Jackson Demonstration State Forest

What is a “Demonstration Forest?” A Demonstration Forest is timberland that is managed for forestry education, research, and recreation. It demonstrates innovations in forest management, watershed protection and restoration, and environmentally sensitive timber harvesting techniques. In such a Forest good forestland stewardship is shown by management for a sustainable timber production. At the same time, the Forest is open to the public at no charge. Demonstration State Forest timberlands are publicly owned by the State of California. They are managed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF). As a group, they are financially self-sustaining due to the value of timber harvests.

If you traverse Route 20 between Fort Bragg and Willits you will see a sign that says, “Jackson Demonstration State Forest.” Jackson Demonstration State Forest is the largest demonstration forest operated by the State of California. The forest is entirely located within Mendocino County on land formerly owned by Caspar Lumber Company along California State Highway 20. Logging of the area began in 1862, and intense industrial logging has taken place for many decades. There have been several generations of harvests and replantings. The 48,652 acres that make up the forest were purchased in 1947 and the demonstration forest was created in 1949. Coast redwood is the most common type of tree in the forest, but there is also Douglas fir, grand fir, hemlock, bishop pine, tanoak, alder, madrone and bay myrtle. The elevation of the land varies from 80 to 2,200 feet. Precipitation near the coast averages 39 inches per year, but the average is 70 inches per year inland. The temperature reaches a low of 25 °F (−4 °C) and a high of 100 °F (38 °C). The name Jackson comes from the name of the man who bought the Caspar Lumber Company from its first owner. The buyer was Jacob Green Jackson.

This map shows the extent of the forest.

Map of Jackson Demonstration State Forest

Map of Jackson Demonstration State Forest

If you want to know just how twisty Route 20 is just run your finger along the red line. Allegedly there are 312 twists in the road between Fort Bragg and Willits.

CWR (California Western Railroad) Tunnel #1 collapse in April 2013

There was a  major collapse (thousands of tons of rock falling onto and covering approximately forty feet of track) in April of 2013 in CWR’s  #1 Tunnel some 10 miles from Fort Bragg. Whilst some repairs have been effected the tunnel is still closed. Heretofore I have not seen any photos of the collapse and initial work to re-open it. That has changed with club member Lonnie Dickson obtaining from his neighbor some pictures that the neighbor took personally. Alas, I have no further information – just the pics below:

600 Miles of Scenic Britain in One Day

I cut this out of the January 2013 copy of a British Mag named, “Best of British.”

Cutting from Best of British

Cutting from Best of British

Now remember I am an ex-auditor. Auditors are VERY suspicious SOBs. If you get to be a partner in a major auditing firm it means you are a very serious SOB. So I was VERY suspicious as what is described by Mr. Sutcliffe as being doable. One way of checking it out (obviously) is to go and try it. The other alternative is to do a virtual tour.

I thought that the internet, being what it is, would make the exercise a doddle. Like all battle plans my battle plan failed on its first encounter with the enemy. There are billions of sites flogging you tickets you tickets which are worse than useless for what I wanted. To cut to the chase I finally did get it sorted.

The first stage is from London to Leeds. Below is a route map and a view of the rout from a satellite. The view from the satellite shows what the terrain looks like along the journey.

As you can see from the satellite pic there’s not much to see.  From London to Leeds takes  2 hours 11 mins. Leave on the 7:03 am and you’ll arrive at 9:16 am – 169 miles covered.

The next section is quite short from Leeds to Carnforth.

Leeds to Carnforth takes 1 hpur 40 mins. I “took” the 10:18 am and arrived at 11.50 am. 55 miles covered, total miles so far 224 miles.

Next section is from Carnforth to Barrow-in-Furness, This is a very short section as you can see below:

Carnforth to Barrow in Furness takes 53 minutes if you take the 12.12 pm. It arrives in Barrow -in – Furness at 1.05 pm. 18 miles travelled making a total of 242 miles so far.

Next is from Barrow – in – Furness to Carlisle. This is VERY scenic.

From Barrow in Furness to Carlisle takes 2 hours 5 mins. The 1.16 pm from Barrow gets you to Carlisle  at 3.46 pm.  Journey is 55 miles making a total of 297 miles.

So far so good. Next from Carlisle back to Leeds. Again VERY scenic.

Carlisle to Leeds takes 2 hours 39 mins.  Take the 4.18 pm and one arrives  at 7.08 pm.  94 miles covered – 391 miles cumulative.

The last leg is from Leeds back to to London, Travel time  2 hours 11 mins. The 7.45 pm from Leedsw arrives in London at 9.59 pm.. Distance travelled is 169 miles making a total of  560 miles,

Not 600 miles but pretty close.

Am I going to try and do it? It’s added to the bucket list!


Vancouver Garden Railroad

If you have half an hour I have two vids of an astoundingly beautiful G scale garden railroad located on Vancouver Island. A Canadian couple gave me a heads up. They told me that when visiting relatives they had been taken to this great garden railroad. Two years ago it was selected by the Victoria Conservatory of Music for a fund raising event as one of 10 outstanding gardens in the area. 600 donors came to see it during one weekend and loved it.

This vid is a cab ride on the Layout. It takes you on a trip over 1,500 feet of a specially landscaped Garden. the layout is called Gartenbahn, Fuehrerstandsmitfahrt.

This vid takes you around the same route in the opposite direction. The views are quite different.

It’s probably the best “true” garden railroad I have ever seen.

