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Monday, June 04, 2007

A Trip to the Slim Gauge Guild Model Railroad Club

Slim Gauge Guild LogoOn Sunday, the family packed up and headed out on an excursion to the Slim Gauge Guild Model Railroad Club in Pasadena. The members have a huge layout (around 2500 sq ft) in the basement of a building across the street from Central Park and walking distance to Old Town Pasadena.

As we have done in the past, we made it an excursion day by taking public transit there and back. Waling to the Orange Line station near our house here in Van Nuys, we bought a Day Pass (currently $3, rising to $5 on July 1) and boarded our bus to North Hollywood. There we changed to the Metro Red Line which took us to Union Station. It is interesting that Union Station feels almost as bustling as it might have been in its heyday. There were people headed in every direction...to Amtrak, to Metrolink, to the subways. I found it a very encouraging site.

Downloadable Version of Video

From Union Station we switched to the Gold Line which heads north from downtown, through Chinatown, Highland Park, South Pasadena and continues all the way to Sierra Madre. The Gold Line is a pleasure to ride, as its above-ground tracks offer some wonderful views of the city along the way. With about 15 minutes, we had arrived at the Del Mar Station in Pasadena. The Slim Gauge Guild has it headquarters directly across the street.

As we usually do, we headed down to see the trains immediately. There weren't many other non-members there, but it gave us a chance to shoot some video unimpeded and chat with the members. They are a great group of guys and I found myself talking about Make Magazine and the Maker Faire with one of them. It always amazes me how hobbies can easily cross generational boundaries.

In typical fashion, after an hour or so, we headed upstairs to the Crown City Brewery restaurant. It is convenient, but also has excellent food and a huge selection of beers to sample. I tried out the Anchor Porter. Dark, sweet and a perfect match for my burger. After lunch, it was back down to the trains for another hour or so.

Finally, since we had to be back for a piano recital rehearsal, reversing our steps, we boarded the train home, and arrived back in Van Nuys about 1hour and 15 minutes later.

You can check out the Slim Gauge Guild during their next Open House in November. I highly recommend it, especially if you use the trains to go see the trains! (SMILE)

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