The Headlight

Southern California Scenic Railway Association, Inc.

Serving the Travel Town Museum and the Crystal Springs and Cahuenga Valley Railroad

Volume 11, Number 1............................................................................Spring 1996


By James G. Hoffmann, SCSRA President

This quarter has seen a number of milestones reached and passed in our organization's history.


By Bryan Reese, M.177 Project Manager

The stepped-up pace of work on M.177 has continued this quarter. Most important, the engine room is ready to receive the rebuilt Winton engine. This is defined as having the new linoleum floor laid, as this is the only thing that absolutely had to be done before the engine was put back in place. The flooring material is so-called "genuine" linoleum, an extremely durable product that has been around well over a hundred years (it is made by a somewhat lengthy process from all natural materials including ground cork, sawdust, and linseed oil, which is where the name comes from).

This gray "battleship" linoleum is what the Santa Fe installed in the engine room in the 1940s, replacing the original brown and white checkerboard pattern linoleum installed by the builder. This material is no longer made in North America, and we had to purchase it from a firm in Pennsylvania that imports it from Scotland. With routine care it should last another 50 years.

As you read this, Globe Bearing is receiving various parts of the Winton engine back from different subcontractors and is ready to begin the build-up. The cylinder heads, which were rebuilt sometime ago, were brought from their storage location in Long Beach by Joe Siemons and Al Di Paolo, and are sitting in the baggage room of the motorcar, all bright and shiny and shrinkwrapped. Many thanks for Joe for providing storage for them for all this time, and to him and Al for moving them. The heads will next be delivered to Globe.

When the engine came out, it was removed in sections and a crane was used. I am pretty sure that we can slide the entire assembled engine in through the front door.

The motorcar and the Hunter's Point sleeping car were traded positions, moving the sleeping car over next to the fence for easier access during ASRA tours, and putting the motorcar more toward the center of the compound. This will afford improved access to all sides for painting.

Speaking of painting, by the time you read this, I hope to have begun the exterior. Barber Welding repaired the final roof ventilator, which several years ago had a tree limb fall on it. Once that is reinstalled, the roof will be ready to paint. Meanwhile, work is forging ahead on the smoking section of the interior, as spearheaded by Kevin Tam. Also, Chell Hurdle has been out to sandblast small parts on an as-needed basis, and has generously agreed to continue that work as time and circumstances permit. Other miscellaneous parts of the exterior are being rehabbed and reapplied, including the engine room windows and vents, and the ladder on the side of the body.

It is also my pleasure to report that M.177 now has at least one complete and working system, the signal whistle. In the cab behind the engineer is a small brass whistle, hooked up to a signal valve and the signal pipe running the length of the car. When the signal pipe is pressurized, if the car discharge valve is pulled in the vestibule, it causes the whistle in the cab to sound. It is possible that other passenger cars that we may run with M.177 will also have their signal pipe put in working order, making for a more authentic experience for our passengers and crew.

Others contributing their time this quarter include Alan Weeks, Greg Smith, Greg Ramsey, Marc Schirmeister, Bob Bennett, and Kenneth Schoenhofen.

M.177 Operating History

By Chell Hurdle, Historical Research Associate

This is the thirteenth in our series of reports on our search for the operating history of M.177. It is possible that we are coming to the end of this project, as we have had only one contact during the quarter ending Feb. 29, 1996.

You may recall that in the Summer of 1994, Mrs. Alice Hutton, a resident of Brea, California, who grew up in Douglass, Kansas, called us after her sister saw an article in the Arkansas City Traveler. Mrs. Hutton, who used to ride the car to dance lessons in Winfield, came to visit Travel Town on February 18, 1996, with her husband, Art Hutton and her sister, Mrs. Neva Wakefield, now a resident of Udall, KS. Mrs. Wakefield used to ride the car from Douglass to Winfield on Saturdays when she was studying the violin. Both were thrilled with the chance to visit the car again on a personalized tour which we conducted for them.

Dr. Frank R. Scheer, curator of the Railway Mail Service Library in Arlington, VA, called for some information. Among other things he told me was how to get in touch with two individuals who are collecting information on the railway mail service. I am going to write to them to see if we can obtain further information on M.177's handling of the U.S. Mail.

