rail fan.  It was a consolation prize of the train ending and gave the closing a human touch–especially as a kid, when a rail employee would wave to you.  It was as though the entire train was saying good bye.

Rock Island caboose in Houston in August of 1979 --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Rock Island caboose in Houston in August of 1979 –©photo by C. E. Hunt

BN caboose in Houston in May of 1980. --©photo by C. E. Hunt

BN caboose in Houston in May of 1980. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Almost mythical, lonesome branch lines

Prescott and Northwestern at Tokio ARK on the way to the gypsum mine Aug 1978

Prescott and Northwestern at Tokio, ARK on the way to the gypsum mine August 1978 –©photo by C. E. Hunt

There were special places across the landscape that had a mythical quality where you dream of seeing trains but never did.  One such place was near my Uncle Arnold and Aunt Molly’s farm in Arkansas.  Near their farm was a lonesome line that went off to a very small gypsum mine.  I did a post on this mine last year.  I finally found some of the photos I was looking for for that post, but I never found the picture of the Gypsum mine I took.

Prescott and Northwestern, Prescott, AR, August 1979 --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Prescott and Northwestern, Prescott, AR, August 1979 –©photo by C. E. Hunt

PNW in Prescott, AR--©photo by C. E. Hunt

PNW in Prescott, AR–©photo by C. E. Hunt

PNW Caboose in Prescott, AR, 1979--©photo by C. E. Hunt

PNW Caboose in Prescott, AR, 1979–©photo by C. E. Hunt

For many summers I hoped to catch the little train winding its way through the woods and over the hills to the mine.  I only captured it in my imagination.

The Southern Pacific

SP on Griggs Road, August 1978--©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP on Griggs Road, August 1978–©photo by C. E. Hunt

I grew up near a Southern Pacific line.   The line saw a lot of locals and an occasional long freight,  I vividly recall one highlight that took place at night. I remember a Southern (not Southern Pacific) caboose slowly trailing a long freight headed east.  I still remember being able to look inside because it was illuminated.  Funny how certain memories stick with you.  When I would go to bed at night and hear diesel horns from that direction, I would sometimes imagine what kind of train was passing on the line.

Also RS11#2926 on Griggs Road in July of 1978. --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Also RS11#2926 on Griggs Road in July of 1978. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP switcher servicing-warehouses on Griggs Road in January of 1979.  --©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP switcher servicing-warehouses on Griggs Road in January of 1979. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Those were the days.  I have more to share in Part III.

Southern Pacific in the San Fernando Valley in the early 1970s

The San Fernando Valley inside of and adjacent to Los Angeles has a rich history.  A number of Indian tribes lived there prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1769.  Missions dotted the landscape.  The Valley became part of United States in the late 1840s.  The Southern Pacific arrived in the 1870s.  Wheat and other commodities produced in the Valley were important sources of traffic.  Overtime, the SP spread across the Valley.

About a hundred years later, my friend B. Smith was on hand to see how things were going.

Unknown date in early 1972 (All captions by B. Smith)

Today's local.  Trains ran daily in 1972.---©photo by B. Smith

Today’s local. Trains ran daily in 1972.—©photo by B. Smith

The #2617 was the regular as you shall see…

Bakery still using rail, though no covered hoppers this day.--©photo B. Smith

Bakery still using rail, though no covered hoppers this day.–©photo B. Smith

SP's San Fernando Valley branch had many building supply firms served by sidings and team tracks.  All inbound loads, outbound empties.--©photo B. Smith

SP’s San Fernando Valley branch had many building supply firms served by sidings and team tracks. All inbound loads, outbound empties.–©photo B. Smith

The old Van Nuys freight station is now leased as as a warehouse when this photo was taken.  I believe carpeting was being stored in it for a local business. --©photo B. Smith

The old Van Nuys freight station is now leased as as a warehouse when this photo was taken. I believe carpeting was being stored in it for a local business. –©photo B. Smith

A short siding for a building supply firm with a UP box car, with roof walk, spotted for unloading. --©photo B. Smith

A short siding for a building supply firm with a UP box car, with roof walk, spotted for unloading. –©photo B. Smith

A view of the ready mix concrete business that received rail shipments.  --©photo B. Smith

A view of the ready mix concrete business that received rail shipments. –©photo B. Smith

July 1972

July 1972  -- SP's San Fernando Valley local that ran from Burbank to Chatsworth.  There were a number of lumber and building supply sidings, a bakery, a warehouse that received furniture, and team tracks. --©photo B. Smith

SP’s San Fernando Valley local that ran from Burbank to Chatsworth. There were a number of lumber and building supply sidings, a bakery, a warehouse that received furniture, and team tracks. –©photo B. Smith

