I came across a scene that I just have to recreate, as it occurred at the sand house that I'm modelling in Richmond, CA. Three different photos of SP drop bottom gons on the supply pile. Where did the sand come from and how to model it are the two questions that come to mind. Why is the third.
I recall something that I think Tony T posted on his blog about a sand source near Watsonville on the coast. That could make sense as you want good clean sand for your locos and sources in the central valley not so much. But I'd like to confirm that.
Two, thanks to the SP info on Railgoat's site I was able to come up with several candidate car numbers. I'm very confident that the partial number I saw in one photo, 2459, is actually 92459, a G-50-11. The other number looks like X 3/5 0/6 19 which could fall into the , 92900-93899 G-50-12 (93619, 93019), or the 94500-95199 (95019) series. Despite NEO, I managed to find some info on the SP GS gondolas and so far I've learned that Detail Associates made a kit that would build the -15 and Ulrich had a cast metal kit that could do the -11/12. What did I miss? 53120-53729 G-50-2 (53619) would be a possibility, but they were tight bottom cars and the photos show drop bottoms. I read, but failed to write down the type of end to use for -15 as DA had an option that distinguished it from the other kit that could only make later series cars. Is there a better option, short of brass that is available for the 11-12 cars? Do any of you have an Ulrich car you would like to sell?
Writing this brought up a fourth question related to 1&3, did SP ship sand to other ATSF points? If so, how was it routed? I can't see SP short hauling itself and expect that they routed the car SP Richmond ATSF delivery. I suppose Santa Fe could have ordered the cars for SF delivery and not told SP about the extra distance, but I don't think that would have been kosher. Besides, someone surely would have seen sand gons on the car floats and snapped a photo, so I don't think that was the routing. But I could see Fresno and Bakersfield getting their sand from Watsonville too. This I just have to get to the bottom of.
All of this is a long way to say that if you model Santa Fe Loco service in NorCal, you need to model SP.
ATSF North Bay Lines
Golden Gates & Fast Freights
3450 Palmer Drive, Suite 4224
Cameron Park, CA 95682