It is sad to note in passing that fewer and fewer of the people who worked, rode on, or were in some other way served by M.177, are still with us. Preservation of this important segment, which is an integral part of the restoration of this car, is largely going to be left to folks like us.


By Joe Barilari, Public Relations Manager

Once again our image has taken a giant leap forward lately. A photographer from the L.A. Independent newspaper visited us a few months ago. After taking some pictures and having a brief conversation with several associates, he said that the information would be passed along to the writers with some possibility of a story.

So as we always do, we bid adieu with feelings of hope and a little cynicism displayed privately amongst ourselves. To my surprise, however, a reporter did call back a month later and request an interview and meeting out at the park. Well, since it was rather short notice, and my roof job was behind, I decided to use every last chit I had and got associate Tom Graham to take off from school and associate Alan Weeks to meet him as well. They were able to answer most questions and show Mr. Jon Regardie around. We subsequently talked on the phone to fill in the blanks Tom and Alan had left off.

Cut to Saturday: Having been promised several copies of the article and realizing that they must be in our very overflowing mailbox, Greg Gneier of ASRA fame mentioned finding the article since his workplace subscribes to the Independent. He had his copy with him so we passed it around the lunch table and everyone agreed that this was the most positive thing in print about the project for quite a while. When we retrieve the copies from the mailbox on Monday one will certainly be archived and added to our web page.

Actually speaking of the web page, Kevin Tam has been extremely busy updating our page on the Internet. When we started the page in late January it was a little primitive, as our esteemed webmaster was working cross country at the time and could not devote serious time to it initially. But from the humblest beginnings rise the greatest achievements, and so our web page has evolved. We now have some of the very latest pictures of work on the page and a lot of history to go with it. I believe the Virtual gallery is entirely of Dale Brown's collection and is quite complete. Dale's photos not only display stunning color but the weather at the time they were taken sets an appropriate mood for each piece of equipment. If you have Internet access, make sure you pay a visit to the site located at (which, if you are reading this, you are doing right now!!)

Last issue you heard about new associate Charles Forsher. He has redone all of our boards and not having felt redeemed enough decided to take on another P.R. nightmare, our work area. Charles has consistently pushed the issue of the old airplane ring and so it is now complete. Completely clear, that is. I have often remarked about the need to save the valuable tidbits we collect for future projects. And though this is necessary, it is equally important to make the world think we work in the most orderly fashion by performing this biannual cleanup. Charles certainly deserves a pat on the back for his leadership in this area.

One of the things I took to task when taking this job was recruiting. Although recruiting efforts have lay dormant for a long time we have had a loose plan of reaching into the schools and anywhere else we might find volunteers. Danny has adopted this and invited several people out from his school. The students get credit for donating their time, and many find it a very eye-opening experience.

About the same time the P.R. committee was holding joint SCSRA/ASRA networking sessions, Nancy Gneier pointed out a place in Panorama City that placed a multitude of volunteers with like-minded organizations. Having just done the paperwork involved to receive such contacts, I can't tell you how successful we will be, but it seems the luck is running high at Travel Town this year so I am very optimistic. Many requests have been made in the past for people looking to volunteer in a railroad environment, and we certainly fit that bill and are located conveniently. We have often postulated about the popularity of our work if we could just get the word out to the right people. You'll definitely here more about this in the next issue.

The development of a press kit is underway with Steve DeVorkin leading the charge. Recently when we needed one but had not completed them many asked about this very thing and my E-mail box was overflowing with emotion. After I had finished on the phone with Jon Regardie and the blood was flowing back to my strained memory lobes I realized that a fine press kit already exists and even I didn't know it. Silly, I thought, since it is published worldwide and available to anyone with a phone line. You guessed it: our web page. Currently posted there is a copy of The Headlight, winter issue, which includes a rather complete compilation of our dreams and directions over the years entitled "Ten Years At Travel Town." Between now and when the fancy hard copies of the press kit are complete, keep in mind this valuable resource. And when someone asks for a written copy there are always back issues of The Headlight above the lockers in the Shop Building, including but not limited to the issue from a couple of years back where Randy detailed the very beginnings of the SCSRA in an article entitled "Has It Been Ten Years?"


