THE SACRAMENTO NORTHERN IN N SCALE!
Despite the fact that the Sacramento Northern boasted 183 miles of track around San Francisco it was really just a long, glorified branch line. Even in 1940, long after most other interurbans had degenerated into poorly-maintained shadows of their pre-WWI prime, the Sacramento Northern was operating trains of freshly painted heavy wooden arch-window cars.
It had some interesting features – some cars carried trolley poles, pantographs and third-rail shoes to operate on various parts of the system. It also had a train ferry with overhead power. These was an interesting variety of passenger and freight equipment, steep grades that required helper locomotives, a tunnel and many bridges, all set in spectacular scenery still to be spoilt by suburbia. Like many other electric lines, the SN operated local services in the larger cities that it served; this was provided by Birney cars in Sacramento, Marysville-Yuba City and Chico.
This photograph sums things…
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