The Headlight

Southern California Scenic Railway Association, Inc.

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

Volume 10, Number 4......................................................................... ..Winter 1995


By James G. Hoffmann, SCSRA President

This is the first installment of what I hope to be a continuing forum for discussion of issues concerning the present and future of our Association. I welcome input from all of our associates and hope each quarter to discuss as many issues as possible within the limits of this column. Please feel free to drop me a line at the association mailbox at any time.

First, I was somewhat taken aback at being elected president. That will teach me to miss a board meeting! My first thought was that I am not always available to come to Travel Town on weekends as my job as a theater manager involves much weekend work. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought I could be effective as part of a team management effort, and I hope to continue along those lines.

I would like to begin by acknowledging my predecessor, Randy Matus, who has done a fine job over the last two years. I hope as SCSRA president I can continue the good work that he has advanced. Also, it is with real regret that I receive the resignation of Randy as Operating Superintendent. I have known Randy since the two of us (and numerous other associates) were active at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris. Randy has created the Operating Department at SCSRA and brought it to a fine level of safety and professionalism. He has also recruited a number of associates (myself included) who had a background in museum demonstration railway operation. Unfortunately, work and family commitments draw increasingly on Randy's time. He has indicated a desire to continue to support the goals of this association, and I hope he will stay on as instructor, dispatcher, trainman, and air brake guru. Randy, you are a tough act to follow!

As I begin my term, I realize that there are two issues needing to be addressed immediately. The first of these is the appearance of our ``home.'' Linda Barth mentioned this at the September board meeting and asked for our help in making the grounds attractive for the visiting public. Our main concern here is the fenced area. A major cleanup effort is now underway; however, we need to keep at it constantly if we do not want the clutter to get out of hand. A part of any work project must be the cleanup of the work area, putting all the tools away, etc. Remember, the public rides past our work area in the little train, and what they see reflects on our professionalism, or lack of it.

Secondly, we must do all we can to increase the number of qualified operators among our associates. Linda wants us to begin monthly operations as soon as possible; to do this requires more qualified staff than we currently have. I would like to see everyone who is now in the training program become fully qualified (as Engineer) within the next two years. Based on current staffing levels, I asked the Board to approve changing the operating days to the first Sunday of each month, starting in January 1996. As the instruction program gets into a higher gear and more staff becomes available, perhaps we can add the first Saturday as well.

In addition, I ask everyone who has purchased a rulebook to become involved: take your rules test and get into the program. On my part, I pledge to do everything I can to have instructors available on a regular basis. This is feasible if we confine our operation to the portion of track inside the fence. This would allow training in boarding and alighting, coupling and uncoupling, and limited train movement. The third Saturday of each month has been suggested for this program. Let me know if you think this is a good idea.

I certainly don't want to take away anything from our other important projects, but we need to think of the future: some day when (and I do say when) the CS&CV line reaches the zoo, we will find ourselves running a real scenic railroad, and we need to prepare!

Again, I want to know what YOU think. Please write me at the park or, if you are at Travel Town, leave it in my mailbox. Hope to hear from you!


By Bryan Reese, M.177 Project Manager

I'm sure that many of you are wondering why the rebuild of the M.177 Winton Engine is so expensive. M.177 was originally selected by our organization because it was thought to be the easiest piece of equipment to be put into running condition and suitable for operation on the proposed Zoo Railway. In fact, the damage done by years of exposure to the elements took a severe toll on the main engine.

For more than twenty years, rain ran down the exhaust stack and actually inside the engine. This damage was not immediately apparent until the cylinder heads were removed, and it was found that some of the pistons were so badly corroded that they were literally frozen in the liners. One piston was so bad that it resisted all attempts by our associates to remove it on site. This even included heating up the liner with a gas torch to get it to expand, and packing the inside of the piston with dry ice to get it to shrink. That piston has since been successfully removed, but don't ask me how.