By Gordon Bachlund, Mechanical Superintendent

FRA Inspections and Tests -- As we were performing the 90-day FRA inspection on the RS-12 recently, it occurred to me that I should relate to our Associates something about the recurring inspections and tests that keep our little fleet ship shape.

Locomotives are subjected to 90-day, annual and biennial test and main reservoir tests in accordance with Part 229, Railroad Locomotive Safety Standards, of CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 49. These tests and inspections cover airbrakes and handbrakes, the draft system (couplers), the trucks and wheels, the electrical system, the prime mover, the cab equipment, the headlights, and the horn and sanders. Inspections utilize a checklist the writer devised from Subpart B of Part 229. Defects uncovered during the inspection are corrected and an inspection record ("blue card") is completed to record inspection results. While there are some exemptions permitted on historic equipment, such as the requirement for safety glazing otherwise required by Part 223, our aim is to keep the locomotives as FRA-compliant as possible, even though this is not yet required by law owing to our being an insular railroad (one not connected by rails to the general railway system). The Association feels that being prepared is the best defense against future surprises.

At the end of each operating day a Diesel Locomotive Inspection Report is completed by the closing shift engineer. It is a comprehensive checklist intended to disclose possible defects and to ensure that the locomotive has been properly checked and shut down after operations. The inspection is logged on an inspection record in the cab.

The FRA requires running gear inspections to be made over an inspection pit for safe personnel access. The Train Shed design incorporates an inspection pit, and that, in part, accounts for our zeal in supporting the Train Shed. Keep the pressure on, folks!

Cabooses receive a daily inspection after each operating day on which is recorded brake cylinder piston travel and proper operational status of safety appliances, the handbrake, fire extinguishers and emergency equipment, trucks and brake rigging. This inspection is made by the closing shift brakeman, and logged on an inspection record in the car.

Train airbrake tests (the "initial terminal test") are done when the train is made up on operating days, and include verifying the proper position of cutout and angle cocks, inspection of hoses and retaining valves, a test for brake pipe leakage, and standing airbrake test. The complete test form is carried in the locomotive cab during the day and turned in at the end of the day.

SCSRA Inspections and Tests -- In addition to the foregoing, we perform regular running maintenance, inspections and tests including checking rotating electrical equipment for brush wear, checking battery electrolyte levels, topping off journal bearings with bearing oil, lubricating equipment and pedestal bearings and motion points, etc. Finally, before starting a locomotive, we check lube oil and jacket water levels, fuel tank levels, proper operation of cab equipment, lights, etc. So, remember that when you read our regular published reports of Mechanical Department activities, you are reading about interesting and extraordinary goings on that supplement the foregoing routine stuff.

The Neverending Cleanup -- A major infestation of leaves and fallen branches was removed over a two-month period, and vegetation behind the Shop Building was cut away. In the absence of a City forklift or loader on many Saturdays, other means were used to convey refuse to the dumpsters including the writer's truck and an abandoned shopping cart! The curb around the old airplane ring was finally removed thanks for Joe Barilari's expertise, and the rubble remanded to the Service Yard for ultimate disposal by the City. Grading work was begun that will ultimately provide a large flat area where vehicles can be maneuvered, and where a new facility may soon arise, Phoenix-like from the debris. Joe also cut a French drain behind the Shop Building to divert storm runoff to the culvert under the miniature train right-of-way. The tractor problem was resolved in late January as Linda prevailed on the City Yards to repair and place at our disposal a Case 480 loader. The loader entered service on February 10 and began the aforementioned grading. Many clean thanks to Charles Forsher, Doug Stephens, Thomas Seal, Scott Muir, Dan Price, Jeff Barrow, Tom Graham, and Brian Moore.

