First night sets new records

Dave Dodds, Modeler

Dave Dodds, Modeler

Tonight was the first night of our 68th Annual Open House. A full crew of cab engineers, yard operators, panel operators, and members working the extra board. In attendance were: Ron Merkel, Pat Keegan, Dave Flynn, Marc Thrasher, Bruce Thomas, Steve Smith Sr. (also working a Open House Chief), Pete DeBeers, James Keena, Lindsay Smith, Bryan Hunnell, Jerry Duncan, Bill Chappell, and Arie Korporaal

Day 2 and Day 3 of the 2016 version of the Open House are this weekend, November 5 and 6, noon to 5 pm both days. So only two more days left; pick one and come on down!

James was here!

Click to enlarge

James, favorite pal of Thomas, made a trip around the layout at tonight's club meeting. Engineer Steve Smith Jr. guided the English locomotive. James was designed and built at Horwich Works in 1912/13. He was an experiment of the 28 class.

Toby, running last, provided helper service on the grades between Bayshore and Highland. Toby is a GER C53 steam tram who came to Sodor after his tramway closed down. He works on Thomas' Branch Line. 

You never know what you will see running over the Highland Pacific Railroad tracks. 

Thomas and friends will move on to the Orange Empire Railway Museum for a two=-day stint on the same weekend as ourOpen House. 

We Are on the PSR Layout Tour!

Later this week the LA Junction Convention of the Pacific Southwest Region of the National Model Railroad Association gets under way in Culver City. You can check the details at the PSR Web site  One activity of the convention will be a layout tour on Saturday, September 24th.  Our layout is on the tour.  Here’s the schedule for Saturday:

10:30 AM to Noon - PSR Layout tour
Noon to 4 PM - Special Timetable Operations

Seventeen (count ‘em) Highland Pacific Railroad members are needed for a full operating session. You are needed to serve as crew for one of the following positions:

  • Trainmaster
  • Dispatcher
  • 5 Mainline Cabs
  • 2 Conductor/Switchman for assisting mainline trains
  • Vista Yard Operator
  • West End Yard Operator
  • Bayshore Harbor Operator
  • Delmar Passenger Terminal Operator
  • Roundhouse/Diesel Shop Hosteler
  • Doreing Local
  • Blue Island Local
  • Pinehurst Local

We will also need club personnel to shower, clean up, and act as hosts for our guests.See you at the club at 10 AM this Saturday. We need to straighten out the front room and make the place presentable just like you.

Let’s have a good show.

 

Pacific Southwest Region/NMRA Convention September 21-25

Bill Chappell, Modeler

Bill Chappell, Modeler

Bill Chappell, General Superintendent, has built this whimsical caboose. Bill intends to enter his scratchbuilt, lighted,  and detailed "caboose" in the upcoming PSR Convention in Culver City at the end of the month. 

The LA Junction, PSR Convention runs from September 21–25, 2016 at the DoubleTree Hotel Los Angeles–Westside. For details information on convention facilities, visit the website 2016 PSR/NMRA Regional Convention on the web. Our own James Keena is a member of the convention planning committee.

Speaking of which, James will be giving two clinics at  the convention on Friday, September 23rd.  The first clinic at 4 PM is where he will present tips and techniques on Weathering Flat Cars and Gondolas (Part 1). And if you haven't gotten your fill of flat cars by then, James will offer Part 2 of the clinic, Building Loads for Flat Cars and Gondolas (Part 2), this time at 6:30 p.m. That could turn out to be a nice way to spend a Friday evening. Compare that to watching reruns of Lockup on TV.

You can register for the convention online this year. Registration can be mailed (forms are at the club) or you can register onsite. See you there.

 

Denver's Caboose Hobbies to Close in September

Caboose Hobbies, the world's largest model railroad store will close it doors on September 25th. The Denver Post is reporting that the widely known model railroad mecca has lost its lease and the owner has no interest in finding a new location. The Post article conflates the loss of lease with unrelated issues of an aging population participating in the hobby.

Nonetheless, the well-known hobby shop will soon be gone. It isn't clear whether the extensive online business will continue. You can read more of the Denver Post article for more information.

Timetable Operating Session Highland Pacific Railroad, Wednesday, August 31st

Timetable 7
Click on the timetable for larger image.

The next Highland Pacific Railroad operation session is scheduled for Wednesday, August 31, 2016 beginning at 7:00 P.M.  Timetable #7. above, will be used for this operating session.

We will again use our "old school" track assignment method of operations where you will control the turning on and off of your own blocks along the railroad from your own cab. Clearance from the Dispatcher is still required so that he knows where your train is and where it is going. The turning on of your blocks will assign track power and will align switches for you along the railroad.

Movements to and from yards still requires clearance from either the Dispatcher or Yard Masters. Train movements will be by the timetable schedule so do not leave before assigned times or until the train you are to meet has passed. So bring a watch or another form of time keeping device (cellphone or smartphone). Always remember to turn off unused blocks behind you.

Remember that Class of Trains and Westward trains have right-of-way over Eastward trains. Therefore, this will give you guidance as to where you will need to take sidings for meets. Extras and locals are low men on the totem pole and will have to stay out of the way of higher class trains unless they receive specific helping orders from the dispatcher.

Likewise, locals and peddler freights will need to be mindful of scheduled trains when working industries at Bayshore, Blue Island,  Deka, Doring and Pinehurst.

The Dispatcher will be available to assist should trains run late or if there are additional extras that are to be run. Use the closed-circuit phones to contact the Dispatcher or Yard Masters if you have questions or need assistance.

17 Highland Pacific Railroad members are needed for a full operating session. You are needed to serve as crew for one of the following positions:

  • Trainmaster
  • Dispatcher
  • 5 Mainline Cabs
  • 2 Conductor/Switchman for assisting mainline trains
  • Vista Yard Operator
  • West End Yard Operator
  • Bayshore Harbor Operator
  • Delmar Passenger Terminal Operator
  • Roundhouse/Diesel Shop Hosteler
  • Doreing Local
  • Blue Island Local
  • Pinehurst Local

Be there or be square.

Steve Smith Rides the Rails into Town

Seve Smith works the Del Mar Passenger Station to ready a train for departure.

Steve Smith, former member and long-time friend of the club has been in town the past several meeting nights. Steve, a conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad, commutes between Los Angeles and Las Vegas when his name comes up on the extra board at the Los Angeles Service Unit. He is waiting for his transfer to the Las Vegas Service Unit. 

When not running one to one scale trains he models the Union Pacific. He says his favorite modeling era is "today." 

Some members remember Steve visiting the club when he was a kid who could barely see over the layout edge. Of course, he is much taller now and much, much older. Come on down and get reacquainted with Steve.