Our prime contractor, Globe Bearing, is having to utilize several subcontractors to put the engine in working order. One ``sub'' is responsible for reclaiming the pistons. This involves machining off the corroded top down to a sound base, then building up the aluminum piston through a welding process, and then remachining the piston to the original size. Another is making new piston rings. Yet another is making new cylinder liners. Globe Bearing themselves is making new bearing shells, the originals having been lost during the engine's odyssey from shop to shop. Globe has also had to straighten and grind and repair a crack in the crankshaft. They will also do the final buildup.

There is a possibility, according to Tom Johnson of Globe, that some money can be saved with some of the subcontractors by making it ``time available'' work, that is, work on the engine when there is nothing else to do in the shop. I don't have the details yet on how much this could save us, or what sort of delay might result. Most likely no more than a couple of months.

On other fronts, there has been a lot of activity. Despite the fact that the paint and a new spray gun has been delivered for the carbody, I have put off painting somewhat when I realized that the engine room has to be ready very soon to receive the rebuilt engine. The engine room has received a fresh coat of gray paint, and gray ``battleship'' linoleum has been ordered for the floor. Window sashes are being rebuilt and safety glass installed. In the case of the front facing windshields, we are installing certified FRA Type II safety glazing to afford maximum protection to the operator. The brake system is complete once again with the exception of the brake stand itself, which must wait for the installation of the linoleum flooring. The Smoking section has been stripped and sanded, and newly fabricated metal ceiling panels have arrived and await installation.

In addition to all the work, we've also had time to play: on October 28, the Train Club turned the M.177 into a ``haunted car'' for a volunteer's Halloween party.

And it just keeps getting better. A City employee, Larry Patrich, has arranged with Caudill Electric Motor Corp. to rebuild the exciter and main generators. Caudill specializes in traction motor and generator rebuilding, and will be manufacturing new field windings to replace those stolen from the generator so many years ago. It's just barely possible that 1996 could see the engine and generator start and run under its own power.

Additionally, Larry also transported the auxiliary-exciter generator salvaged from the CWR No. 55 at Fort Bragg, to Caudill's shop. On November 4, Caudill returned the rebuilt auxiliary-exciter generator, which we will soon install in No. 56. Meanwhile, Jim Vicars and Ted McConville collected the coil and brush rigging drawings provided by GE back in 1988, and took them to Caudill on Gordon's direction. With the Winton engine moving forward, and the ``electrical transmission'' on the way, who can say what wonderful news the next report will bring?!

But lest I get carried away, I would like to mention that there is still the occasional sour note among all the beautiful music. Sometime during the first week of November, vandals broke all but one of the windows on the right side of M.177, the front windshields of the Charley Atkins locomotive, and one window in the Rose Bowl sleeping car. These acts in all likelihood took place during regular operating hours.

Readers of the Headlight have received several communications about the train shed (or lack thereof). Such instances only cause me to even more adamantly add my voice to those calling for the City to make good on its commitment. What good will all this effort and money be if M.177 simply deteriorates to its former condition? We must continue to call for protection and preservation of this unique and priceless collection.

With enough support and enthusiasm, anything is possible. Those who this quarter have given of their time and talents include Kevin Tam, Alan Weeks, Thomas Seal, Scott Muir, Jim Vicars, Bob Bennett, Tom Johnson of Globe Bearing, Bill Jubek at Pittsburgh Air Brake, Pat Meadows of Tim's Auto Paint and Supply, and Frank Thomasian of Caudill Electric Motor Corp. I hope to see you out there very soon.

From the General Superintendent's Desk

By Greg Ramsey

The Associates Manual has been completed and should have been distributed to all new associates who joined since June 1, 1995. If you are in this category and have not received your copy, please contact me and I will get one out to you. An unbound version will be available soon for all current associates for the cost of duplication.

M.177 Operating History

By Chell Hurdle, Historical Research Associate

This twelfth report of our research efforts covers the quarter ending November 30, 1995. We have heard from three of our previous correspondents, again Mike Hurley and Ms. Margaret Gabriel, who both sent copies of the articles in Kanhistique newsletter by Gail L. Martin, El Dorado, KS, about the operation of the ``Little Ranger.'' The second article includes a number of responses Ms. Martin received from residents of El Dorado about their experiences riding this car.