Cabeese -- AT&SF 999110 had been making geriatric complaining noises lately, so Thomas Seal and Scott Muir lubricated faying and motion points on the trucks, including the centerbowls and swing hangers. She now rides with renewed and noiseless dignity! SP 4049 has long suffered from a leaking hopper due to dried O-rings. Thomas and Scott removed the hopper and cleaned (ugh!) and disassembled it so that the writer could replane the old rings with new. They then reassembled the hopper and piped it up and it works with renewed equanimity. Battery maintenance was provided as usual but, in January, the writer procured a pair of 12-volt solar-powered pulse chargers whose purpose is not to "charge" but to desulfate the plates with high-frequency pulses and thereby extend battery life. The cabeese will be the test bed for these gadgets and if, as their purveyor claims, they actually do work their miracle, then perhaps we'll consider them for other expensive batteries, such as on the locomotives. Jim Vicars and Ted McConville were the installation engineers. Lastly, the Train Club (Thomas Seal and friends) have undertaken maintenance of the cabeese, including cleaning and provisioning. Now, if you find the windows dirty, the waste receptacles full, the water dispenser empty, fusees missing, etc., let Thomas know and he and his minions will correct the deficiency.

Buildings and Equipment -- Charles Forsher continued a general cleanup of the Shop Building. Attempting to assist Charles was a squirrel who took up residence somehow prior to February 3. His presence was given away by partially-eaten memo pads and a conspicuous lack of hygienic responsibility in evidence on the desk top. When he had not departed by February 10, Ken Schoenhofen managed his eviction. Meanwhile, Marc Schirmeister solidly affixed the burglar bars, previously present but impotent, to the one vulnerable Shop Building window to render the structure a bit more secure against invasion by critters larger and more malevolent than squirrels.

A new building is starting to take shape, designed by Tom Graham, and it will afford space to store signal batteries under charge, a secure tool room, and covered service space for vehicles and trailers, as well as railroad-sized subassemblies such as prime movers, ice engines, trucks, and traction motors. Tentatively, the City will provide materials for its construction, and Joe Barilari has made a material takeoff for this purpose. Keep tuned for further developments.

Lastly, Brian's Bountiful Boxcar has been fitted with very substantial access steps. These were designed and built by Tom Graham with assistance from Ed Sikora. Observe that Ed, our Safety Officer, has made a significant contribution to safety by helping with the steps. How many museums (or, is it "musea?") can make such a claim?!


By Joe Barilari, Maintenance of Way Superintendent

As the rain beats down on the roof in my office and the mail that piles to the top of the monitor gets unbearable, I start reading it. Low and behold one of the chairman's quarterly newsletters telling me about the board meeting and the need to write an article has prompted me to reflect on the quarter's progress. Fortunately there is much to report.

Our resident engineer has been very busy on the plans for the drawbridge. The final design was a tilting type on a 75/25 split requiring a pit at one end and eliminating the towers that would create a seismic hazard. At 38' long it's no small addition to the scenery at TT but will be an interesting one nonetheless. I have taken the plans to Don Gustavson of GP recreations (the concessionaire running the train ride at TT) and went over the concept and general plan in a meeting that included his father Gene. With that station stop on the tracks behind us the next step is an on-site general meeting with Linda Barth, engineer Mark Cuneo, Don, and myself. Hopefully the conclusion will be a stake driving contest where we attempt to drive softwood stakes into TT's harder-than-need-be soil, marking out the exact location of the bridge. As you can see, this project is moving right along!

The stub switch is looking mighty fine these days. Much clean up and spike driving since our last communiqué has occurred, along with the spot tamping and ballast placement necessary for removal of the barricades. Hooray, no more barricades! Well, close. The area has become walkable for the general public and more ties and rail have been pushed out to the end. Until the bridge gets started we will continue to put down rail as weather allows, the goal now being to confine our work to a small enough area that long term large scale barricading is not necessary.

We still need to put in the other guard rail and a couple of bolts but substantial progress is evident to any onlooker.

The tractor situation of which I spoke last time may have been permanently solved by some fancy dancing by Linda Barth. It seems we now have a resident city tractor for which maintenance will rest entirely on us. This appears to be a victory for us, but before you pour the champagne remember that it's a victory for TT. The next time you come out to help there won't be any more excuses for not getting started. We can weld hooks to it, put forks on it, use it for all the things that used to require weeks of planning. This has an added responsibility, though, that must be taken seriously. If we take care of it the equipment problem will be gone for good. Now that's the way to start a New Year.

