•March 8, 2009 • 1 Comment
No. 1 gave a show-stopping performance
Engine No. 1, the “Caroline,” went to Hollywood this weekend as the Pacific Coast Railroad hosted the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival for a second consecutive year. Roughly 300 turned out to the event, enjoying train rides and various other activities.
The chuck wagon
As part of the show, a train robbery was staged by Old West bandits on horseback.
These, however, were no ordinary band of desperados; their leaders was none other than Western film star David Carradine, most recently of Kill Bill fame and host of the History Channel series Wild West Tech. The theme for today’s event was honoring Hollywood’s cowboy stunt men. There was also an authentic Chuck wagon all decked out and on display.
Desperado David Carradine ready to rob Rob's train
The evening also included a screening of the 1938 movie “Stagecoach” complete with an introduction by Carradine, whose father starred in the film. Carradine’s brother and fellow actor Bobby was also present. The brothers Carradine are no strangers to railroad scenes, with David, Keith and Robert having filmed The Long Riders on the Sierra Railroad in 1980.
The day found Jim McEntire hogging, with Phil Reader firing and Patti, Dennis, Aron Kahn, Rob, Mike and Harry on the train. It was a beautiful day for railroading and lots of fun for all.
•March 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment
SMVRR engineer Anthony Torres running No. 3
Yesterday, we ran for a company outing for the Santa Maria Valley Railroad. The event went well and saw many members of the SMVRR crew present. Jim was engineer, with Brad firing and Patti and Dennis on train crew. We even had SMVRR engineer Anthony Torres as a guest engineer running the No. 3 for a trip. I think we might have given him the steam bug.
The Brothers Himoto tend to their culinary duties
Rob Himoto and his brother Ray did the cooking chores — appropriately,in Santa Maria style — which included a menu of fire grilled chicken, a big roast, beans garlic bread, baked potatoes and broccoli. This also meant that we had three BBQ pits going at once. We had around forty or so guest and everyone had a enjoyable day.
•February 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Today I finished the bracket project on the Porter. These brackets will serve two functions. Not only are they decorative and allow the Porter to be dressed up for special runs with American or extra flags; they are also sturdy enough to act as grab irons when climbing up on the Porter’s pilot deck. This has always been a safety concern on this engine. We are constantly looking for improvements to the engines that not only help their performance, but also keep our crews from injury. Safety First! We also explored different paint tools and products for completing the stenciling boxcar #3126. Even though she looks lovely in her new paint livery, she will not look like a real PCRR boxcar until she has her lettering. Because her wood is pretty rough after all the years, even with the new paint, it will be a challenge to complete sharp, precise lettering. We are going to experiment with some different products and share our findings here on the blog.
•February 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Ted Van K. and his newly-completed handcar
Bill and Toby
It was a busy day at the Ranch today. While rainy in the morning, the afternoon was sunny and reminded everyone that Spring is just around the corner.
While Phil continued working on a project on the Frankenporter, which will be revealed in a subsequent entry, the shop was a buzz with activity. Ted Van Klaveren brought his hand car over for a few finishing touches. It sure is nice. Meanwhile, Bill Rust was busy getting the bugs out of his speeder and after a full day working at the Depot, Karell came up to cook dinner on her Cowboy Hibachi…mmmmm! Marinated Roast Chicken on the spit. It turned out delicious and was yummy with stuffing and fresh broccoli. It was the perfect end to a great day.
•February 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Couples Conductoring: Dennis and Patti
We had an a run day this evening for Ancient Peaks Winery Wine Club. This event was thrown together with only 24-hour notice. I even tempted fate today by firing up the Frankenporter on Friday the 13th. It actually ran and fired quite well. This was also the public debut for the Porter’s new tender lettering. The crew consisted of Ted Van Klaveren and Bill Rust as trainmen, Patti LaRose and Dennis Thurman as co-conductors, Jim McEntire behind the throttle and myself firing. I even made a big pot of stew on the wood stove for everyone.
Engineer Jim McEntire
Stew on the stove (and Oil Can's recycled Ikea college furniture in background)
It was very good on a chilly evening, but here is a picture of it steaming in the black pot. Many thanks to the volunteer crew for helping on short notice!
•February 7, 2009 • 1 Comment
A complete ride on the “610 Limited” during its last season of operation, both from the train and on the ground. P.C.R.R. No. 1 was the original locomotive when Astroworld opened in 1968, and ran to the very end…
•January 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Steve Peck at the throttle of the "Caroline"
This past Saturday, Steve Peck paid us a visit from Colorado. Like myself, Steve is a true Looper, having been in engine service with the original Georgetown Loop R.R., Inc. for over ten years.
We Ran the #1 with a short freight made up of Boxcar 3126 and caboose #303. We later ran several runs for Steve and let him have a crack at the throttle. We even set up a few photo run-bys just for Steve.
As part of the days activities Patty and Dennis threw a big Santa Margarita style BBQ that included Try tip, beans garlic bread and salad. Harry and Mary came out to help along with Brad and Karell.
Short freight at the yard
Later I took Steve down to the Bitter Creek. Karl as usual was a great host and took us on a tour of not only the Bitter Creek & Western but also to Peter Nott’s 2′ gauge shop.
Steve had a good time and left that evening speechless. There is a good chance that Steve will be visiting us again in the future.