Although we had heard from some of these people three years ago, there were a number of new stories related. I am attempting to obtain permission to reprint some of these.

We also heard from Ms. Frankie S. Cullison, of the Cowley County Historical Society, who sent along a reply in the Kanhistique newsletter to the first article about the ``Little Ranger.'' It indicates that the depot at Winfield which was served by the motorcars is, contrary to what we previously understood, still in existence. One of the brick depots was torn down but the other one survives and is the one which is being preserved. We are now trying to find out what the contemporary structure is, which had Ted McConville and Jim Vicars photographed in Winfield on their visit two years ago. Ms. Cullison says she is not familiar with this structure.

We have been at this research over three years now, have sent out over a thousand letters, and had articles published or reprinted in dozens of newspapers and historical society newsletters.

You may remember in our last article we mentioned sending an advertisement to The Genealogical Helper, an ancestral research tool, with circulation of over 200,000 subscribers. Although the issue was somewhat delayed, we have already received a fascinating response from Mrs. Mary Oglesby of Peerless, MT. Her grandfather, Mr. Herman U. Neely, was a Santa Fe employee from 1912 through 1952. ``He lost a leg due to someone giving a wrong signal in 1914. After recovering he returned to work with a wooden leg.'' He served most of his career as a flagman at Cherryvale, KS. Mrs. Oglesby relates that ``My grandfather liked to take us grandchildren down to the `Little House' (which he worked out of when on duty) to see the trains, especially if one was different.'' She states that she may have seen the M.177 as a child in 1949.

Although the Railroad Retirement Pension Record does not cover his entire period of service, it was interesting to note that his entire compensation for the period 1924-1931 was $8,000.18! It was further noted that his compensation did not exceed $300.00 in any month!

Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Oglesby for sharing this information.

We believe that we will receive further responses to our ad after the holidays.


By Joe Barilari, Public Relations Manager

Many people have asked me about Public Relations chores of late, and lemme tell ya, there's plenty to go around. We need to send out notices for each operating day, send notices for any special occasion move, develop text and picture arrangements for the various bulletin boards, and the list goes on.

This quarter I have had an unprecedented number of people volunteer for many of the tasks which need to be undertaken. Steve DeVorkin has volunteered to handle media relations. In the past few weeks he has renewed our license with the Southern California Broadcasters Assoc. This allows us to send public service announcements to the radio and television stations serving the area in hopes of them reading them over the airwaves. This was previously done for many years but the only exposure we received was with KRLA radio. I taped a radio spot for them which was aired quite a bit a couple of years ago. Since then however the local broadcasters have been busy with the elections and O.J. trial among other things and have not been receptive to our requests. Since Steve started just a few weeks ago he has managed to get us into all the papers and on the morning news!! Way to go, Steve! I don't know how he does it but I do know that he's good at what ever it was.

We have bulletin boards up all over Travel Town. These boards had advertisements for volunteers and other information about the two volunteer groups. One problem we've had, though, is keeping them up to date and several weeks ago a gentleman named Charles Forsher joined us, who then agreed to take up this responsibility. It is very important that the information we give the public be changed frequently. One of the goals I set when taking the job of managing the Public Relations Dept. was to NEVER reorder the same brochure.

Likewise, it is important to show the weekday public that behind all the closed gates with green scrim material there is an engine working to keep progress at Travel Town moving. Our pictures have to reflect the most current progress so that visitors will keep coming back. As we approach our tenth anniversary at Travel Town, I'm proud to say that engine has never been shut down. It was started in February of 1986 and it has never dropped below idle. The weekday visitor, however, has a difficult time appreciating the progress since they don't get to see it going on. Charles will change that in a big way. The portable display has been set up temporarily in the entrance building and will be moved to the museum building as soon as a different board is constructed to take its place. Charles has a lot of enthusiasm and I know he will do a fine job.

