Thursday, November 2, 2023

SPH&TS 2023 Convention at Bakersfield

Need to cool off and kill 90 minutes?  Stop in at the "Tehachapi Loop" at Walong Siding's over-view.

Driving from Nevada down to Bakersfield was nice, but I stopped for a bit at the Loop because I was actually running ahead of schedule.  It was great to get out of the toasty car and cool off in the stiff breeze which regularly flows over the Tehachapi mountains.  The day was pretty clear and in the 70F range, which was extremely pleasant.  After about 20 minutes, it was back to the road again and following the back roads down into Bakersfield to Kern Jct.  Then over to the Santa Fe on Truxtun Ave to Oak, and up to the Double Tree, which was the convention hotel.

Vendor Room & OwlMtModels Table

The afternoon was filled with registration and setting up for the convention.  I enjoyed the clinic given by Mike McGinley on the SPMW, which was very interesting to hear his experiences 'working on the railroad.' 

OwlMtModels Table at 2023 SPHTS Convention.

Much of the rest of my time was spent in the Vendor Room chatting with all the fellow modelers and SP aficionados, something I've missed over the last 4 years not being able to attend the convention since 2018.

Tony Thompson's photo of the Vendor room with me surrounded in the middle - linked from his blog covering the SPH&TS 2023 Convention.

The vendor room was pretty full, and was quite busy at times with the 140 attendees to the convention.  The room also became quite loud at times with all the conversations!  Ah good times.  My throat felt this for the next couple of days after the meet, but it was certainly worth the later discomfort!

San Luis Obispo Roundhouse

San Luis Obispo Roundhouse by Bob Schrempp of Prawn Designs, LLC.

A very impressive work-in-progress is this SLO Roundhouse model in HO-scale.  There was an accompanying note book full of photos and research materials on the table with it.  It will be very nice to see this model completed!

1:1 Scale Headlight!

Very nice Pyle Sunbeam Headlight made by PLA 3d Print by Peter Savoy

Peter Savoy made this very nice full-size replica of a classic SP headlight and smokebox front mounting bracket made from PLA plastic, a form of 3d printing larger items.  I first saw this model at the RPM in Reno earlier in 2023, so great to see it again here!

Dismantled for transport!

I was able to snap another photo when he'd disassembled it for transporting after the show.  It certainly looks nice when it's all put together at the shows!

Saturday - RPM Room

Beautiful PNW Resin Boxcars in the RPM Room by Gary Laakso

I'm impressed with Gary Laakso's very nicely finished resin boxcars, mostly from the GN and NP, which I harbor some interest in modeling from the interchange perspective with the SP's lumber trains.  While I don't believe any of these are interesting truss-rod steel cars that lasted well into the 1940s and maybe even early 1950s, they certainly are great examples of cars from these roads!

Westerfield, I guess 40ft USRA Double-sheath

Classic double sheathed boxcars from the early 20th Century, very nicely molded with the late side-view goat herald.

Westerfield, I guess 40ft USRA Double-sheath

A slightly earlier car with the more front-facing Mountain Goat herald.  Also notice the interesting Andrews-style trucks under these two cars.

GN 50ft door-and-half car from Westerfield

While not a full double-door car, this is a more proper example of the correct bracing on a GN 50ft single-sheath car.  Unlike my Walthers DD stand-in cars I talked about last month.

NP 36ft fishbelly side-sill from Westerfield

Interesting that the NP still had these cars wandering around, while similar to the SP's earlier B-50-series cars with the pressed-steel fish-belly side sills, but with NP's classic radial roof.  The car also has the interesting trucks, I wonder if these are the NP-style trucks from Tahoe Model Works?

Westerfield 36ft Southern DS boxcar.

While from the other end of the country, these 36 Southern boxcars are certainly interesting.

SP&S Double-Sheath from Westerfield

And not to be outdone by the other bigger roads, here's a very nice SP&S boxcar with periods, suggesting pre-1931 era lettering.

Dave Maffei's Beets & Lumber Loads!

Dave took up two tables with his wonderful 1960-1970s SP freight train consists.

Seeing Dave again after the Bridgetown Meet and BAPM meets earlier this year was a treat!

Dave's done a couple clinics on the beets in the SP's extended side (post-1957) "Beet Racks".

The "Beet Racks" continued the legacy of calling them "Racks" from the Blackburn Racks 70 years earlier.  Basically, he's modeling what I do, but about 20 years newer in era!

Golden Empire Visit

Beautiful scratch-built Ice Machines on the Golden Empire HO-layout.

I also made a detour Sunday morning to visit the Golden Empire HO-scale club in Bakersfield.  They had a couple of very nice scratch-built Mechanical Ice Deck Machines on their Santa Fe style Ice-Deck.

Dave Maffei caught a short video of our trains meeting.  I put together a train with many of the OwlMtModels Lumber Loads on it, which turned into quite the sight rolling along behind a double heading "Hog" and "Deck."  Thanks to the guys at the Golden Empire club for hosting the running session on Sunday!

In Closing

In general, the trip to visit the SPH&TS Convention in Bakersfield was great fun, and a wonderful chance to visit with friends who I've not seen since the last convention I attended in 2018.  An additional bonus was stopping on the way home at Owenyo to wander through the remains of the SP transfer station with the narrow gauge.  I posted about that experience in my SP Jawbone Branch (Part 39) post.

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

SP Jawbone Branch (Part 39) - A Ferro-Equestrian Archaeology Field Trip - Messing around in the back country of Iyon County to get more first-hand research for my layout construction.

A Month Away - Modeling on the Road - My visit to the SPH&TS 2016 Convention in Palm Springs, CA.

1 comment:

  1. It must be nice to stretch your legs at Tehachapi Loop in 70 degrees weather. The cold keeps snapping here. Thank you for posting the photos.
    Kent Courtney


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