The City Edge Layout Model Railroad with amazing Miniature Cars in HO scale

Before you read any further have a look at this blog from a while ago about Minatur Wunderland – the worlds larges HO layout. Now have a look at this blog about the automated road system you saw in first two vids,

A recent visitor told me that the The City Edge Layout Model Railroad  created and built by Vic Smith also has automated vehicular traffic. The layout is located near Lambert International Airport in Bridgeton, Mo, a suburb of St. Louis. Featuring street running and Kato’s Amtrak night running scenes along with Broadway’s Union Pacific AC6000’s transporting Athearn and Intermountain double stack units across the city’s elevated rail structure by Micro Engineering. Along with a nostalgic trip of Broadway Limited Santa Fe’s War Bonnet F7’s pulling a set of lighted California Zephyr cars while a trio of NW2 switcher engines carefully perform some street running down Market Street. This layout runs a variety of trains and rolling stock from many different eras for a wide range of entertainment for layout visitors. This 10 minute vid shows you the layout:

This vid shows the automated street traffic.

Amazing stuff what!

Galloping Goose (Geese?) Railcars owned by the RGS (Rio Grande Southern Raiload)

We, the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Navigation Co.. own two. One is G Scale and runs on our layout. The other is an HO model and resides in our Museum/Library. The Galloping Geese have a fascinating story to tell:

Galloping Goose is the popular name given to a series of seven railcars (officially designated as “motors” by the railroad), built in the 1930s by the Rio Grande Southern Railroad (RGS) and operated until the end of service on the line in the early 1950s. Originally running steam locomotives on narrow gauge railways, the perpetually struggling RGS developed the first of the “geese” as a way to stave off bankruptcy and keep its contract to run mail into towns in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. There was not enough passenger or cargo income to justify continuing the expensive steam train service at then-current levels, but it was believed that a downsized railway would return to profitability. The steam trains would transport heavy cargo and peak passenger loads, but motors would handle lighter loads.

Motors were not only less expensive to operate, but were also significantly lighter, thus reducing impact on the rails and roadbeds. This cost saving meant that the first Goose was paid off and making a profit within three weeks of going into service. RGS built more Geese, and operated them until the company abandoned their right-of-way in 1952.

The RGS built its first motor in 1913, as a track maintenance crew vehicle. This was wrecked in 1925, but inspired the idea of using motors for scheduled service.

All of the “geese” were built in the railroad’s shops at Ridgway, Colorado. The first was built in 1931 from the body of a Buick “Master Six” four-door sedan. It was more conventional in its construction than the later geese, though it had a two-axle truck in place of the front axle. Part of the rear of the car was replaced by a truck stake-bed for carrying freight and mail; this was later enclosed and partially fitted with seating. It was used for two years to carry passengers, US Mail, and light freight before being scrapped.

US mail Galloping Goose

US mail Galloping Goose

A second “goose” was built in the same year from another Buick, but later versions used Pierce-Arrow bodies except for #6, which was constructed partly out of parts taken from the scrapped #1.

No. 2 and No. 6 were constructed with two trucks, with the rear truck powered on both axles. #2 had an enclosed freight compartment (like a very short boxcar), while #6 had an open bed similar to #1 (but larger). It was used only for work train service. The other four had three trucks and were articulated in the same manner as a tractor-trailer truck. In these, the second truck was powered, and the freight compartment was essentially a conventional boxcar.

Initially, the “geese” were painted in black and dark green. In 1935 they were all painted in a silver scheme which they retain to this day, though the style of lettering and heralds changed over the years. In 1945, #3, #4, and #5 were rebuilt with Wayne bus bodies (at least the front half) replacing the old Pierce-Arrow bodies. This provided more passenger seating and comfort. A year later they also received new war surplus GMC engines.

Crews taking up the narrow-gauge rails the Geese ran on, September 1952. In 1950, when the railroad finally lost its mail contract (in favor of highway mail carriers), #3, #4, #5, and #7 were converted for tourist operations, and the “Galloping Goose” name was officially recognized by the railroad. Large windows were cut in the sides of the freight compartments, and seating was added. A figure of a running goose and the words “Galloping Goose” were added to the carbody doors. This service lasted only two years, and the last work of the “geese” on their home line was to take up the rails.

It is unclear exactly where the name “Galloping Goose” comes from. It is mostly commonly suggested that it referred to the way the carbody and the freight compartment tended to rock back and forth on the line’s sometimes precarious track. It is also suggested, though, that the name arose because the “geese” were equipped with air horns rather than the whistles of the steam locomotives. The name was used informally for years before the tourist operations, though the railroad officially referred to the units as “motors”.

A similar unit was built for the San Cristobal Railroad, and was rebuilt by RGS in 1934–35. When the San Christobal folded in 1939, this unit was returned to the RGS railroad and dismantled, with some parts going to rebuild and maintain Goose No. 2.

After a fair amount of searching I’ve managed to assemble pics of Number 2 through 7.

Galloping Goose Number 2

Galloping Goose Number 2

Galloping Goose Number 3

Galloping Goose Number 3

Galloping Goose Number 4

Galloping Goose Number 4

Galloping Goose Number 5

Galloping Goose Number 5

Galloping Goose Number 6

Galloping Goose Number 6

Galloping Goose Number 7

Galloping Goose Number 7

Come to our layout and watch one run.

Dumont Museum O Scale Train Layout. Sigourney, Iowa

Ever been to Sigourney? I have never been there and ruefully admit that I have never heard of it. I did apologise to a couple from Sigourney who came to visit our layout for my ignorance. They told me of this O scale layout and I have found a video of it – see below.

What little I know is this:

The main layout measures approximately 50 by 90 feet. The layout features MTH DCS and Lionel Legacy systems and an extensive amount of animated scenes. All the scenes were built by Lyle Dumont. While this vid covers but a small portion of the layout it does cover quite a bit of it. The layout is capable of running over a dozen trains at the same time.

Sorry, I can’t get the link to work – please cut and paste to see.
For O scalers I think a visit to this layout would be a treat.