October 6, 2012
SLO Freight House and Train Town USA
This is the site of the restored Southern Pacific Freight Depot. The Museum is preserving the railroad history of California and the Central Coast by collecting, restoring, displaying and operating historic railroad equipment. During the Festival the Museum displayed a modular HO layout from the San Luis Obispo Free-Mo group. This is a large layout (approximately 24' x 60') featuring two rail yards, a wye, engine facility with a turntable and a balloon track. Many of the modules are fully developed with scenery and structures. Trains run on DCC and some of the locomotives have sound systems. Several of the modules depict the Southern Pacific along the California Coast Line. There also was an On30 layout representing the Yosemite Short Line
. This layout models the Sierra foothills in the general area south of the existing Sierra Railway. It features detailed mining and lumber operations in a rural and almost completely sceniced setting. Included is a small railroad yard, lumber mills, lumber camps, a mine and stamp mill, a large trestle and a fruit packing shed and rail loading spur. The layout provides for approximately 50 feet of main line. The layout runs on DCC with memory walk around throttles. Most locomotives are sound equipped adding a greater level of realism to the overall effect of the layout. The layout also has a beautiful hand painted backdrop that surrounds it depicting the California foothills painted by well known California artist Dave Biondi. The Yosemite Short Line has won numerous awards. Visitors also saw some of the bench work for the permanent Museum layout. The Museum featured informational, educational and historical videos, live music and equipment displays. Speeder rides were available and interior and exterior tours were offered.
The noteworthy event of the day was the 11am dedication ceremony for SLO becoming an official "Train Town USA
", a designation from Union Pacific Railroad as part of its 150th anniversary year celebration. See the UPRR press release
The Amtrak station is just beyond the pedestrian bridge in the background.
Part of the Free-Mo layout.
Yosemite Short Line
Strawberry Shortcake on Cinnamon Rolls!
The Train Town USA cake!
KSBY covered the events.
Lindsey Miller from the SLO Chamber opened the Train Town USA ceremony.
Brad LaRose, president of the SLO Railroad Museum
Andrew Merriam spoke briefly about the area's rail history.
SLO Mayor Jan Marx
SLO Vice Mayor Dan Carpenter
Liisa Stark, Director of Public Affairs, Union Pacific Railroad