Wednesday, June 9, 2021

It's Already Mid-June and the Mockup Station Area Land Clearance

I'm a bad bad bad blogger for not having published any updates since May 1, 2021. I would just rather mess around with the layout than write about about it. 

And mess with it I have. This photo was taken this morning.  Currently the area where the station and other SP PC buildings looks like it did in 1962 after the SP razed the area hopping to sell the land after moving the switching operations 4 miles east to new yard trackage at Ozul. Steam had been gone 5 years and there was not more reason for keeping any of the structures now 30-70 years old.

Except the SP didn't remove all the trees but did remove all the yard tracks.

The reason for my land clearance is that I have been just putting around with the scenery  in this area and it is time to get more serious with the final elevations and shape of the ground. It is also time to paint rail and ballast and that is much easier done if you don't  have the buildings in the way. I may also get the mainline done before the structures return.  This may take a while and I have volunteered to help with the virtual 2021 NMRA National Convention from July 5-10. 

I have been working on the retaining wall and walkway that went behind the station building. Yesterday, I went to Port Costa and measured the height and it was only 45 inches at the highest level part of the retaining wall.  This was a bit lower than the 60 inches (5 foot) height I had scaled from the 1931 SP drawing of the proposed rebuilding of this area following the December 1930 opening of the Carquinez Strait SP drawbridge. Well, the station turned out to be 90 feet long instead of the 106 feet on the drawing so what else was different. I need to trim the height of the retaining wall I have cut from 1/4 thick styrene before final assembly of that area and any photos in this blog. I am keeping the current mockup of the station building. Hopefully, this fall I will be able to do some research at the California State Railway Museum library in Sacramento and get access to the uncatalogued microfilm archives that will have the correct information particularly of the internal layout of the station building. 

I am also working on the double 45 foot SP signal and telegraph and pole fixture that stood at the end of the walkway. Apparently there was an extensive telegraph operation in the station building. The Western Union joint poles with the SP Signal and Telegraph department split at this point with the Western Union lines going up over the hills while the SP S&T lines remained along the right of way. Also at this point the SP S&T (and Western Union?) main lines went underground under the SP tracks and then through an underwater cable to the north shore of the Carquinez Strait. There was a small Western Union Telegraph Office sign on the NW corner of the Station building that I am trying to find a decal (or picture I can photo reduce) for my model. 

Enough for now. Will try to update before July.

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