Team track in Reseda. --©photo B. Smith

Team track in Reseda. –©photo B. Smith

--©photo B. Smith

Team track. –©photo B. Smith

May 1973

Team track in Van Nuys, CA. May 1973 --©photo B. Smith

Team track in Van Nuys, CA. May 1973 –©photo B. Smith

Sadly, the tracks have been removed, probably in the 80's, and the right of way is now an express rapid transit bus line. --©photo B. Smith

Sadly, the tracks have been removed, probably in the 1980’s, and the right of way is now an express rapid transit bus line. –©photo B. Smith

I can just see a Rockford Files episode being filmed here the next year when its production began in 1974.  I can almost make out Jimbo’s orange-gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit on stakeout in a couple of these photos.

Train orders, Dayton, Texas May, 1980. (Old school freight operations!)

SP freight at Dayton, TX May 1980.  Note engineer snagging the orders.  --©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP freight at Dayton, TX May 1980. Note engineer snagging the orders. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Before automation, train orders were used to determine which train had the right of way at any point along the line. They also passed along important information about unusual speed limits, track work, etc.

One day in May of 1980 as a 17-year old armed with my manual Minolta, I was in Dayton, Texas to capture a train order sequence.

Dayton Texas station May 1980 door

The station from which the employees put out the train orders had seen way better days. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

I noticed a bustle of activity as I heard a train horn in the distance.

A woman came out of the station to put out a train order for the approaching SP freight.--©photo by C. E. Hunt

A woman came out of the station to put out a train order for the approaching SP freight.–©photo by C. E. Hunt

I was thrilled to be able to capture this moment as the train approached.

Train approaches.  Order is in place.--©photo by C. E. Hunt

Train approaches. Order is in place. Note a second employee getting ready for something else. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

SP freight Dayton TX May 1980 III

The locomotive crew snatches the orders! Note the second woman approaching the the train order stand again.  –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Then the process was repeated.

The orders for the caboose are put on the stand.  Both station employees are now visible.--©photo by C. E. Hunt

The orders for the caboose are put on the stand. Both station employees are now visible.–©photo by C. E. Hunt

Here comes the caboose!

See the conductor reaching for the orders?  --©photo by C. E. Hunt

See the conductor reaching for the orders? –©photo by C. E. Hunt

Big-time, old school, freight railroading using train orders.

Technology has replaced all of this process, but I am glad I was able to capture the “old school” way in 1980.

A trip to the Roundhouse…(Part II)

When I was finally able to pull myself away from the turntable, I set out to explore to rest of the Hardy Street Shops.  The diversity of locomotives and cabooses was pretty impressive.  Also impressive, looking back, was the access a 16-year old boy had–just me and my hand-me-down Minolta.

SP locomotives at Milby Street Roundhouse Jan 1979 V

NW2 1310 in between assignments. See roundhouse in the distance. –©photo by C.E. Hunt

Sanding tracks, Hardy Street Shops, January 1979.  --©photo by C. E. Hunt

Sanding tracks, Hardy Street Shops, January 1979. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

The diversity of equipment was staggering.

SP Alco at Milby Street Roundhouse Jan 1979 II

Alco C628 resting, Hardy Street Shops, January 1979. –©photo by C.E. Hunt

SD-45  #9126 in for service.  --©photo by C. E. Hunt

SD-45 #9126 and SW1200 #2268 in for service. –©photo by C. E. Hunt

I had to go peek at the turntable one more time before I left this magical place…

SW1500 #2674 sneaks onto the turntable.  Will her twin fit?  --©photo by C. E. Hunt

SW1500 #2674 sneaks onto the turntable. Will her twin fit? –©photo by C. E. Hunt

In part III, I will share some of the cabooses I shot there as well as my sneaking up into an Alco S-6 (#1257) just a few months before it would leave the SP in July of 1979.

A trip to the Roundhouse…(Part I)

When I was 16 years old, I begged my dad to take me to the Hardy Street shops to take some pictures of the SP.  I am glad he agreed.  It is all gone now.  The Union Pacific moved locomotive servicing to other locations in and around Houston.  The day I visited, the place was covered with locomotives, including many Alcos.  In this day and age, It is amazing to think what access I had to the site–just a 16-year old boy and his all manual Minolta.

SP locomotives at Hardy Street Shops in January of 1979. --©photo by C. Hunt

SP locomotives at Hardy Street Shops in January of 1979. –©photo by C. Hunt

I was fascinated watching the turntable work.  Below are a few of the photos I took to capture it in operation.

