Author Archives: Lisa Matthews

Pacific Electric at San Fernando

Southern California Layout Design Part of model railroading is the layout design, and I have spent many an evening with pencil and paper designing layouts thinking what would be good addition to my existing HO scale layout. Not that I can use all these plans in my layout room, but I can share them by… Read More »

Passenger Car Photographs

By 1959 the Southern Pacific began painting their lightweight passenger equipment in Sunset color scheme, silver for the car sides and roof and a red letter board stripe, dark gray was used for the under body and trucks.  Listed below are the types of lightweight cars that ran on both the Coast Daylight, San Joaquin… Read More »

Painting The Backdrop Sky

I’m not an artist, that’s for sure, but I did get my backdrop painted. This is what I have learned from this experience and may help you. I used the smooth sheet rock wall to paint my backdrop on, I figured if we ever moved, I’d have to repaint the room anyway and know my… Read More »

Tar Creek Oil Company

    There was a real place called Tar Canyon that was first drilled by the Union Oil Company in 1887, making this area one of Southern California’s first oil fields. This model refelects what one of these early oilfields looked like and many were still operating into late 1960s when I had photographed them,… Read More »

Early California Oil Industry

This web page is about California Oil history, it is done as a pictorial because web pages are really great for photographs but not for reading long boring text. If you really like oil history, there are a number of great books that can be checked out of a library. These photographs are from my… Read More »

Movie Production Railroading

Back during the early 1990s the Southern Pacific Railroad had a train rental plan for the movie studios. Thats when the studios had the big money to spend on their productions, however production budgets are getting much more thrifty about their railroad scenes. Nowadays model railroad layouts are used such as my layout because it… Read More »

Painting the Mountains

Here is an experiment that you can do with friends testing their knowledge about locations. Take a train photograph that includes a mountain range far in the background. Cover the bottom part of the photo that would give away the location. Your friend may still recognizes the location mainly because of the outline of the… Read More »

Modeling a Beer Distributor

In a city like Los Angeles, the most valued industrial property is where a company receives or ships its products using rail service along a main line right-of-way. Industrial structures are nested next to the other with little or no space between them, and usually served with a long spur track along the right-of-ways property… Read More »

Manley Oil Field No.2

These photographs of another downtown Los Angeles oil field were taken in 1983. They show a 3-well, jack-line oil field operated by Manley Oil located on a hillside at the corner of Glendale Blvd and Rockwood St, just over a mile west of the Los Angeles city hall. At the time these photos were taken,… Read More »

Mail and Express cars

Railroads hauled the U.S. Mail under contract from the Government. Each railroad had cars called a Railway Post Office (RPO) used to sort mail by Postal Workers and Mail Storage Cars for bulk mail in sacks. Most passenger trains had an RPO Car that would pick up a mail bag on the fly by means… Read More »