Modeling San Francisco

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by MilesWestern, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    No, this isn't a thread on how to build the Golden Gate bridge out of carstock, neither is it showing how to make Coit tower out of a couple of old pringles containers, but this thread will show the railroad side (nearly half in the olden days) of San francisco.

    Ok, so first if all, it was Southern Pacific's world headquarters. They have a beautiful (still standing) building at One Market place (used to be 65 market st) see it here:

    http://local.live.com/Default.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0

    Also, the SF belt railway served all the piers, and interchanged with the SP in their (now gone) yards south of market st.

    One of SF belt's steam lokey's still survives at the GGRM (golden Gate railroad musuem) now recently disbanded, who know where it'll go. Check our their site:

    http://www.ggrm.org/

    More to come... thanks to Caliban for the Idea! :)
  2. caliban

    caliban Member

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    Cool,

    Thanks Miles. San Francisco has lots os rail history to discover. I stumbled across the Ocean Shore Railroad and it inspired me to do a "what if". Ocean Shore went bankrupt after only 25 years of serving the pacific coast south of San Francisco, so what if it has survived? A still struggling railroad, now supported by CDOT for commuter service into SF, used locos, worn out but still running. More commuter colourfull equipment, not only Caltrain. And not to forget, switching the piers with Alcos. =>
    http://www.snowcrest.net/photobob/statebelt.html

    Tobias

    Ocean Shore - Reaches The Beaches!
  3. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    You know state belt's roundhouse still stands today, it's now a poorly designed office park (at least inside) and they kept the rails in, as well as the unorthodox (at least in the US) three-way switch! Thanks for the site, that's great!
  4. caliban

    caliban Member

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    Caltrain

    Most rail traffic in SF today is light rail and commuter.

    CALTRAIN

    Attached Files:

  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    "light rail and commuter" is a bit of an understatement: cable cars, historic trolleys, modern MUNI light rail vehicles, underground subways, BART, and Caltrain--did I leave any out? They also used to have articulated electrics running across the Bay Bridge, as well as Sacramento Northern interurban trains running direct from San Francisco to Sacramento and Chico--plus steam railroads bringing passengers directly to San Francisco from the rest of the country. Definitely lots of things to model...
  6. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

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    I want to see a working HO scale model of the cable cars. Not the electric trolleys - the cable cars, the ones pulled by an underground cable. :)

    I wish I would have known about the GGRM when I was in San Fran two years ago! Guess I need to schedule a return trip. Good infos!
  7. caliban

    caliban Member

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    If you wanna know more, there are some books availlable about the rails of San Francisco.

    Arcadia Publishing has some books about the various SF railroads in the Bay Area in their Images of Rail line, I have Ocean Shore Railroad by Chris Hunter. Another good book is Southern Pacific in the Bay Area by George H. Drury (Kalmbach, The Golden Years of Railroding). Both mostly pictures, but worth a look inside!

    Tobias

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  8. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Jet rock, there aren't any subways in SF. How ever the Muni LRV's (light rail vehicles) see here: http://64.246.11.82/images/2/222_2219_MUNI1408B_BredaLRV_N_MJS_SFO_19AUG04.jpg.78308.jpg
    run above ground, as well as below:
    see here: http://www.trainstation.com/SFM1S.JPG


    Here's the route map, if you know SF, this map makes perfect sense, if you don'tknow SF, then you will get confused:
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.trainstation.com/SFMS_MAP.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.trainstation.com/SFM1.shtml%3FmgiToken%3DSNFNFU1O20PIB&h=82&w=100&sz=5&hl=en&sig2=y8uhCgEDHubrV57UWlMNYQ&start=20&tbnid=yfSnfanOjIFIxM:&tbnh=67&tbnw=82&ei=6JLXRN3qLbGCJeOc3b0G&prev=/images%3Fq%3DMuni%2BLrv%2B%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26rls%3DHPIA,HPIA:2006-29,HPIA:en

    Use Mapquest to map out the route if you wish, but I wouldn't because it has it's own unique corridor that includes a submerger run down market st, popping out at west portal (hence the name) goes down a lovely 1940's style downtown, which is thrivng by the way, which is unusual anywhere but Northern CA.
  9. caliban

    caliban Member

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  10. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    MilesWestern: The way I see it, if it's an electric train running underground, with stations below street level, it's a subway--that could apply to the LRVs or BART.

    LoudMusic: The GGRM's collection has been disbanded, since the Navy wanted their land back--the collection has been scattered to other museums. Also, Bachmann does a powered model of a San Francisco cable car. It's not exactly prototypical--the actual cable cars run on 3'6" gauge, and the Bachmann model runs on standard gauge--but it's out there. Roundhouse did a number of old "kitbash" three-in-one kits (the "Victoria Station" series) which included plans for cable car car-barns and a powerhouse, along with kitbashing instructions for turning Roundhouse 34' Overton cars into cable cars--a process which included mounting the cars on top of N scale diesel locomotives to create 30" gauge cable cars!
  11. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

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    Ah yes, but that would still be cars with motors. I would find it quite a challenge to build them like they really run - with the underground tow cable :)
  12. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    In that case, you could use the unpowered cable-car models sold by several manufacturers and create an "unmotored" cable car. They can be had for a few bucks on eBay (assuming they aren't marketed as "priceless collectible antiques") or antique stores (I find them pretty regularly for two bucks each.) The trucks are cheap and the wheels are plastic, but by giving the trucks a going-over with a truck tuner and replacing the wheelsets with metal wheelsets, they roll adequately well. By attaching a bit of brass tubing to the underside of the car to represent a "grip" you have successfully modeled a cable car.

    Tracklaying would be a challenge--you have to have a channel down the middle of the track in order to hold the tow cable. I know that some company produced a system to propel HO scale model cars in this fashion--don't recall the name--with a slot in the middle of the street and pins that pulled cars along. One could feasibly bash such a system to run in the middle of your street, pulling along the cable cars in prototype fashion. But powering a cable-car model with electricity seems as prototypical to me as powering steam locomotives with electricity, and would be a darn sight easier. Modeling them in 3'6" gauge would pretty much call for a scratchbuilder...quite frankly, LoudMusic, the traditional answer to "How can I have a model of (insert fantastically obscure piece of railroad equipment here)?" is BUILD IT YOURSELF! For cable cars, there are plenty of practical starting points...I own a couple of the Bachmann SF cable car models (I am kitbashing them into Sacramento trolley-pole streetcars, by doing some body bashing and adding poles) and they run adequately well. Go forth and do it, young modeler!
  13. caliban

    caliban Member

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    There is a lot to model in SF. There were several car float ops across the bay, the reminders can still be found. If you have one of Walthers car float aprons on the shelf and never knew what to do with it:


    Tobias

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  14. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Where in SF is that? I've never seen that before, unless that's the one in richmond, CA, across the bay. Also, how do you attach a map file like you did? I'd really like to know.
  15. caliban

    caliban Member

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    Hi Miles,

    It's south of the baseball stadium parking lot. The two streets left to the apron are Mission Bay Blvd North and South. The Caltrain station is not that far from there. I'm using Google Earth on my MAC, then I did a screenshot of the area of interest, you'll get tiff file. I used Photoshop Elements to make convert it for the post. I hope that is a help, if you use Windows, you can use the print key, that will create a bmp you'll have to alter.

    Do you live in the Bay Area and did you get my PM?

    Tobias
  16. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    I do, and yes, I did. I'll see if I can get to those areas ASAP! :)