It’s 1928 in El Portal, not 1920-1928ish

The date I set for my modeling year and month sets lots of other things. Check the reweigh date on this car. It’s within the right period to be in service in August of 1928.

Modeling a month, and a year, provides absolute context.  That’s one of the reasons I chose to model August of 1928.  August in California is usually hot, the grasses that give the state it’s nickname, “The Golden State”, are tall and that unique golden that sets them apart.  

On the YV, August would see a number of tourists/tours headed to the wonders of the National Park, so passenger service is still high, and much of the freight traffic that might be season-dependent is running a or near a peak before the drop off into the Fall and Winter.

Modeling a specific year allows me to properly choose the equipment to run, properly paint the equipment, and properly letter that equipment.  The same thing goes for the structures, and the track layout.

In my last post about refining El Portal, I discussed the baryte mine and changing the plan so that the mine no longer appears on the track plan I shared.  You may also have noticed that the same revision removed the logging operation on both ends of the yard.  I’m modeling August of 1928, and the logging operation moved from El Portal to the station of Incline, further to the West, in 1924.  In 1928, there wouldn’t have been any activity, and the track connections to what would have been the El Portal logging Incline would have been removed.  Therefore, I’ve removed the logging operation from El Portal.

I had originally considered stretching the logging operation date at El Portal to be able to include this really interesting set of car movements with YV log cars and tank cars for the oil reload.  While this would be a wonderful operation to have on a layout, it didn’t exist at El Portal in 1928, and I’ve picked 1928 for specific reasons related to what I stated above, the equipment, the paint schemes, and the operation, so out goes the logging operation from the plans.

While this reduced the amount of traffic, it puts me back into a spot where I am more comfortable with prototype modeling.  A specific month, of a specific year, was chosen to accomplish a model of that time.  If I include elements of an earlier, or a later, year, I’m not really modeling that specific month and year, at least in my head.

The operating plan will now include the Merced Local arriving in El Portal, doing it’s job, and being put to bed (likely before a lunch break).  Then the El Portal Local will be built, and depart.  One train, one crew, probably two people, and an agent/dispatcher.  More boxcars, more gondolas, fewer flat cars, fewer YV log cars, and still a bunch of interesting operation.

So, the plan was adjusted by removing the leads to the logging wye at El Portal, and my plans will adjust for operating the model accordingly as well.


Leave a Reply