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This layout will represent a section of the Southern Pacific set in Central California from San Francisco to Santa Clara and from Santa Clara to Felton in the Santa Cruz mountains. At Felton an interchange with a 3 feet Narrow Gauge line take up to Boulder Creek area.
Era represented is from 1939 to 1943. This selection is to have 99% of the roster as steam and some degree of “just gone” depression time ( I like the old wood buildings and they not well maintained look ) but at the same time having on tracks the latest steam developments (GS4, oh wonder !)

Track plan ( revision 3.26 )
Click on Plan to display (or print ) a bigger resolution image . Square on drawings are 10x10cm

The Route ( use little imagination, please ! )

Daily trains are departing from San Francisco in the Mission Bay yard ( for freights ) and from 3rd and Towsend station for passengers.

Passengers stops are regular at San Carlos and Menlo Park.
A final stop for commuter service is at Santa Clara Junction, where also local industries are growing after Depressions and ... waiting for the War.

A branch line is rolling on the mountains up to Felton , entring in a tunnel to reach Santa Cruz on the ocean on other side.

In Felton an old 3 feet Narrow line is climbing to Boulder Creek and the giants redwood forest where some logging activities are still surviving.

Click on image for a better view
in a separate window.

Daylight and Lark departure from SF to Los Angeles ( and back ) are an attractive resource for train watchers along the ocean shore.

Commuters living SF after a hard work day in the evening, are taken under the Potrero tunnel 1 and …. after a while ( passing trough a non-stop depot ) arrived at San Carlos, a distinctive stone depot , where can wait for a 1st class Daylight train coming. From here ( passing trough another non-stop depot ) a second stop in Menlo Park (another delicious depot) and a short view of the Bay and the train arrived at Santa Clara, where the commuter route terminate. Trains are sending back to SF in the nigth ( or taking again passengers in the morning) where are serviced at the 3rd & Towsend station. Express Mail service between SF and Santa Clara is provided sharing same trains.

Freights are usually “specials” on this part of the Bay, but run frequently and I have provided lot of “reason” to be . Industries are distributed along the route, mainly near the stations on a spur track. Freights types are very different : milk, fruits and lettuce are coming from the orchards in the country south of Santa Clara, as well logs are originated in the mountains and are taken to SF port to be loaded to ships, to a Pulp Mill that supply raw materials for a Paper Co in Santa Clara, and sliced logs from a Sawmill near Fenton are taken to a Furniture Manufacturer. Mechanical spare parts are taken from the ships to different resellers ( Santa Clara , Menlo Park and SF have one). Guns powder is manufactured a mile from Felton and are delivered with “specials “ trains to SF port. Rocks (or sand ?) is taken from the mountains and forwarded to ships too. A “parallel” word of "anything" is transported by Railway during the years at the end of the 40’ providing food and jobs for all the Bay settlers.
And, I forget to mention the ferry apron in SF port: there is a ferry waiting freights for the “other side of the Bay”. ( this can be used as “cassette” staging too) .

Branch lines: an interesting part of this railroad I think are two secondary lines.
Both are real but I’ve forced it to exist during the selected years and are a good example of “what if … “ fantasy.
The first one is the branch to Los Gatos and the following line to Fenton and Santa Cruz. In reality this line was abandoned in the 1940 after a very hard winter full of rain that, more or less, destroyed the right of way , but … “what if” are not closed ?
Trains are transporting logs to the main line users and locals are going up and down to the Felton community taking food, dresses as well repair parts for the mountains loggers. Tourist trains are planned during the week-end taking peoples to mountains camps or (mostly) to the beaches around Santa Cruz ( and back too! ) .
The old narrow gauge line from Felton to the top of the mountains are still alive (in reality SP have standard gauged all the line during the years before) , but, again … “what if” not jet .. ? Old narrow gauge steams are puffing up and down, taking locals freights and some passenger to the “civil” world down the hills. Logs are worked in an old sawmill and transferred to the standard gauge flats for the user downhill. The mountains at these time are not just for bikers or boy-scouts : are full of activities!

Brainstorming rooms .....

This plan can be found also on :

"Layout Design group SIG" at : http://ldsig.org/wiki/index.php/Category:Critiques

"The 3rdPlanIt User Supported Website" , at http://3pi.info/superark/index.php ( select the "Layouts" folder icon)

"Train Player" site : http://www.trainplayer.com/Site2/User%20Track%20Plans.html ( in the "User plans" section)

I will appreciate evaluation and maybe (for sure?) suggestions

Using Sarbon maps I’m preparing a list of some candidates for the local industries, but , living here in Italy makes not simple to collect info and pictures of the real buildings.
If you want to help me to realize my dream sending additional info or documentation of the related area, buildings and industries , write me by e-mail.

I try my best, but I'm available to learn from the Masters, and why not, from any RR fan.

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Last update :
Nov 2009

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