Rockfall diorama on the Mendocino Coast Railroad and Navigation Co.

Club member Frank Smith lives way down south and only comes to town once in a while. Whilst here he is a great help. A short while back he e-mailed me: “Do you know whether there is a picture of the outside, southeast corner showing the tunnel cave in? That’s where I worked a bit last time I was there installing the underlying structure for the hillside. Just curious about how it turned out.”

So, me and my kodak brownie took a few snaps. As you can the diorama turned out pretty well. An orchard is in the course of construction for the east side corner and the track has now been electrified. Progress, progress, progress.

Rockfall diorama - view 1

Rockfall diorama – view 1

Rockfall diorama - view 2

Rockfall diorama – view 2

Rockfall diorama - view 3

Rockfall diorama – view 3

Freight cars taking away rubble and bringing in supplies

Freight cars taking away rubble and bringing in supplies

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Two new Videos of the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad and Navigation Co. by Micheal Haven Osier-Mixon

Although Haven is one of our youngest members – he’s still in high school – he is one of our most creative. Below are two videos that he shot recently of our layout which are simply first class. If all goes well he is going to assist in shooting two more in the not too distant future.

Thanks Haven.

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Pile Driver for the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Navigation Co. layout

We want to add a pile driver on the foreground trestle in this picture:

Trestle awaiting a pile driver

Trestle awaiting a pile driver

We’ll probably build ours using these pictures. However if anyone has a plan they we would like to share we’d be truly grateful.

Kinsey photo

Kinsey photo

CWR track by Noyo river

CWR track by Noyo river

Trestle building - Smith Creek, Union Lumber Company. 1923.

Trestle building – Smith Creek, Union Lumber Company. 1923

Pile driver extending main line of Union Lumber Company's logging railroad. Ten Mile River, Mendocino County, California.

Pile driver extending main line of Union Lumber Company’s logging railroad. Ten Mile River, Mendocino County, California.

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Basil Casabona’s Santa Fe Super Chief Alco PA PB PA being tested

Club member Basil Casabona brought his brand spanking new Santa Fe Super Chief PA PB PA and a passenger coach down to the layout today for testing. Basil was adamant that the curves on the main track would handle his monster with no problem. Me? I wasn’t so sure. Well as you can see below I was wrong.

Basil Setting up for the test

Basil Setting up for the test

Looking through Tunnel #3

Looking through Tunnel #3

Coming out of Tunnel #2 (which is under construction)

Coming out of Tunnel #2 (which is under construction)

Leaving thjrough the west wall portal

Leaving through the west wall portal

Along the west wall

Along the west wall

Along the north wall

Along the north wall

When all the passenger cars are delivered the consist will be over 31 feet long! Fortunately, thanks to the recent efforts of a group of club members, we now have a siding long enough to hold Basil’s beautiful beast.

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Britain’s Narrow Gauge Railways

I bought this book to read on the plane on the way home from our vacation in England. I, predictably, fell asleep on the plane and it remained unread until very recently.

Front Cover

Front Cover

Whilst in England we rode on four narrow gauge railways all of which were but a hop step and a jump from where we were staying. The map inside the book shows the location of the 89 narrow gauge railways that one can ride. As you can see there is DEFINITELY a narrow gauge railway near whereever you are in Britain.

Railway Locator Map

Railway Locator Map

Remember all these railroads are narrow gauge. In addition there are well over a hundred heritage railways – the name given to railways that run standard gauge steam locomotives. Remember too that Britain comfortably fits into New York State. So, if you are like me, a narrow gauge nut, float your boat to the land of chips and fish!!!!!!

I have dog-eared the pages of the book on the railways to be considered for our next trip to blighty. Just to give you a sample here’s three I am salivating over …..

The Corris Railway

The Corris Railway

Golden Valley Light Railway

Golden Valley Light Railway

Threlkeld Quarry Railway

Threlkeld Quarry Railway

Want to check them out? Here are the links:

The Corris Railway

Golden Valley Light Railway

Threlkeld Quarry Railway

If you want more of my long short list let me know!!!!

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The Pomo at Point Cabrillo

Our club, the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad and Historical Society, has connections with the folks who volunteer at nearby Point Cabrillo lighthouse. Club member Joe Green works at the Gift Shop; Roger Thornburn, our website guru and his wife, Nancy, help with the maintenance and the gardens respectively. Joe told me that the historical displays had been updated and were first class. As I had not visited the lighthouse since I was quite sick I persuaded my wife Sarah to take a hike to see if what Joe had told me was right.

Point Cabrillo lighthouse must be one of the most photographed “things” along the Mendocino Coast – witness these shots:

Point Cabrillo at Sunset

Point Cabrillo at Sunset

Shot from the headlands at Mendocino with Point Cabrillo in the distance

Shot from the headlands at Mendocino with Point Cabrillo in the distance

Point Cabrillo

Point Cabrillo

Just had Joe had told me the exhibits inside the lighthouse were beautifully presented. There was a small but informative display about the Pomo as well as nice section and model of the Frolic. Check out our website here if you don’t know how the wreck of the frolic was the event that opened up the Mendocino Coast to logging.

One snippet on one of the displays really got me going …… “The region encompassing today’s Point Cabrillo reserve was favoured by the Mi-toam’ Kai Pomo (Wooded Valley People) ………… within the 300 acre Preserve there are 18 prehistoric sites.” I was totally freaked out that just one sentence was devoted to what must be a major historical site. I decided on the way home that greatly enhancing our website section on the Pomo is going way up there on my to-do list.

 

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New Excursion Car for the Mendocino Model Railroad & Navigation Co. built by Frank Davis

Frank Davis runs our Mendocino Model Railroad and Navigation Co. layout five days a week for our club. He does an absolootly super job looking after the layout as well as telling visitors the history behind the dioramas on our G Scale layout. He is also extraordinarily patient with the little ones who enjoy rushing in and out of the Barn wherein our layout resides and yanking on our train whistle. I can’t say that I am as patient.

When you enter our layout there is, on the wall, a monitor on which we play a movie of old time logging. In the movie there are two scenes of excursion trains taking Caspar Lumber Company and Union Lumber Company employees and their families out into the woods for picnics. The cars that the folks ride on are flat cars that have been converted for the day by the addition of benches.

Frank and his wife, Lynda, are accomplished O scale modellers. Frank kindly turned his hand to G gauge modelling by converting one of our flat cars into an excursion car just like in the movie.

Railbus and consist coming round in front of Basil Casabona's cliff face

Railbus and consist coming round in front of Basil Casabona’s cliff face

Frank Smith's outdoor excursion car

Frank Davis’s outdoor excursion car

Thanks Frank for letting visitors see what’s in the movie on the layout.

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Pictures from our old layout

One of our members came to the layout today and ceremoniously handed me some pictures of our old layout. Our old layout was my first experience of G scale and I shed a (crocodile) tear as I looked through the photos. Old club members look down and weep …….

One of our first consists

One of our first consists

Just past rocky gulch

Just past rocky gulch

Denny with a young visitor

Denny with a young visitor

Coming round the bend by the construction

Coming round the bend by the construction

2-6-6-2 when she was new

Basil’s 2-6-6-2 when she was new

No more nostalgia I promise!

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