It was a packed house last Friday when we held our monthly Operations session, with members and guests a plenty in attendance. Once trains got moving, there was nary an open space of track available as long trains and multiple section trains traversed the layout.
Everyone had fun and much freight was moved. Check out the pictures below for some railfanning shots taken during the evening.
We had our June operating session a couple weeks ago, and thought we’d post some photos of the evening. In total, about 24 trains were run by members and guests, including a bit of varnish and some commuter service. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to stop by and check us out at our next Ops on Friday, July 26th – We look forward to seeing you!
Our intrepid Engineer is working the Yardmaster in Nowheres to sort out the engine and cars he needs for his Southbound train
Northern Pacific 5138 (a Challenger) is pulling into Paso for a water stop and to let Nowheres clear up. It’s lugging 30 cars for Nowheres to break down and sort into future trains.
An NKP Berkshire is crossing right in front of McKeown coal with some hoppers for switching in Jacksonville.
Mail pays the bills, and so here both 400 (coming off the branch) and 220 (outbound to Hemet) have to wait while train 99 makes its way through Dayton Junction and on to Bakersfield.
SVL’s Pathfinder pulls into Hemet’s new station platform to ensure that proper clearances were adhered to when it was built
Hopefully the crew for 220 has a clean stack and won’t need too much power to pull cars – they forgot to use an idler, and as you can see, there’s not a whole lot of space for exhaust…
The great thing about the Bay Area is that we are a melting pot of cultures and interests and our members show this diversity as well. Some of our club members do enjoy running trains from their home country, and as such, bring their trains out from time to time to run on the layout, typically on the weekends or quieter periods.
Saturday was one of those days, and in passing by SVL, we had some German locomotives and wagons roaming around the layout!
On Saturday June 8th we held the spring/summer instance of our twice yearly Open House. Trains were kept humming across the lower level loop as guests young and old ran trains, and we had a few people even try their hand at switching cars. Despite all of this action, we managed to not have too much chaos on the tracks!
Check out below for a few pictures from Open House.
Don’t worry if you missed out or your schedule couldn’t accommodate the time. Reach out to us on Facebook and/or via email and we’ll be happy to try and work with you to show you around and let you run a train. At the very least, feel free to come down to one of our monthly Ops sessions!
While cleaning out the garage, I came across an old membership application for the SVL from 1988, when the club was still new, modular, and operating in a pair of trailers in the Milpitas area. This was just after the six founding members had put up $600 each to buy the trailers from GE.
It’s interesting to see that in a standard Ops session, we’d run 10 trains, most of which were passenger. 30 years later, we run about 20+ trains in a given operating session, but almost exclusively freight (Hey, that’s pretty prototypical, no?). We still use DTC for our Ops sessions, but command control and touchpanels have definitely made our lives simpler for those of us operating the layout.
Regardless, it’s an interesting find from 30 years ago in the club’s history. Who knows what the next 30 years holds. Only time will tell!