Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Special Guest Photos - Sacramento Train Museum

Our "Special Guest" is non other than Ken Martinez again, who has changed things up a little bit this time. He lives up in the general San Francisco-ish part of California, and was lucky enough to visit the Sacramento State Railroad Museum. As he said regarding the pictures, "….they're not vintage, but they are pics of vintage stuff". My appreciation of old trains has grown over the years (at least in part due to the Disneyland RR) - maybe it's a "guy thing". 

This first picture shows (in Ken's words), "…a Union Pacific No. 4466 Lima 1920 0-6-0 type steam locomotive built in October 1920 for the Union Pacific Railroad to perform switching chores and transfer runs. Most of its history was spent as a shop switcher. A switcher is used for delivering or picking up railcars outside of a railroad yard." Ken provided a link to see it in action - click HERE.

The next two images "… feature the Dining Car No. 1474 Cochiti. The dining car was ordered and built for a Santa Fe passenger train in 1936. It was one in a set of eight cars for a new lightweight streamlined steel train known as the Super Chief that ran between Los Angeles and Chicago".

Wow, I can't imagine having to prepare entire meals (probably consisting of several courses) in this cramped little kitchen that rocked back and forth!

Ken continues, "The Cochiti diner car was considered to be one of the best in the railroad passenger dining experience. (It) was named for an old Indian-Spanish pueblo, located on the Rio Grande about 30 miles southwest of Santa Fe". Looks pretty elegant, doesn't it?

And last (but not least - in fact its my favorite) is this image that, "… features a Western Pacific No. 913 GM-EMD 1950 F7A. It was a 1,500 horsepower (1,100 kw) diesel electric locomotive produced between February 1949 and December 1953 by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors and General Motors Diesel. Although promoted as a freight-hauling unit, it was also utilized for passenger service hauling such trains as the 'Super Chief' and 'El Capitan' ".  Isn't it a beauty? For those of you thinking about knitting a scarf for me, orange is my favorite color.

Many thanks to Ken Martinez for sharing these photos, and for spending the time to include all of the relevant information that accompanied the pix! I hope I can make it up to the Sacramento State Train Museum someday, but until then, these photos are pretty neat. And there are a few more to come - featuring vintage toy trains!


Anonymous said...

This is a great posting from Ken. Many thanks! The kitchen car actually "looks loud" as when the train is rolling and the cooks are cooking, that space would be hot and full of rattling and banging sounds with lots of shouting!
Also, I really like to say "El Capitan".

Bill in Denver

Chuck said...

Great photos of one of my favorite subjects, Ken! We left northern California before this place opened (only rail museum we visited up there was the traction museum at Rio Vista Junction), but it's on my bucket list.

Observant Disneylanders may note that the F7A in Western Pacific livery in the last photo was the inspiration for the entrance to the former Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream shop off of Sunshine Plaza at DCA. The structure incorporated the real cab of an actual F7.

It was adjacent to a couple of additional entrances to the Baker's Field Bakery and Engine-Ears Toys designed to look like the gorgeous streamlined, Budd-built cars of the Western Pacific/Rio Grande/Chicago, Burlington & Quincy-operated "California Zephyr." The Zephyr ran between Chicago and Oakland from 1949 to the inauguration of Amtrak in 1971. I was fortunate enough to have ridden in some of the original cars in 1973 while they were still being operated by Amtrak as the "San Francisco Zephyr," although I was too young to appreciate it at the time.

When the faux train was removed in 2011 as part of the DCA remodel, the cab and the Zephyr menorabilia that was on display was sent to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, CA.

Melissa said...

Oh, how gorgeous! I'm sure I'm not the only Gorillian who'd love to pop back in time to the days of regular passenger train travel.

I took a passenger train from Niagara Falls to Toronto once, and a lot of vintage touches were still intact, both on the train and in the stations. There wasn't a dining car, but there was a bar car that reminded me a lot of the club car from the movie "White Christmas." I wish hadn't been too sick that weekend to truly appreciate it.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

It’s funny to me how some guys gravitate to the old diesel streamliners, I like em but in my opinion they don’t hold a candle to the steamers.

I’ve never been to the Sacramento Railroad Museum, but I made it as far as the parking structure and then got distracted at old Sac and never made it in…YARGH! Someday.

PsySocDisney said...

It's not just a guy thing!! I'm a hopelessly obsessed with trains too. The only passenger train I've ever experienced is the Grand Canyon Railroad from (I think?) Williams, AZ to the canyon itself. I have been dying to do it again someday but my husband seems less than enthusiastic about it... "Guy thing," my foot!

Thank you for sharing, Ken!

Anonymous said...