Almost back inside.  Jan 1979. --©photo by C. Hunt

SP GP leaves roundhouse and enters turntable at Hardy Street Shops in January of 1979. –©photo by C. Hunt

Almost there!  Jan 1979. --©photo by C. Hunt

It begins to turn. Jan 1979. –©photo by C. Hunt

With the locomotive in place, the operator starts to turn the table.

Almost complete. Jan 1979. –©photo by C. Hunt

SP GP eases onto the turntable, Jan 1979.  --©photo by C. Hunt

SP GP eases off the turntable, Jan 1979. –©photo by C. Hunt

SP GP-9 leaves roundhouse and enters turntable at Hardy Street Shops in January of 1979

SP GP waits partially back inside Roundhouse January of 1979. –©photo by C. Hunt

The GP then eased back into the roundhouse.  Jan 1979. --©photo by C. Hunt

Here comes another one. Jan 1979. –©photo by C. Hunt

In part II, I will share what I encountered exploring around the facility.

The new layout (Part III) and an announcement concerning the site

In this post, I will do “an around the horn” discussion of the proposed customers along the line, starting east and working our way southwest to the end of the SP-DRGW line.

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Hernandez and Sons Beverage Distributors

The customer to be behind the ATSF box car is Hernandez and Sons Beverage Distributors.  It is the region’s Budweiser distributor. Beer cars bearing SP, UP, MP, WP and ATSF reporting marks will arrive full of “Suds.”  Business is usually a couple of loads a weeks, except for the holidays.  Last Christmas, there were five cars at once in town for this shipper.   In fact, a couple of boxcars were unloaded off the grain elevator track directly onto trucks for delivery.  You might say the boxcars served as a warehouse addendum for a few days.

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Mountain West Transload

Continuing down the line further into town, we see Mountain West Transload (where the two dirty UP boxcars are spotted).  Business is often boom or bust with MWT.  You may see strings of reefers loading onions or potatoes for a couple of 2 or 3 weeks, and then see very little traffic for a month of two.  Bagged beans and scrap paper are often loaded in boxcars as well.  MWT is toying with transloading corn syrup and cooking oil for a couple of factories in the valley, so tank cars may appear in the future to help provide more regular traffic.

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Carrizo Valley Co-op

Across from MWT sits the Carrizo Valley Co-op.  It is a full service co-op, but the primary traffic is wheat loading.  During the wheat season, six car strings typical load a few dozen times.  The 2 to 3 times a week service from SP-DRGW can become almost daily for a brief stretch.   Aside from wheat loading, the Co-op can receive other loads from time to time–box cars and covered hoppers of feed, off and on, the Co-op will handle molasses for cattle feed and an occasional box car of ranch supplies such as barbed wire or building supplies, etc.  Last year during a quiet time at the co-op, the county highway department used the track to off load a few covered hoppers of highway salt.

Here on, the next couple of customers are on the SP-DRGW, but actually serviced by the Pinedale and Limpia Creek.  The P&LC runs 25 miles up into the foothills into the Carrizo National Forest to service a medium-sized sawmill and a few other infrequent shippers including a scrap dealer, feedmill and a mining supply in Jimenez.  Occasional loads of acid and feed come in and scrap metal out.  However, 95 percent of the freight is outbound lumber and wood chips.

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Consolidated Perlite

Here just outside town, sits Consolidated Perlite. Except in the dead of winter, Consolidated Perlite will load anywhere from 3 to 8 cars a week.  It is a good reliable customer.  I will be kitbashing Walthers’ Cornerstone Diamond Coal Corporation to construct the loading and processing facility.

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Jimmy’s Scoria loading facility

Further towards the southwest sits the scoria loading area.  A couple of mines truck their production to this loading site.  Jimmy has a contract with both of them to load here.  As long as the weather cooperates, Jimmy is good for 2 to 4 loads a week.

At the end of the SP-DRGW line, we see the P&LC train coming into town.  The train will service Consolidated Perlite and Jimmy’s Scoria before setting out the interchange with the SP-DRGW.

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Pinedale and Limpia Creek train coming onto the SP-DRGW main.

All the names I have used are just working names.  The actual business, etc., may change names as the layout progresses.  I will see how they wear over time.

Well all that’s left is to do is — all this stuff — wire the layout, build the buildings, weather the locomotives and cars, construct the scenery, etc, etc.  Looks like you won’t be seeing many posts from me for awhile.  I have a layout to finish!

I will try to provide an occasional post.  I have been doing this site about a year, so it is time to slow down anyway–work on the layout, write my book, go hiking and do all the other things I must and want to do!  I hope you have enjoyed the site.  I am not going away, just slowing down.  Happy trails from Rails West!