Education has been a goal of ours since the organization's inception. Previously, however, our personal resources have been spread mighty thin. Recently Kevin Tam began to think about an SCSRA web page. As we were talking and thinking of great things to put on the page, we discussed the possibility of putting together an exhibit regarding the development of Los Angeles. Alan Weeks has done some digging in this area and agreed to get on board. The idea is to develop a display for the museum building and repro it onto the web page. In addition, we would like to add our current pictures of work and ASRA's current work. As you can see, this is quickly growing to be a Travel Town web page and a very interesting site to visit indeed! (check it out at --- which you are reading right now! Welcome!!) Entering the twenty-first century with a historically interesting and educational website will put us on the map as a leader in our field. I'd like to give Kevin and Alan a warm welcome to the P/R dept.


By Gordon Bachlund, Mechanical Superintendent

Burglars and Vandals -- In late September our Restoration Yard was broken into. Access was gained by cutting the padlocked chain securing the Track 5 East gate. An attempt was made to enter the fireman's side cab door of CWR No. 56 by cutting the staple of the padlocked hasp securing the door. Fortunately the coach-keyed door lock was secured, as is our usual practice, so no actual entry was made. Then, after rummaging through the speeder and finding nothing worth taking, the burglar(s) attempted to enter the AT&SF 999110 caboose by tweaking the hasp and staple. When this proved fruitless, the shackle of the padlock was cut through, and entry was made since someone had forgotten to secure the coach-keyed door lock. No other attempts at entry were made, and nothing appeared to have been taken, leading me to speculate that the intruder(s) was looking for items, such as tools, that could be easily sold to purchase what is euphemistically referred to as ``contraband.'' Unfortunately, the City lost a good TV monitor during this incident.

And, as noted in Doodlebug Notes, the Charley Atkins, the Rose Bowl, and the M.177 suffered broken glass in early November.

It is hoped that these incidents will kindle a renewed interest on the part of Travel Town staff and, ultimately, the live-in caretaker, in protecting the museum's assets.

The Great Clean Up Goes On -- While we continued to clear the boneyard, Joe Barilari seized an opportunity to utilize a tracked grader and made rubble of the concrete curb around the old airplane circle, so the area can now be graded flat. Signal and rail hardware were relocated, and M.177 parts saved for replication, such as the exhaust shrouds, were moved to safe storage nearer Bryan's Bountiful Boxcar. Other items were sorted and dispatched to outdoor storage on pallets or to the dumpster, as appropriate, and the final crop of weeds was for the most part knocked down. Many thanks to Joe and Tom Graham, Greg Ramsey, Dan Price, Thomas Seal, Scott Muir, Jeff Pippenger, Alan Weeks, Ed Sikora, Doug Stevens, and any others whose name has slipped my mind or who failed to complete time cards.

Cabeese -- The battery voltage of AT&SF 999110 dropped rather more than it should have on the Sunday of our October operations, and we found that an equalizing charge was needed. Both caboose batteries were topped off with distilled water and given equalizing charges, with care taken to ensure that both batteries in each paralleled set were equally charged. Many DC thanks to Dan Price and Jim Vicars.

Forced entry repairs to 999110 consisted of the writer tweaking the hasp back into shape, while Jim had a new hardened shackle installed on the Almont padlock.

The usual switching and clean up before operations was accomplished by the writer, Jim Vicars, Brian Moore, and Doug Stevens.

Oops! -- October 14 was a fun date at the Travel Town Museum. We enjoyed a movie night featuring Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes and episodes three and four of the early John Wayne railroad serial Hurricane Express, and we had scheduled handcar race practice. Thus it happened that the handcar was on operating track rather than safely nested and locked in the Exhibit Hall. During the movie intermission, a few folks decided to eschew the snack bar in favor or yet more practice. Unhappily, some good soul had, without asking, closed the gate across the interchange track. And so it happened that the folks on the handcar, flying eastward from the platform, did instinctively what many early railroaders did immediately prior to imminent disaster: they ``joined the birds'' as an alternative to finding themselves remanded to the ``great roundhouse in the sky!'' Being bereft of wings, though, they landed ignominiously but unharmed on the ballast while the handcar attempted without success to occupy the very same space as the gate. Damage was minor, mostly to bruised egos. Henceforth, activities involving the handcar will be closely supervised!

