Monthly Archives: August 2009

U.S. Development Group to Begin Construction of Southern California Ethanol Handling and Distribution Terminal

U.S. Development Group LLC (USDG), an industry leader in ethanol handling and distribution terminals, announced today that it will begin construction on the West Colton Rail Terminal, a new ethanol hub located in the Inland Empire area of southern California.

Construction of the facility will occur in two phases. The first phase, located in Rialto, Calif., will consist of a manifold transfer system that will begin receiving and offloading ethanol railcars in the fall of 2009. The second phase includes full unit train capability and ethanol storage. It will be located on an adjacent site in Colton, Calif., and is scheduled for completion in mid 2010. The Phase 1 facility will have the capacity to handle current Colton area demand for ethanol, plus that required to meet the mandated increase to a 10 percent blend in gasoline in 2010.

(Read article here)

Railroad history is right on track in Sacramento

Abraham Lincoln and his contributions to American railroads have come to visit at the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento.

Timed to also commemorate the 140th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, “The Rail Splitter and the Railroads” exhibit celebrates the efforts of our 16th president as he implemented and navigated rail transportation to move crops and gold throughout the West and the nation.

The California State Railroad Museum opened to the public in 1976 and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors annually. The main exhibit area totals 100,000 square feet and is home to 21 treasures of the rails, including locomotives and cars.

(Read article here)

Santa Monica Elks Show

Group 160, in conjunction with the Santa Monica Elks, will be hosting a model railroad show at the Santa Monica Elks Lodge, at 1040 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica CA.

The show will feature Group 160’s modular N-Trak layout, and the large area in the Elks lodge should allow us to create a good sized layout featuring many of our most popular modules.

In addition to running trains, members will be on hand to answer any questions you may have concerning N-Scale, or the exciting hobby of model railroading.  So if you just love trains, or if you want to get involved with model railroading, be sure not to miss this event.

The show will be open to the public on Saturday, August 29th from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

Date: Saturday, August 29th 2009
Location: Santa Monica Elks, 1040 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica CA
Time: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Admission: Free

(Members of Group 160 are asked to make themselves available on Friday, August 28th @ 4:00 PM to assist in setting up the layout.  Tear-down will be on Sunday.)

Walking among the relics of the Western Pacific Railroad

Now and then grownups need to spend a little time being 12 again. We had that feeling of wonder June 21 after our morning hike on old Highway 70 along the Feather River.

That morning, we had followed a patchwork two-lane highway for a couple miles until it came to a group of small, very old wooden buildings, one reported to have been built in 1852 by mountain man Jim Beckwourth.

We still had a little time at the end of the day to return to Portola to tour the Western Pacific Railroad Museum.

Most of us living in the northern Sacramento Valley have visited the well-appointed California State Railroad Museum at Old Sacramento. It’s chock full of state history, beautifully restored railcars and a number of interactive displays that bring the glory of the tracks back to life.

Portola’s train museum isn’t that. Instead, it’s like a giant train parking lot filled with dozens and dozens of restorations yet to happen. In the meantime, time is catching up on many of these weathering reminders of America’s love affair with the rail.

(Read article here)

Runnin’ the Rails

Above the tracks of the Clinton railroad bridge, in a room reached by a formidable flight of stairs, sits Korinna Bates, of Mt. Carroll, Ill., one of the Union Pacific’s many draw bridge operators.

Draw bridge operators man the bridge 24 hours a day and seven days a week from March to Dec. 15. They work on holidays. Bates works Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. She has been working for the railroad for a little more than 11?2 years.

Bates has several duties. Her primary functions are watching railroad traffic and watching traffic on the river. She has two radios, a maritime radio and a Union Pacific radio, which helps her coordinate opens with the dispatchers.

(Read article here)

Niles Canyon Railway Wine & Cheese Special

The Niles Canyon Railway Wine & Cheese Special begins on August 9 and runs for 5 weekends through September 6. This year the Wine & Cheese Special will focus on Livermore Valley Wines, enabling the passengers to sample the wide selection of excellent wines available from the wineries in this historic wine region of California.

The Wine & Cheese Special will run on Sunday afternoons, boarding at 3:00 p.m. at the Sunol station and embarking at 3:30 p.m. for this 2 hour run. During the trip the passengers will sample the wines along with cheeses and bread especially selected to match these wines. The wine educator, Steve Ferree, will inform the passengers about Livermore Valley wine appellation and the wineries that were selected for that specific run.

(Read article here)