Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rick Reeves Completes Training

Rick Reeves, one of the museum's newest volunteers, completed his engineer training and hauled his first passengers behind Engine No. 1316 on Saturday, Jan. 26. Rick has been serving as a conductor on the Goleta Short Line for several months.

An accomplished singer and guitarist, Rick has also performed for passengers aboard the museum's Central Coast Flyer vintage railcar excursions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Turntable Upgrade Completed

The Goleta Short Line turntable has received a major upgrade, thanks to the efforts of John Green and the other volunteers who spend most of their Wednesday mornings working on projects around the museum.

Initial Testing on Jan. 16
The upgrade included the installation of a new mechanism that locks the turntable in line with the corresponding lead track. Designed and fabricated by John Green, the locking mechanism eliminates the need for a separate linking plate to bridge the gap between the turntable and track. A linking plate had been used since Gene Allen built the turntable in the late 1980s.

"We won't need this thing any more!"
The turntable project was completed on Jan. 16, 2013. The remodeled turntable first went into passenger service on the following day. "It works like a charm!" said Museum Director Gary Coombs, who served as engineer on the initial day of operation.

The Wednesday work crew is led by Ed Leska. Other members of the group include Doug Winter, Tony Ramirez, and Dick Roberts.

Dick Roberts, Ed Leska, Tony Ramirez, John Green, and Doug Winter

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Borgia Has A New Look!

Yes, that's still Borgia behind the counter in the Visitor Center, but she's adopted a new and very different work uniform.

The change to engineer's attire was entirely her idea. Borgia pitched the proposal to Museum Director Gary Coombs, who approved this marked departure from the business attire that museum assistants and shop clerks have traditionally worn over the years.

Borgia says she came up with the idea because she wanted to add "more fun and excitement in the shop." She felt the new costume would be more in line "with the railroad theme" and would also make her "more recognizable to visitors" as a museum staff member when she was working outside on the grounds.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Meet Our New Intern: Shuyan Dong

The museum's new intern for the Winter 2013 Quarter is Shuyan Dong. The 20-year-old UCSB freshman is from Hang Zhou, China. Her major is Actuarial Science.

As of this writing, Shuyan has been in the U.S. for less than four months. She has been learning English in school back home since she was 9 or 10.

Shuyan says she likes UCSB because it has an excellent Actuarial Science program. Her parents favored the Santa Barbara area for their daughter's schooling in America because of the good weather and what they considered to be a relatively safe environment.

For part of her internship, Shuyan is training to be a conductor on the Goleta Short Line miniature-train ride. She had her first day of service at the museum on Jan. 3.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blueprints Share Depot Architecture

A growing collection of new blueprints of Southern Pacific depots in California is now being developed by Jean-Guy Dube. Suitable for framing, these handsome and informative diazo blueprints are produced from measured and drafted drawings by Mr. Dube. They are based on Southern Pacific standard-depot plans, on historical photographs and, for those depots that have survived, on actual building measurements.

Each blueprint includes noted floor plans, sections, and elevations. The prints also contain historical notes about each building. Railroad model hobbyists will be pleased to learn that the drawings are in “HO” scale. Dube uses traditional methods of  blueprinting to create a blue-with-white line print from his original vellum.

The blueprints may be purchased through the South Coast Railroad Museum’s online store. More information about the series is also available there.

Jean-Guy Dube is a professional draftsman and apprentice architect who has been researching and writing about Southern Pacific depots since 1983. He will be sharing many of his blueprints and talk about his research during a free program on Tues., Jan. 22, 2013, entitled “Southern Pacific’s Depots of  Santa Barbara County.” The lecture and multimedia presentation will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at Goleta Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave. The program is sponsored by the South Coast Railroad Museum.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coast Starlight Volunteer Training Scheduled For 2013

Training dates and times have been set for volunteers in the South Coast Railroad Museum's 2013 Trails & Rails program aboard Amtrak's Coast Starlight trains. Orientation for new volunteers will be held Wed., Feb. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the museum's Visitor Center, 300 North Los Carneros Road, Goleta. Day-long guide training for new and continuing volunteers will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, starting at 9 a.m. (The Feb. 23rd training location will be announced during the Feb. 13 orientation). New volunteers must attend both the training and orientation sessions. These sessions are only offered once a year.

Point Conception and lighthouse
This exciting opportunity for local volunteers to travel, interpret, and explore West Coast rails is being offered by the National Park Service and the railroad museum, in partnership with Amtrak. The Goleta-based museum has conducted educational programs aboard Amtrak trains since the 1980s.

Railroad bridge at Gaviota
Each year, from March through October, Trails & Rails guides provide a unique travel experience to Coast Starlight passengers, presenting informative talks and public-address announcements about the natural, cultural and historical significance of the route, and points of interest and things to do in the area. Two versions of the program are offered: Some volunteers make their presentations during a one-day Santa Barbara-to-San Luis Obispo roundtrip; in summer, some guide teams make an overnight trip to San Jose.

Trails & Rails volunteers do not need to be historians or naturalists. The program sponsors are looking for dedicated and entertaining volunteers with an enthusiasm for public speaking, travel, and human interaction. Uniforms, program materials, travel, meals, and overnight lodging are provided.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, in good health, and available to make an average of at least two one-day trips per month during the eight-month period that the program is offered.

For more information about the Trails & Rails Program aboard the Coast Starlight, contact: Trails & Rails Coordinator, South Coast Railroad Museum, 300 North Los Carneros Rd., Goleta, CA 93117. Phone: 805-964-3540. Or, via e-mail.