Buildings and Equipment -- The Shop Building got lots of attention. The 12-unit locker from the AT&SF San Bernardino Shops, donated by Chris Macur, was literally squeezed into the building, cleaned up, and painted. The existing lockers were rearranged to afford maximum lockers in minimum space. Also, a full-sized desk, donated by Irving Selden, was moved in to provide additional working space and more drawer capacity for files and supplies. Never have so few square feet housed so much furniture! However, if and when someone donates a refrigerated bottle water dispenser, there remains space allocated for it. (I do so hope this was a very subtle hint.)

The picnic tables in the lunch area were cleaned up and Ed Sikora repainted them. Ed also donated a table for food serving. Additionally, the lunch area was bladed smooth and covered with gravel to provide a better appearance and a safer surface on which to walk, especially when the rains start. Now the trick will be to keep the area clean!

A Mechanical Department bulletin was issued covering housekeeping concerns and, for the benefit of all, housekeeping rules will be enforced.

The yellow Conex container, inadvertently dropped on its side when it was relocated by City staff to repair a leaky water main, was cleaned out and will be assigned to the M/W department.

For all these many tasks we are grateful to Doug Stevens, Charles Forsher, Ed Sikora, Tom Graham, Dan Price, Thomas Seal, Scott Muir, Jesse Navarro, Bob Bennett, and Pat Pendergest.


By Joe Barilari, Maintenance of Way Superintendent

EXCITING fourth quarter! The MoW crew has been really busy of late. One of the most visible things has been the progress on the stub switch. The cutting, welding, chopping, cropping, and pounding of a very heavy hammer have resulted in a design that makes up for beauty with style and longevity. Or at least we think so. Anyway it throws smooth as silk and is about as over-built as it could be. Meanwhile the guys have been busy pounding spikes and spreading ballast. The ever present giant dirt pile got moved thanks to Tom and Jeff. And the even more giant and twice as large concrete pile was removed by city crews which was orchestrated by Patrick Alonzo, our industrious TT Manager.

On Nov. 11 our association grew by two more associates. The best thing is, they are engineers and have agreed to start work on the bridge project. Included with this issue is an artist's conception of the bridge. This concept is the result of several years worth of planning and options juggling. At press time, Mark Cuneo has advised me that some preliminary drawings have been made that will be reviewed this upcoming weekend. I know that if you're reading this you can imagine what this project means to the SCSRA and Travel Town. Towards that end, I read with great interest the Green Eye as soon as it arrived in my mailbox. In it was mention of getting the Travel Town entrance project completed in the near future. Having the bridge done and the entrance moved will allow us to move the train rides out of the center of TT and onto main-line track. That's progress!

The stub switch track has been ballasted about halfway to the fence. Unfortunately, that's about where we ran into our semi-annual tractor brawl with the city's maintenance crews. This has slowed our progress on the completion of that section of track. We will continue to add rail and ties until the tractor problem has been resolved. Ballasting and leveling usually comes last anyway.

We've also been busy with clean-up in the old airplane ring storage area. Recently, the concrete curbing, the last still in existence, was broken up by a piece of loaned city equipment and awaits removal to create yet another giant concrete pile in the service yard. We know that thanks to the diligence of Patrick Alonzo, Travel Town Operations Manager, that the pile will be short-lived. Danny has been very busy with weed abatement in our work and new track construction areas.

Thanks for helping this quarter, guys: J. Barrow, Bob Bennett, Dale Brown, Mike Flaharty, Tom Graham, Bruce Henrie, Jim Hoffmann, Jeremy Langill, Brian Moore, S. Muir, Jeff Pippenger, Dan Price, Thomas Seal, Ed Sikora, Darryl Stevens, and Jim Vicars.


