Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by babydot94513, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    I am looking for railfans of the California Northern, Yolo Shortline, Stockton Terminal & Eastern and Central California Traction railroads for a collective gathering of railfans.

    The purpose is to get together (at a yet undetermined date) and exchange knowledge, history, railfan and modeling expertise of the aforementioned shortline operations all in the name or furthering our hobby.

    Since each of these operations are all within 1.5 hours of each other there is a lot of local action that needs to be discovered and I am hoping that there are fans out there willing to share their knowledge amongst fellow railfans/modelers.
  2. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

    Leave it to me to bring back long dead threads, especially one that never got any responses! Jeff, I live in Turlock not far from you. Am interested in the Cal Northern era on my NWP. Know lots of people that are into the railroads you mention. I am interested of course but don't know anything. Have you tried the yahoo group, calrailfans? They are the people that would know what they are talking about. So you are modeling the Cal Northern in the Tracy area? Shoot me an email if you have some pictures. Talk to you later!

  3. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Would this include Sacramento Northern railfans? The YSL was originally part of SN.
  4. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    I'm a fan of CCT, just because their operation and roster are SO cool.
    Cal northern too, it's a great place to model...The Redwood Empire!
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Okay, we're talking current-day railfanning...Sounds interesting, I'd definitely be interested in knowing more about all of those short lines than I do.
  6. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    I live in Esparto, Ca. 14 miles from Woodland. I see the Yolo Shortline engines and cars everytime i go to Woodland which is where we all shop. They have really painted the engines really neat and cars to match. When I go to woodland for Christmas breakfast at my daughters, maybe I can get some time to run over and get some pictures.
  7. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Technically the YSL is now the Sierra Railroad, isn't it? I haven't had much chance to poke around in Woodland lately either. Most of my railfanning is watching the local freight traffic in Sacramento on the old WP mainline or north of downtown on the SP mainline.
  8. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    Geesh, I had forgotten about even starting this one. The reason I posed the question in the first place was to meet fans in this region and learn more about the stuff in my own backyard.

    The four shortlines mentioned are all within a few hours drive of one another, but realistically not all are operating at convenient times for a days tour.

    Personally I have always enjoyed the CFNR and the history of how it acquired their operations from SP and NWP as well as like the railfan friendliness of their crews at Suisun.

    Then there is the history of the CCT going back to the early days of traction and passenger/freight service between Stockton and Sacramento. I am still trying to learn about that area.

    Anyway, if something can be put together and enough people are interested perhaps we can all arrange a convenient date to railfan.

  9. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I'd be up for it--I am learning quite a bit about the history of the CCT, and have been meaning to do a little railfanning. I don't really know much at all about CFNR--any suggestions for places to look and things to see?
  10. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    As far as history on the CCT goes, there is an excellent new book out by Dave Stanley that deals with all the history of the CCT. CFNR has no historical publications that I know of, but to learn of how SP/NWP were the predecesors to the CFNR you can read the Southern Pacific Western Division by John Signor.

    In my humble opinion the best CFNR operations are at the interchange with the UP in Suisun and then all the industries in the Busch subdivision - basically the Bud plant in Fairfield, Sheldon Gas, Amcor Plastics. The Busch train then builds the loads for Napa Junction on a couple of tracks just west of Cordelia/Chadbourne Roads. Nice thing about this area is that it is totally open and accessible to railfans with limited pesky obstructions that mess up good photographs.

    The CFNR in Woodland is also great, but it has been several years since I explored that area so not sure what is left of the work.

    When the decent weather comes in the spring maybe we can chase some trains.


  11. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Indeed. I have the Dave Stanley book, as well as a few of the Western Railroader booklets on the CCT and some other support materials I have gathered over the years.

    Most of my railfanning is done in downtown Sacramento--while I missed out on the days when the SP still ran the Sacramento Yards and Shop (I was always interested in trains but never really pursued railfanning until about three years ago) I do tend to stop and gawk when stuck at a grade crossing. My latest "catch" was a WP boxcar heading south on the old WP mainline yesterday morning (haven't gotten the photo developed yet.) I have spent a lot of time scouting out the places where track used to run but doesn't anymore (the old SN/CCT Sacramento belt line, etc) and where chunks of it are left. I regularly peek into the Simsmetal lot to see if I can catch a glimpse of their little blue 25 ton GE switcher in action...

    I'll have to stop in Suisun to do some 'fanning one of these days going to or from the Western Railway Museum--I have seen some intriguing spots from the train on my way through but never had time to stop.

    My only experience with the CNFR is spotting one heading north near I-5 on my way to Redding, and a brief conversation with a CNFR engineer who was driving the 2-foot gauge locomotive on the Humann Ranch during the last public exhibition of the Shasta Southern Railroad.
  12. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    Bill, I will keep this thread bookmarked and sometime this spring you and I and anyone else who may be interested can hook up for a day and follow the CFNR and maybe even the CCT should time permit.


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