The coming quarter should have the Harbor Dept. equipment in its new home and maybe even a bridge built. The MoW crews will be responsible for constructing a Maintenance facility for combined SCSRA/ASRA use next to the M.177. This will be a project that requires all personnel committed to a future at TT to help out at some time in some way. Don't delay. If you've been waiting for a big project to come along so you feel connected to it from start to finish, come out NOW!

Spanky has instructed me to send a hearty thanks to the following members of our gang for helping us this quarter -- Dale Brown, Charles Forsher, Tom Graham, Jonathan Hathaway, Brian Moore, Jeff Pippenger, Dan Price, Ed Sikora and Jeff Barrow. Remember that both the bridge and building project will be built with volunteer labor! That means US!


By Greg Ramsey, Assistant Mechanical Superintendent, Diesel

The Diesel Shop has been putting in some serious overtime this quarter and has more than made up for our slowdown last quarter.

The CS&CV #1 (Charley Atkins) got some serious attention over the Christmas Holiday. We finally bit the bullet, blue flagged the locomotive, and pulled out the coupling and flywheel for the #2 engine. Because of the new monthly operations format, and the special operations December 16th, we had a very compressed schedule to do the disassembly, acquire and install the correct seal, reinstall the flywheel and coupling, and verify the engine to generator alignment. The oil leak under the #2 engine which has plagued us since shortly after it was installed is now completely gone. Concurrently with this work we took the time to do a complete oil and filter change. My thanks to Doug Stephens, Danny Price, Gordon Bachlund and the various unnamed human cranes who helped with this evolution.

Thanks to our wet California winter, several of the sand injectors and delivery pipes had clogged due to wet sand. New associates Chris and Isabel Rippy banged, prodded and otherwise cleaned up the sand system and saw to it that the sand boxes were filled in time for the late February storms.

Gordon Bachlund took wrench in hand and disassembled, cleaned and lubricated the S-6 independent brake valve which caused several engineers (the writer included) a great deal of consternation when the valve operated as it was intended instead of how we expected.

Additional cab trim pieces were finished and installed and Bob Bennett gave Charley's brass bell a good polishing.

Several plans have been discussed over the last year for the overhaul of the #1 engine which was removed from Charley. The best solution I believe is the one offered up by Chris Rippy, a new associate and student at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. I have met with Mike Cavanaugh an instructor there and pending final City approval from Linda Barth, the engine will be torn down, inspected, worn parts renewed, reassembled and dynamometer tested during the fall semester. Our only expense will be the cost of parts. I realize this will disappoint several associates who were looking forward to doing the overhaul "in house," but the facilities available via LA Trade-Tech, not the least of which is the ability to dyno test and prove the engine prior the reinstallation, weighs in against doing the work ourselves.

The CWR #56 received an equal amount of attention this quarter. The journals were lubricated and a worn brake shoe was replaced to correct the excessive cylinder travel. Several oil leaks were discovered during is regular 90 day inspection and many of these were corrected by the Rippys, the new diesel shop regulars, with the eager assistance of Doug Stephens. Not fixed yet is the numerous leaks around the camshaft covers which use a unique molded rubber gasket. Unfortunately, Trak Auto doesn't seem to stock it. While searching out the leaks, Chris also discovered a broken oil feed line to a rocker arm which was quickly repaired and short bolts on the pushrod guide-tube hold down plates which he replaced.

The major Baldwin evolution was the replacement of the combination auxiliary/exciter generator which had the auxiliary end fail soon after we received the locomotive. The old generator was disconnected mechanically and electrically by the writer and then with the help of Chris, Doug, Tom Graham and others, a Zoo forklift, and a lot of grunting, the generator was finally extracted. The replacement generator from the CWR #55, which had been rebuilt by Caudill Electric, was installed in its place later in the afternoon. Fortunately, we learned by our mistakes from the morning and it slipped right in. The project was completed with the installation and adjustment of 5 new V-belts and the rewiring by Jim Vicars.

Staffing the Diesel Shop this quarter in addition to the above included Ted McConville, Dale Brown, Alan Weeks, and Jim Hoffmann.