By Greg Ramsey, Assistant Superintendent, Diesel
The Diesel Shop was largely on autopilot this quarter as anyone who has heard me coughing can tell you. I been more than a little bit under the weather. I've been suffering from bronchitis and something called reflux esophagitis. I am for the most part back in service now, and really appreciate all of you who have expressed concern for me.

Fortunately, I have some great help that was able to keep the work going without me.

Charley's #2 cooling system was treated to a dose of special locomotive radiator corrosion inhibitor which gives the jacket water a distinct pink color. This will undoubtedly be appreciated by the operating crews when they are performing their pre-start checks. In addition, the engineer's cab door finally received a new security hasp to enhance security. Kevin Tam and Alan Weeks have returned to finish Charley's cab interior with only a few pieces of trim left that will have to be made. Jim Vicars also repaired and upgraded the 32v batter charger.

The auxiliary generator salvaged from the CWR 55 which we started on last quarter was sent out to Caudill Electric Motor Corp. and was returned on November 4th, resplendent with newly varnished and baked field coils and armature, turned and undercut commutator bars, new leads, new brushes, and new ball bearings with grease fittings. Its installation will have to wait until we can complete the interior cleaning of 56's engine compartment and schedule a forklift or Jeff's crane. The attempted break-in you've read about elsewhere also required me to repair the hasp on the Baldwin's fireman's door, one of the few jobs I was able to do myself this quarter.

Staffing the diesel shop this quarter in addition to the above included Bob Bennett, Gordon Bachlund, and Thomas Seal.

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

Diesel Shop Trivia

You've often heard me refer to Charley's prime movers as General Motors (or Detroit Diesel) 6-71 diesels, but have you ever stopped to realize what that designation means. It's not a model number, there are a number of 6-71 models. It's actually very logical, a GM ``71-series'' engine has a cylinder displacement of 71 cubic inches. Hence a ``6-71 engine has 6x71 or a total of 426 cubic inches. Beside the famous in-line 6 cylinder version, the 71 series engine is also produced in 2,3, and 4 cylinder in-line versions and V6, V8, V12, V16 and V24 versions. Other variations include 2 or 4 exhaust valves per cylinder, supercharged or supercharged-turbocharged, right or left hand rotation and assemblies with the blower and/or exhaust manifold on either side.

Now who can tell me why there are no naturally aspirated 71 series engines?


By Gordon Bachlund

In early December, I mailed you a special appeal asking you to consider making a year-end gift to the Association to kick off our Tenth Anniversary at the Travel Town Museum. I thank all those of you who were kind enough to respond for your generosity. I also thank Sue Kientz, Jim Vicars, and Ted McConville for assisting with the mailing.

Jim, who handles the Association's finances, reports that 15 checks were received totaling $840 in year-end gifts, broken down as follows:

We are grateful to the following for their kind generosity

In these tenuous financial times, it's nice to know that you care!

A Time to Grow -- At the December board meeting, Randy Matus submitted his resignation as Operating Superintendent, and Jim Hoffmann will take his place. Randy's time constraints prevented his participation at the level he would have liked, and the Operating Department is the one Association activity that needs to grow to keep pace with the public's insatiable appetite for demonstration railway operations. And, these operations are a means of breathing life into the Travel Town museum and enhancing its popular appeal. I would ask those of you who are able and willing to help as volunteer train persons to contact Jim or me about training opportunities. It would really make our Tenth Year a banner one if we were able to double or treble the number of qualified train persons! And, it goes without saying that the more qualified persons there are to share the work, the less onerous the work will be.

Meanwhile, do encourage your friends and acquaintances to join the Association. The bigger our roster of Associates, the more positive influence we can make on the growth and development of the Travel Town museum.

A Time to Look Ahead -- This year 1996 marks the centennial celebration of Griffith Park. Special for-the-public events at the Travel Town Museum will help mark this celebration. In addition, ASRA and SCSRA have jointly planned a great year of special associates-only events. You can look forward to four movie nights (the first one on March 9), a steak fry, an "Oktoberfiesta," and handcar races, in addition to our usual annual Associate's dinner and year-end holiday party. See the SCSRA/ASRA Calendar at the end of the Headlight for exact dates.


