This first photo is of The Sunset Pacific Ry., taken around mid-1999, as we were building our garden railroad. You can see the white centers of the fence panels where we were cutting in the blue paint around the edges. I happened to run across a packet of photos the other day and they were all of the Sunset Pacific Ry. I knew we’d taken all sorts of photos but I couldn’t find them. I’ll share a couple with you here and then will post them to the Facebook page for Sunset Pacific Ry.
The layout was shaped like a dog bone that was doubled over itself, so you had double tracks running in a circle at one end and then the tracks ran to the opposite end in a single line. And we had all sorts of sidings for businesses and houses. There was a roadway that meandered through the layout and then disappeared into the wall. The entire layout was built by Robert and me. He designed the layout and I helped wherever I could in the construction of it. All of the wood cribbing (the walls that hold up soil from one level to another) were created by Robert, as were almost all of the buildings and bridges/trestles. I picked out the plants and helped keep them pruned.
This next photo is a pre-event publicity shot for the year 2000 Garden Railroad Convention that was held there in San Diego. The pink station was borrowed from a friend because our station wasn’t quite ready for viewing. We opened our layout to the public for three days and two nights during the convention. We had over 800 people from all over the world visiting the layout, and we ran trains from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each and every day. We opted to run trains in the evening from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., showcasing all the interior lighting of the buildings and the lights we’d put in the miniature trees. By the end of the third day, every locomotive in our fleet had experienced some kind of breakdown, but we managed to keep at least one train running to the very end. It was a really great time and we made friends with people from all over the world.
I don’t expect that our new garden railroad will ever be part of a convention, but one never knows. We know we’ll have to have another Gold Spike Ceremony and gathering when the railroad is completed. That is our goal for this year–to get ‘er done!
Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.