In the latter 50s,my Mom and I would take the SP San Joaquin Daylight between Lancaster and Merced (CA) each year to visit my aunt and cousins. It was a great ride in those old passenger cars attached to a diesel-electric colored in a manner similar to this one. Have a DVD transfer from 8mm film of it in action! It was a different, slower time. And it was fun to this kid!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Sorry about that PsySocDisney. I normally think of “guys” as a genderless term, but in this particular case I think I was actually referring to dudes.

You don’t meet too many women who are “hopelessly obsessed with trains”. From your profile it looks like you have a Disney thing going on as well. Oh, and sorry about your husband, there may yet be hope for him. Hopefully he at least shares your passion for Disneyland.

PS: Sometimes “dudes” is a genderless term too.

Anonymous said...

@K Martinez, thank you for these!

This was a favorite spot for my young children. Old Town was a convenient rest stop on trips to grandparents. We made several visits to this museum over those years.

Really a great place for train buffs of all ages and genders.

I drive by this almost every month, now I want to go back.


Melissa said...

In this day and age, girls don't leave home
But if you get a hankerin', you wanna roam
Our advice to you is run away
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

K. Martinez said...

Bill in Denver, I love the classic rail passenger service names: "El Capitan", "Super Chief", "Hiawatha", "Daylight", "Congressional", "20th Century Limited", etc. I would've loved to have witnessed that era of the railroad.

Chuck, Interest in the subject of railroads is right up there with Disneyland for me. The Western Pacific F7 diesel was the first thing that grabbed my attention upon entering DCA in those first years. I would’ve loved to have ridden some of those original cars you rode on the Zephyr route in 1973.

Melissa, I took the train from Emeryville/Oakland to Chicago, then to New York City back in Summer 2001. While it didn't quite feel like "White Christmas" or "North by Northwest" in the vintage sense, I still loved the experience. There's so much you can see from a train, not possible by auto travel.

Monkey Cage Kurt, I love both steamers and diesels, but I have to say I have a special fondness for the old PRR electric GG1s.

PsySocDisney, You're correct. While it seems to mostly be a "guy" thing, it really does cross all ages and genders as JG stated. Did you know that once the Lionel toy train company released a "girls" train in the 1950s in hopes of capturing that market? The locomotive was pink and the freight cars all pastel colored. It was a failure because the girls who did like and collect trains hated the look. They found the girls liked the regular trains just like the boys did.

Anonymous, You’re trips on the SP Daylight sound awesome. Wish I could’ve experience that.

JG, It's an effort for me to go up there from Monterey Bay, so I don’t go that often. But when I do, I always have a great time.

Thank you all for the nice comments and thank you, Major for allowing me to share with you readers.

Major Pepperidge said...

Bill in Denver, I like your description of the kitchen looking loud!!

Chuck, I'm glad to know that the faux train from Bur-r-r-r Bank Ice Cream was not crushed to bits…. I had kind of wondered what had happened to it. Thank goodness it was saved!

Melissa, when I was a kid my mom and siblings took a train from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, and I just remember it being long and uncomfortable. Maybe now I would appreciate it more!

Monkey Cage Kurt, I prefer the steamers too, but the older diesels have a certain beauty to them as well.

PsySocDisney, I was generalizing of course (and notice that I said "maybe" it's a guy thing, by which one could imply "maybe not!").

Monkey Cage Kurt, I assumed that I was getting the heat for my sexist comment, though I didn't mean it to be demeaning in any way. It does seem like a lot more guys are fans of those big machines … that doesn't make them *better*, it just seems to be a thing. My sister is a classic car nut, much more so than I am.

JG, I'm glad you enjoyed these!

Melissa, you always did like a good song.

K. Martinez, it looks like a lot of people really enjoyed your photos, which is awesome! Thanks again for sharing.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I definitely approve! Great photos of the California State Railroad Museum. One of the best museums in existence--of any kind.

PsySocDisney said...

For the record I wasn't offended at the "guy thing" remark haha, I just thought of all the people to say something about it, it might as well be the sociology nut :D And Ken, I love the story about the girls rejecting the pink train!! So awesome.

Melissa said...

Another great train song.

Dave said...

I had the great fortune to be there for the opening weekend in '81 entirely by accident. My Mom picked that weekend to go visit my sister in West Sac. With the museum itself opening and the big Railfair going on I didn't see much of my sister and brother-in-law that weekend, I borrowed the car and headed across the Tower Bridge to Old Sacramento.
BTW, Much closer to me just "off the hill" down in Jamestown is a "sister" museum/state park, "Railtown 1897". They have steam excursions all during the tourist season and you can see up close and personal one particular steam engine (#3) that has been in more movies and TV shows than you can count.