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Four Gauges of Railroading in one day again 7/21/2012

Featuring the Descanso, Alpine & Pacific Railway, Poway-Midland Railroad and the Smith Ranch & Julian Railroad

by Chris Guenzler

After AC Adam and I could not ride that steam train at Poway a new plan was made. First since AC Adam has not ever ridden the Descanso, Alpine & Pacific Railway that would be our first stop followed by going back to Poway and according to their schedule the steam engine would be running on this Saturday. I got up and after making my morning preparations, I drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station where I parked my GEO Metro in the northeast parking lot. I went to the platform to wait for the train to arrive.

The first gauge of the day would me the standard gauge rails of the San Diego Subdivision.

Pacific Surfliner 562 pulled into Santa Ana and I boarded the rear open coach. I made the story pages for this trip then relaxed the rest of the way to Solana Beach where AC Adam was waiting to pick me up. From here using my directions I had printed we drove out to Alpine and found our next railroad to ride this morning.

Descanso, Alpine & Pacific Railway 7/21/2012

We pulled up to the gate and found this sign.

This sign made me feel very happy and a great way to start the day. We drove and parked the car.

The Pond Station Sign

The old turntable pit.

The Shade Depot.

Another of the buildings here.

The Wooden Homemade Caboose.

Roy came down the hill with our train for this morning's trip. He then showed us a few things.

The working telegraph and telephones were both demonstrated.

The Timetable Board.

Roy showed us the rail used on his railroad and then told us where the rails all came from. We would now start our trip by heading up the hill to the driveway.

Views going up the hill to the driveway.

This is as far we could go as the track is out of service beyond that point.

The Wig Wag crossing signal.

The Yard Limit Sign.

The train dropped down the grade to the Shade Depot.

We ran by the Shade Station and by the wooden caboose.

We ran through Garden.

We ran by the Hand Car Shed and the Shop Building.

We came to the switch for the High Trestle Loop.

We started out on the High Trestle.

The view from the High Trestle.

Views of the Circular Trestle.

Far below is the 18 inch mining railroad on Roy's property. Roy switched the switch to take us into his shop area.

The working blacksmith shop on his property. Roy gave us several demonstrations while we were here.

One of the working telegraph poles on the property. Roy backed us down to his mainline and the switched the switch so we could continue our trip on his railroad.

The handcar shed.

The railroad's motor car.

There are little mileposts all along this railroad.

At Garden we switched to the lower loop track.

The train crossed this small trestle.

We took this curve as the grade took us down.

The switch at New Marnell.

Looking back to where we had just been.

This engine called Little Trammer was manufactured some time prior to 1930 by the Mancha Storage Battery Locomotive Company, St Louis, USA. The builder plate indicates "Mine Locomotive Motor, Type M 8, Amps 94, Volts 40, Speed 925, Serial number 20791." The locomotive is powered by two 725 batteries, 20 volts, in series.

The 18 inch dump car.

We next ran to the Bob Cat Cut.

Looking back to where we had been.

The train came out of the Bob Cat Cut.

The train crossed the Howe Wooden Through Tress Trestle like the one on the Durango & Silverton Railroad.

We made a stop at El Pozo.

Roy lit the oil switch lantern to give us another demonstration.

Roy showed us the green aspect of the lantern.

He also showed us his working telephone system he has on his property.

We now would head back to the Shade Depot.

We ran by the "Little Trammer" on the way back to the Shade Depot.

We finished the lower loop near New Marnell. We returned to the Shade Depot and then I called Lets Talk Trains.

The 2.5 ton Brookville Locomotive that pulled our train this morning.

One last look at the 20 inch track at the Decanso, Alpine and Pacific Railway. Roy showed us some material and then we swapped a few stories. He told us about a railroad up in Julian that would be running later today and to give them a call. AC and I thanked Roy for allowing us to visit his unique railroad here in Alpine. We left for Poway and I made a phone call to get us on the 1:00 PM train at Julian.

Click here for Part 2 of this story