El Centro Depots
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The SD&AE depot and the Southern Pacific depot sit across the parking lot from each other. It must have seemed confusing to arrive from San Diego transferring for connections East on the Southern Pacific, and forced to make one's way between the two stations. At least baggage was lugged between the two by someone else.
El Centro's SD&AE station (on the left as seen from the tracks) was built by Paul Kuykendall in 1996. Paul made several trips to El Centro to take measurements of the depot, and presumably also took detail photographs of the hip roof. This model does not yet have interior detail or lighting, but it is planned in the future, due to its being only inches behind the viewing glass. Alas, Paul is no longer in the San Diego area. A new SD&AE depot is under construction by Pat Weishan to correct problems with the original model.
The Southern Pacific station (on the right) was built and superbly detailed by Pat Weishan. It was completed in mid 2001 and took almost 2 years to construct. Visitors to the museum can see a great many mini-scenes inside the structure, including the gentleman sitting on the toilet reading a newspaper. Care was taken to not include any paper material in either the model or the interior detail, as over time bugs take their toll on such items.
Construction of La Mesa's upper level required addition of support columns along the El Centro side of the layout. Once installed, the layout perimeter was moved out a couple of inches as the area between the columns becomes our new exterior wall. It was once planned to install the long storage spur which runs behind the depots, but a new station track in front of the depots was installed instead. This is valuable for passenger trains waiting at the station, and prevents fouling of the balloon track.
Historical Photo: James N. Price
Contemporary Photos: Tom Fassett, James N. Price
Model Photos: Rob Hanson