TO ESCONDIDO BY PRIVATE CAR
Cook rose from her seat on the rear platform and yelled back: "I'll say 'hello" for myself !" This charming lady, who brought the surrounding country to life with her running narrative of local history and landmarks, came to Vista in 1932 by way of Cardiff. She was very proud of the fact that on March 16th she had purchased a ticket and rode in the caboose of the Escondido local freight. However the railroad discourages such trips by the general public.
Nearing Escondido, the train stopped to set out a couple of cars at the Bell Hilling Company, and we arrived at our destination twelve minutes after noon. The depot here, though remodeled somewhat since it was built by the California Central in 1887, is kind of a museum of sorts. Scribbled on the walls of the freight house are the names and dates of former agents and other depot employees stretching back 75 years. Also, several of the ceiling boards show clear evidence that they were once the station sign on the Camp Kearney depot, which sat on the present site of Miramar NAS until dismantled in 1922.
As the freight crew switched cars in the Escondido yard, we on the "Cyrus K." dived into the ample buffet luncheon in the dining room. The car had been spotted at the very edge of the sidewalk in full view of passersby, so it was not surprising that several of them stopped in for a look-see. In fact, two young boys, thinking we were movie stars, gathered the courage to request a tour of the car. As they left, one of them remarked admiringly: "You sure got a wonderful setup here!" We all quietly agreed with him.
At 2:15, we backed across the street and down to the wye. The car was spotted on the west leg while the crew, ably (?) assisted by members Terry Durkin and Kent Anderson, switched the Purina Company. When our locomotives returned, there was a slight disagreement between the couplers on the caboose and private car respectively. It seems the curve of the wye leg was a mite too sharp, and only after liberal amounts of armstrong and invective did they decide to resolve their differences.
An hour later, the "Escondido Mixed" pulled to a stop at the white stucco station in Oceanside, climaxing a really unforgettable day. Appreciation is extended to the crew: Engineer Jim Kerr, Conductor Hines, and Brakemen J. R. Jenkins and P. W. Hoffman. Each, to a man, rendered "every courtesy and attention."
Herb Kelsey, master mechanic, reports that work on the engine for the rail bus is nearly complete. About all that remains is to polish the valves and reassemble the engine. Many thanks to Doug Reynolds, who has spent many hours in overhauling the engine for the rail bus.
Our purchasing agent, Douglas Reynolds, has been busily writing letters to various supply houses. The purpose is to obtain catalogs for comparative prices on parts for future projects. The work party calender on page 2 of this issue of the Report is for your convenience. Although it is subject to change, more members should be able to plan to show up at work parties. Changes will be published in the Report. Kelsey reports that nearly all the work is done by a few members. The seven most active members are: Stan Kerr, Dan McLean, Dave Willoughby, Everette Mardock, Doug Reynolds, and Walt Hayward. Why, we wonder should most of the work be done by so few? Come on members. Let's all get out and help out.
Speaking of helping out, our next work party is scheduled for Saturday, January 21. The place is 12067 Riverside Drive, Lakeside, California. Work starts. at 8:00 am.
On January 1, the railbus was unloaded from the trailer which carried it to Lakeside. On hand to help unload were Stan Kerr, Walt Hayward and Charles Kent. Many thanks to Walter Barber and his cousin Frank, who were also on hand to help.
General Superintendent Hayward states that: "We are still in need of a Superintendent of Static Artifacts." Surely with our large membership someone with interest in the museum could fill this position. The work isn't that hard, we promise.
CALIFORNIA ZEPHER TO RUN UNTIL FEB. 14
According to a recent article in the TRAINMEN NEWS, the Western Pacific and Denver and Rio Grande Western will continue operation of the California Zepher for one month past the date set for discontinuance of the trains. This was done at the request of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
IS THE IMPERIAL NEXT?
The Rock Island recently applied for permission to discontinue trains 39 and 40 between Chicago and Tucumcari.
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