Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Layout Plan Posted

Illustration courtesy of Model Railroader Magazine
In January 2011, Model Railroad Planning published an article about the Stockton and Copperopolis which included this nicely-drawn track plan. It is much better than the one I used to have on my old website and MR graciously gave permission to use it.

I will keep it available for those who are interested by placing it on the tab bar above.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Billerica and Bedford Book

My new book on the Billerica and Bedford Railroad has finally been received from the printer and is starting to be distributed. What is the B&B and what does it have to do with the Stockton and Copperopolis? The answer is "nothing." The book, however, is the culmination of a two-year project of mine to document the building of the first two-foot gauge railroad in the U.S. Many have heard of the Sandy River or Wiscasset Railroads in Maine, both two-foot gauge. All of these sprung from the B and B. If this kind of narrow gauge railroading is of interest, see my book's website at www.bb-rr.com. It is available direct through the website, at Karen's Books and Ron's Books.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New Blog for the S&C and a New Engine

After a few years with a separate web page, I have decided that the Stockton & Copperopolis should join the blogging community. The old website (www.sandcrr.com) still exists but there will not be any new posts to it. The blog format should make it a lot easier for people to follow and for me to have more frequent postings. We'll see what happens.

The latest project was to get an inspection loco running. These little engines provided an easy, but dignified, way for the division superintendent to get out and inspect his part of the railroad. It didn't need the full five-man crew that a regular train used and it made seeing the line a lot easier. Perched over the boiler, the superintendent could readily observe the line, dictate notes to his secretary and then return when he was done without needing a turntable (note the pilot on the rear). Not being expected to pull any cars, the engine itself could be very light weight.

The Ellen is brass imported by Fomras in the 1990s. I installed a Loksound Select Micro decoder in the cab and a 3/8-inch speaker in the tank. I wanted to use a Tsunami but it was just too long for the space. It turns out that the Loksound decoder has a real nifty feature. When the engine first starts to move, you hear the hissing of steam coming from the cylinder cocks for a short while before the familiar chuffing begins.

The Star as it appeared in the 1890s
The prototype of this engine was built for the Central of New Jersey Railroad in the 1870s and served them for several. Although the inspection loco popularity was pretty much limited to the eastern part of the country, S&C management thought it was a much better way to get the super out on the road.