2018 Del Mar Fair


Update from Rich Perrelli:

The LGB sugar cane car photo came through.  It is representative of the actual cars.  I think I have a magazine article on building and detailing sugar cane cars someplace - if I could only find it...

As near as I can figure the cane was harvested and immediately sent to a mill to be ground to remove the sugar and molasses from the cane.  This greatly reduced the bulk and made it easy to transport the cane sugar out of the islands.  The straw byproduct was then used to fuel the steam engines and the steam powered mill.  Plantations had their own mills, but it was more cost effective for plantations to pool resources and build a larger mill for common use.

Once the raw cane sugar was received in the states, it went to a refinery where some or all of the molasses was removed to create different grades of sugar.  For example brown sugar had some molasses content while white sugar was refined to remove all of the molasses which was then sold separately.  

Based on this preliminary info, a mill at the Hawaii side and a refinery at the US side would be good.  However, I don't know if we really care about that level of historic accuracy.  I suppose just a warehouse and dock master's office at each dock would suffice.

I have almost completed two basic 8 inch long dock sample sections which can be extended to any length.  Together both samples took less than a day to construct.  I will bring them to the next meeting so we can review the construction method and discuss how to enlarge them to fit the theme and the space available.  I also have a book, "Where the Rails Meet the Sea" which has a chapter on Early 20th century Californian sea ports.  I can bring that along as well.

I started building a "Tramp Steamer"  which I thought would make an interesting dock detail.  It is more of a costal vessel than a deep sea craft due to it's 65 foot length.  Even at that, the boat is almost 3 feet long.  I think this is just part of the selective compression we garden railroaders must live with.   I will complete the steamer even if you don't want to use it as a dock detail.   This is my first attempt as a solid foam core fiberglass sheath unsinkable self rightening boat model and it will be an interesting addition to my R/C boat collection.



Board Approves Fair Event

At the August 20 meeting, a subcommittee was formed, headed by Andy Kann, with other members Dick Ericksen and Gene Cook

There's a lot of preparation involved, and please check here for progress.

If you would like to sign up to help, or learn more, feel free to contact Andy directly at 619-787-1552 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


There are some exciting things planned, including a volcano! The official theme for the San Diego county fair is not announced yet, but we will fit our display to this.


The committee needs all kinds of help, from design, to construction, to manning the display, to tear down.



OK, this is Greg E's idea, so it's here for consideration by the committee: Can we have an interactive display where kids can actually run locomotives?

My idea was something like the "Eggliners" with sound and remote control.

I might be able to get a donation of a few Revolution HO units with sound. The kids could blow the horn and ring the bell as well as control direction and speed.

The max speed could be limited to minimize collision effects, and maybe a small oval for them to circulate on... a figure 8 might be too destructive ha ha.

Of course the transmitters would probably have to be bolted down or on a chain, but the stuff is inexpensive. Put some foam rubber on the ends so they can "bump"...





The Board has approved the involvement of the SDGRS in the upcoming 2018 San Diego County Fair with a vote of 5-0-0 (5 Board members present).  Andrew Kann present an outline of the request to the Board.  Omega Engineering will be sponsoring the event once again.  A committee was formed at the Board meeting as well.  The committee is compromised Andrew Kann (chair) along with Gene Cook and Dick Erickson.  It was brought up at the Board meeting that the SDGRS were not properly represented at the 2017 Fair Exhibit.  So to ensure that this covered in the 2018 Exhibit, we are looking for one additional committee member that would be coordinating various SDGRS signage, brochures and applications at the Exhibit/Layout.  Please contact Andrew, Gene or Dick Erickson if you are interested in being on the committee.

The committee will be meeting at our monthly meetings to review status and progress of the project.    We are planning on having some workshops for preparing some of the scenes.  We will keep you posted on when these will be happening.

The theme of the 2018 Fair will be announced in October.  Once the theme has been announced we will be full speed ahead developing a track plan and various components that support the Exhibit.  As we did last year, we will have scenes that will be developed/constructed by various members to be placed on the  layout.

We will have a signup sheet at the next meeting for those interested in working on the project.