By Joe Barilari

The reason I say this is not related to the all important occasion for changing your calendar, drinking champagne, and watching Dick Clark drop his balls in New York City. No, this new year's celebration has to do with progress at Travel Town. I wont dwell on what has happened this past year, partly because I wouldn't want anyone to think we are resting on our laurels (though God knows our laurels are beat!), but also because it's been covered elsewhere in this publication. The important thing is NEXT year, which by the time you read this we will be in. The SCSRA's MoW Dept. has a lot on the table. We have been talking with the city about beginning track work on the other side of the little railroad. We have discussed this for quite a few months and have worked up a tentative plan for 1996. The engineers on the bridge project have sent me some preliminaries and committed to finalizing the plans by FEBRUARY. That's right, February! This means that we could start construction by March given the generosity of our associates and the people of Southern California.

We are trying to recruit money from corporations in LA and volunteers. Maybe you too can help? The plan to put track on the other side of the fence is feasible but it's going to require a big commitment from the associate work force. We will need to clean up the area of the oil pump display, which means removing a couple of trees and breaking up some pavement in the service yard. The sandblast track can be built, and I'd like to work in an equipment loading track while we're at it. Last but not least the drainage for the parking lot could be built into the subgrade, permanently solving the yearly rain-induced lake in the northeast corner.

Without going into too much detail, the bridge construction requires that we leave a bit of space to reroute the little railroad so that they can remain in business during this time. Although we will attempt to use any materials available that can reduce the down time, we need to remember that certain items take time. The sooner we get started the sooner we finish. If you would like to make a difference in this project, start today by volunteering for the fundraising committee.

The Public Relations Committee met recently with Nancy Gneier of ASRA and Tom Breckner from the City of LA to discuss the coordination of our efforts to get the word out among the general public. Among the items discussed was making sure we have a unified message. The message is that what's happening here outweighs what is not. We want to retain our Identity while still projecting ourselves as working together. This is not an easy thing as I realized after considering it at great length. We, meaning the SCSRA, ASRA, and the City, all share the goal of educating the visitors. We do this, however, in different ways but does this make us different or just diverse?

In either case it will be a VERY productive year. If nothing else it will be the year of our Tenth anniversary at Travel Town. Yes, we have been working at TT for ten years exactly on the first weekend of February. Hopefully you will come out on this weekend. We will be running the cabeese train and showing off some new exhibits. But most importantly, we'll be celebrating Our New Decade. It will be a Happy New Year indeed.


By Randy Matus, Operations Superintendent

Training is starting to slow as it always does at the end of the year. Congratulations are due to our newest brakeman, Brian Moore, and our newest engineer, Alan Weeks. Great to have you aboard!

Our public operations were held on October 7 and 8. Staffing on both days was excellent. We even had a full crew Sunday morning!

                       Passengers              Donations

Saturday, October 7       870                 $   190.70

Sunday, October 8         947                     375.55


Total:                  1,817                     566.25

Total to date:         45,759                 $17,078.83

Operating Days: 69

Special operations were held on Saturday, November 11. Our caboose train was chartered to host a birthday party for the great grandson of Charley Atkins. Four trips carried 98 passengers and $47 was donated.

As always, thank you to everyone who has donated their time and talent to keep the trains running. Those with recorded time are Steve Ablonczy, Gordon Bachlund, Dale Brown, Steve DeVorkin, Jim Hoffmann, Jeremy Langill, Ted McConville, Dan Price, Yvonne and Greg Ramsey, Marc Schirmeister, Thomas Seal, Ed Sikora, Will Sundquist, Kevin Tam, Jim Vicars, and Alan Weeks. Thank you!

Hardcopy printing for the Headlight was generously donated by


"For the job you needed yesterday"

Specializing in

Minuteman Press
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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.