South Shasta Lines, a real railroad in miniature and built to a scale of inch to the foot including trains, track, buildings, bridges and actual terrain in replica of the Southern Pacific's Shasta Division, Gerber to Dunsmuir, will hold its 14th annual public shows every Sunday in April and the first two Sundays in May with operation every hour from 1 to 6 P.M. This show, different and unusual, interesting and educational for all ages, lasts about one hour. Refreshments will be available. Located at my ranch 2 miles south of Gerger. Admission is by donation - adults, 75cent; children, 50cent.
South Shasta Lines originated more than sixteen years ago, in the fall of 1947. I own and operate my own farm now, though my first ambition was to be a steam locomotive engineer. Never having worked on a real railroad in my life, I have spent 15,000 man hours creating the South Shasta. Every year sees new growth and the system now extends just beyond the mighty Pitt bridge which has been completed. This bridge, more than eleven feet long, took some 14 months to build and is complete in every detail. The bridge carries both the highway and railroad across Shasta Lake. Just beyond can be seen construction crews working and blasting their way thru the rugged mountains towards Dunsmuir.
South Shasta Lines actually operates trains as in real life. Orders are given over an intercom to two engineers. The route is over and thru scenery from Gerber thru Redding and to just beyond the Pitt bridge as it actually exists, though it be in miniature.
Ten steam locomotives operate on the rails of the South Shasta, from the lowly switcher to the modern giant mallet, 4-6-6-4, type. All were built by hand to inch scale in the South Shasta shops, as is all freight and passenger cars. Featured this year, and of special interest to many, will be the lines first mallet locomotive working the heavy grades on the South Shasta.
Many rare features exists on the South Shasta Lines, such as working fireboxes in the steam locomotives; a mail catcher, which actually catches the mail at 75 scale miles per hour; water plugs and towers; neon sign that works; an operating section car; a miniature locomotive bell that really rings.
South Shasta Lines is located in abasement 36'x60'. It is being built and operated by one family and has now become one of the largest operating systems in the west.
The South Shasta Lines added attraction, a Steam Traction Show and Museum, featured annually in connection with the model railroad is a show in itself, with 10 ton real size live steam traction engines, old time threshing machinery and farm equipment. These steam engines, used for threshing and in sawmills, are more than a half century in age and have been restored, and will be in operation for all to see and enjoy an old fashioned hayride. For the older folk, the whistle, and smell of hot oil and the hiss of steam will bring nostalgic memories; and to the youngsters, an education on steam powered farm equipment used during Grandpa's time.