Thursday, July 26, 2012

San Diego Model Railroad Museum (again)

I had the opportunity to again visit (last week) the San Diego Railroad museum in Balboa Park, this will make my third time, and hopefully not the last. If you have not experienced this place, you really should if your anywhere in the area.
 (they are closed on Mondays)

La Mesa MRR Clubs Tehachapi Pass Layout

Tehachapi - the name conjures up images of The Loop wherever railfans and modelers gather throughout the world. But railroading in Tehachapi is much more than just the loop alone. It involves the entire 70 miles of railroad between Bakersfield and Mojave. Building a replica of this line has challenged modelers just as the pass itself challenged the railroad barons of a century ago.

The La Mesa Model Railroad Club has responded to this challenge by building an HO scale (1/87th actual size) model of this joint Southern Pacific - Santa Fe line with nearly curve-for-curve and switch-for-switch accuracy. This single track railroad, built through a notch in the Tehachapi Mountains, carries nearly all north-south rail traffic between central and southern California. It is also the eastern outlet for most of the produce grown in the San Joaquin Valley.

Two of the most attractive things about the Tehachapi are the mountain scenery and the nearly continuous series of sharp reverse curves forced upon the railroad by the rugged terrain. The famous Loop is located at Walong siding, where an engine of a 100 car train spirals up to cross directly over its caboose 70 feet below. In several places the line doubles back upon itself, making it an ideal candidate for modeling. The model is unique not only for its size but for its geographic fidelity. Literally thousands of photographs of the prototype have been used to ensure that each detail closely models the features of the actual area

You have to love beautiful ballast.......

The San Diego & Arizona Eastern is the HO scale (1/87th actual size) layout of the San Diego Model Railroad Club. HO is the most popular scale in model railroading . The SD&AE models the prototype railroad of the same name connecting San Diego with El Cajon and El Centro. The San Diego - San Ysidro and San Diego - El Cajon portions are now part of the San Diego Trolley. This layout features an impressive 10 ft. high model of the Carriso Gorge (north of Jacumba in eastern San Diego County) and the Goat Canyon trestle. The actual trestle was the largest timber railroad trestle in the world at the time of its construction in 1932.

Because of the rough terrain, the SD&AE has been coined "The Impossible Railroad". The San Diego Model Railroad club meets every Friday evening.

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