|A Day on the Western Valley Railroad
Let's follow a WV Railroad crew as they go to work. Their engine, GP-35 #1998, and five cars are spotted on the siding track in Alanda. The roar of the diesel breaks the silence of the morning, as the train gets under way. It rolls through the switch at the end of the yard, Reality Scaled's building looming to their right. Rounding the corner, #1998 passes a lone farmer fixing the barb wire fence, his cussing drowned out by the horsepower of a metal giant.
||Viewed from a bluff high above, two GP-35s meet in Alanda. Blue #1998 holds the main, while #1999, sporting the red and white scheme, has just finished switching two boxcars of fresh model supplies into Reality Scaled's Yard. Both locomotives are made by Model Power and the only modification was a fresh coat of paint to match Western Valley colors.
From here the yellow landscape gleams with beauty as our blue and black diesel contrasts the scenery. Reaching another corner, the crew brings the train across Krystal Lake on the only trestle left standing from the original WV. Numerous people have watched as a train engineer stops his train at the beginning of the trestle and the day's heat causes the crew to jump in the calm blue water for a quick dip before they have the green to head into Alanda. Right across the trestle, our train rumbles through the outskirts of the town of Krystal Lake.
|(Top Left)#1998 pulls into the station at Krystal Lake. (Top Right)Blue GP-35 pulls past a farmer building a fence in the field in the foreground. (Main)First generation diesel #502 sits and waits for passengers, it's orange and black scheme a reminder of the roots of the WV.||
As the train pulls up to the Krystal Lake station, which is acually an old WV wooden sided boxcar, a forklift is waiting to unload a boxcar of auto parts for a garage, as the crew drops the boxcar, the tenants living above the tavern must have a passion for trains, as their eyes are glued to the train going about it's daily chores. Switching off a box car, our crew heads into the restaurant for a bite to eat. Time for lunch. It's at this time that most of the complaints happen about the day, the work, all of them looking forward to the end of the day.
|A quick look at Alanda, still under construction. The big building in the farthest end of the street is the Reality Scaled building, which is the main industry in Alanda. The Caterpillar in the foreground is a Hot Wheels micromachine, with some weathering, as are the cars in the background. Even though the layout is small, looking at it from almost track level makes it seem bigger than it really is. Standing on top of a boxcar, this picture is taken in the exact spot where the line is going to be expanded.
Our crew returns just in time as they get the green to proceed through a tunnel and into the Justin interchange. Here two cars are picked up and three cars are spotted, destined for other parts of the world. This interchange is the focal point for expansion of the line. From here back to Alanda is non-stop and the cars picked up from the interchange are pulled into the siding, to wait for the local switcher to push the cars up to the Reality Scaled platforms to be unloaded. The diesel is unhooked and idles on the siding as the crew climbs down and admires the weary F3, still painted in the orange and black lashed up to a single passenger car, waiting to take workers home to Krystal Lake. In the distance, the WV #1999 waits at the end of the siding, for the switcher to make up a train for the night duties ahead. Another day on the Western Valley logged in, and another crew begins their shift.
Locomotive #1998 creeps its train across Krystal Lake. The calm blue waters make for a relaxing, and peaceful day, and people have caught numerous engineers, whos train has had to stop on the trestle due to a crowded yard, jump in for a quick dip.
Growing up in the Fraser Valley has led me to have an appreciation for both CP rail and CN rail. Both lines also hold an interest with me as my family has a background in each at one time or another. Now that the West Coast Express rolls through our town, it too sparks the interest. As for the layout itself, the two major names are an important part of my life, as I named my towns after my daughters. With that in mind, it has been a blast building it, and even more of a blast creating this website to show it.
Thanks for taking the tour of the Western Valley. Any suggestions or comments can be directed to the e-mail address on the main page. Check back for new photos. Keep on the rails, and railroad to your heart's desire.
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