As always, I can be reached at (805) 483-1552 (home), (805) 982-9720 (work) or via E-mail

Diesel Shop Trivia

Last month I asked, "Now who can tell me why there are no naturally aspirated 71 series engines"? Mike Cavanaugh, Heavy Duty Truck and Diesel Instructor at LA Trade-Tech, has taken me to task and is forcing me to defend my assertion. According to my Random House College Dictionary, two definitions of aspirate are "to inhale into the bronchi and lungs" and "to draw or remove by suction." By extension then naturally aspirated could be taken to mean to inhale or draw air without external or forced help. To see how this applies to a diesel engine requires me to answer my question and to explain about two- & four-cycle engines.

A four-cycle engine (gasoline or diesel) has 4 distinct phases:

  1. an intake cycle where the downward moving piston draws in air through the intake valves,
  2. a compression cycle where the upward moving piston compresses the air against closed valves,
  3. a power cycle where the burning fuel and air expands and forces the piston down, and
  4. the exhaust cycle where the upward moving piston forces the spent gasses out through the exhaust valves.

Since the intake cycle draws in air (and gasoline vapor on a gas engine) without external help, it can be considered naturally aspirated.

A two-cycle engine by contrast has only a compression cycle and a power cycle. In the two-cycle engine, intake and exhaust take place during the pause at the bottom of the strokes. A two-cycle engine, therefore, does not function as an air pump, so an external means of supplying the air is provided. A specially designed blower forces cleaned air into the cylinders to expel the exhaust gases and fill the cylinders with fresh air for combustion. Therefore, a two-cycle diesel cannot naturally aspirate and you should have realized by now a 6-71 is a two-cycle engine.

Most two-cycle engines such as the GM 71 series and EMDs still have exhaust valves but no intake valves. Now who can tell me a major locomotive manufacturer who used a diesel with NO valves?


By Gordon Bachlund

In the last issue I reported on the results of our year-end gift appeal. After that issue went to press, another gift arrived from Paul Nelson, associate number 40, a generous check for $250 to be applied "where needed." If has been applied to the M.177, bringing our M.177 total from the appeal to $570! Thanks, Paul!


By Al Di Paolo, Assistant Mechanical Superintendent, Steam

As the old song says, "Grease is the word...."

It seems I've been gone for a long time and my favorite railroad museum has felt the winds of change. For example, the Association compound has experienced a lot of growth and organization. But one thing that hasn't changed is the last project that the steam department was working on. When we last left off we were working on Travel Town's very own California native, the Southern Pacific 1273 (built at Espee's Sacramento Locomotive Works). For those who don't remember (yes, I've been absent for quite a while) we were getting this engine ready to be moved. This involved inspecting and lubricating all the bearing areas. As anyone who gives a casual glance to an engine with Walscheart's valve gear can see, there are a lot of lubrication points.

In my last report, I mentioned how this engine was equipped to receive soft grease to all the valve motion through the extensive use of 5/8 inch alemite fittings. Through the use of a coupler that is still commercially available we were able to pump soft grease to all the proper areas using an ordinary grease gun. It was a real pleasure to see fresh grease ooze from all the bearing areas (I'm assuming that the last time this engine received any grease at all was back in the 1950s).

Earlier this year, Joe Siemons and I continued the lube process by opening up and inspecting the steam chests and lubricating the piston valves. Aside from a very light coating of rust and some trash stuffed through the "peep holes," the piston valves looked very good.

The week after, I came by with the intent of repacking the driving box cellars. This was something I wasn't exactly looking forward to as it involves crawling around between the frames and attempting to be a contortionist. On engines with Stevenson valve gear, this is next to impossible (I can't wait til we build a service pit). You can imagine my surprise when I realized that I had repacked all six cellars in about twenty minutes! The secret, you ask? The espee had made this engine service friendly: the sides of the cellar boxes had doors that flip down to reveal a very accessible grease pad. By simply opening these doors and compressing the grease pad spring, the grease pad merely drops away from the axle. Repacking took about three to five minutes per cellar box. I felt like I was on an Indy car pit crew!

The only thing left to do is inspect and lube the tender journal boxes and then this engine can be added to our "can roll" list. With any luck by the time you read this, the 1273 will be moved.

Incidentally, after I finished doing the cellars, I looked at our other Southern Pacific engine (the stately 3025) and was glad to see the same arrangement on its driving boxes. I can't wait to get dirty again....

