Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yosemite and Private Railroad Cars

Tacked onto the tail of the Capitol Flyer is the Argonaut en route to Milton. The leaded glass windows are decals applied to clear styrene windows.
Part of an 1870s brochure advertising
the Yosemite "package."
When someone wanted to travel to the Yosemite Valley in the 1800s, the average person would leave San Francisco at 4:00 p.m. on the Stockton steamer. By 7:00 a.m. the next morning, he was on the S&C train to Milton where he board a stage. He changed stages at Chinese Camp, stayed overnight at Garote and then transferred to a pack train and was in the Valley by 2:00 p.m. the next day. Only a two-day trip! If you had a lot more money, you had your private switch to the S&C train, left it at Milton and then took the stage/pack train. Old-timers said there was always a private car or two at Milton awaiting the return of their owners.
   To simulate this on my model Stockton & Copperopolis, a few private cars were needed. Well, at least one. A couple of weeks ago, a visiting operator left me with a Model Die Casting Palace observation car kit. Since I had no other big projects in mind, I put the kit together, made up some lettering and here is the result, ready to be pulled to Milton so its owner can sojourn in the fabulous Yosemite Valley.
The Argonaut blocks F Street while its owner gets a newspaper from the depot. The rear platform awning is paper glued to the car end. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Scenes Along the S&C

Looking down one of the aisles on the S&C. Farmington lies in the distance with Peters at the left.
Recently, a friend of mine and reader of this blog told me that he would love to see overall shots of the railroad rather than just closeups of individual scenes. While I like photos that look prototypical, I can understand his request. We all live in the real world and, after all, the Stockton & Copperopolis is a model railroad so I decided to take a few shots of what the layout looked like to we real people.
   The photos were taken to produce a sort of mile-by-mile picture of what we are building. Just click on the link right under the title photo above or click here. When I have some more scenery, I hope to produce some stereo cards just as they might have done in the 1800s. That's in the future for now, though. I hope you enjoy the tour.