Out of GAS!

By Tom Graham, Assistant MoW Superintendent, Motor Fleet

It has been awhile but we have had a few things happen over the last three months. Back in late January, Ed Sikora and I built a new set of steps to get into the boxcar. I hope they become very useful.

Equipment status -- The blue dump truck is in pretty bad shape and a decision needs to be made on its existence at Travel Town. I don't think it would be wise to spend any more money on it. There hasn't been any work done to the white truck lately but it will soon be in operating condition again. Bruce Henrie has been kind enough to donate his old work truck; Bruce tells me it has three-quarters of a million miles on it. That's OK, it still starts and runs pretty good. It will be our Maintenance of Way signal truck. Thanks, Bruce!

I have started plans for our new work facility and hope to have the working drawings done within a few weeks.


By James G. Hoffmann, Operations Superintendent

At the December board meeting Randy Matus resigned as Operating Department Superintendent owing to time and family constraints. A meeting was held in January to discuss the department's future. Those who attended shared their thoughts and suggestions, and after some discussion, I was "railroaded" (pun intended!) into the department superintendency. I also have some problem with time constraints (the job of a school districts theater manager involves many weekends), so several Assistant Superintendents were appointed, along with some instructional positions, to better serve the department's need to grow. Here is a revised table of organization:

A big THANK YOU to all who attended the meeting!

Congratulations to Brian Moore and Ed Sikora, who were promoted to Conductor. Way to go, guys!

We also welcome our newest crew members, Chris and Isabel Rippy. Both completed their Rules tests and have been working as car attendants. Welcome aboard!

Recreational operations have been scheduled for the second and fourth Saturdays after Park closing. On those Saturdays, to the extent possible, we will offer training during the day. In addition, we will offer training and qualification tests on the first and third Saturdays after Park closing. Rules classes and safety classes may be arranged at any time by calling the Rules Examiner to schedule them.

An Operating Department Newsletter will be published and sent out at approximately monthly intervals to all Rules-qualified associates. The purpose of this newsletter will be to keep everybody up-to-speed regarding the department's progress, to give out helpful hints, and to stress certain safety rules and procedures.

Our public operations were held December 2nd and 3rd, with special operations on December 16th for the opening of the Partners in Progress exhibit. Starting in January, operations are now held the first Sunday of each month. Staffing for the monthly operations has been quite good, with all positions filled each shift. Passenger counts and donations are on the increase. So far, the experiment appears to be successful!

                        Passengers              Donations

Saturday, December 2       658                 $   184.01

Sunday, December 3         884                     191.69

Saturday, December 16        0                 $    92.48

(passenger count missing)

Sunday, January 7        1,073                 $   283.70

Sunday, February 4       1,309                     414.00


Total:                   3,924                 $ 1,165.88

Operating Days: 74

A big THANK YOU to everybody who participated in keeping the trains running! Those with recorded time included Gordon Bachlund, Jeff Barrow, Bob Bennett, Dale Brown, Steve DeVorkin, Jack Finn, Mike Flaharty, Jonathan Hathaway, Brian Moore, Scott Muir, Jesse Navarro, Dan Price, Greg and Yvonne Ramsey, Christian and Isabel Rippy, Thomas Seal, Ed Sikora, Kevin Tam, and Alan Weeks.

Hardcopy printing for the Headlight was generously donated by


"For the job you needed yesterday"

Specializing in

Minuteman Press
3165 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91605
(818) 764-6091


NOTE: All SCSRA caboose train operations and ASRA passenger car tours take place at Travel Town during regular park hours, which are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. standard time and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. during daylight savings time.

is published quarterly at Los Angeles, California, and is the official publication of
P.O. Box 11216, Glendale, CA 91226
(213) 667-1423 and via the World Wide Web at

A California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, Incorporated January 4, 1984
IRS Tax Exemption No. 95-3947766

Editor: Sue Kientz

Send your letters to the editor to the park address above or at E-mail link below

Any article or feature published in The Headlight may be reprinted in whole or in part provided that proper credit is given the source.





Associates with inquiries regarding project work schedules may contact any of the above by leaving a message at (213) 667-1423.

Questions and comments to Sue Kientz, SCSRA Publications Manager