Wednesday, January 18, 2017

San Clemente, CA on my layout

Another signature stop on my home layout, besides San Juan Capistrano, is San Clemente. Here's where the Surf Line really hits the surf or in other words the Pacific Ocean. The tracks line the ocean only a couple of feet away and getting off the train you are on the beach right away.

San Clemente gained a new depot in 1931. Built by the ATSF, the one-storey structure was designed in the Spanish Revival style; a low gabled roof of red tile sheltered walls of white stucco. It was a combination depot with a freight room at one end, indicated by a heavy wood door and lack of windows. The passenger waiting room was marked by a small pavilion with a segmented arch entryway. The depot only remained opened nine years before it was closed and then torn down in 1964. (exerpt from

There are not many pictures or information about the tiny stucco depot. I had to start from these few pictures, a drawing and the dimensions of its foot print.

The drawing of the depot is on the first pages of the Coast Line Depots book and at least shows the trackside view of the depot. I enlarged the drawing on a copier until I reached the scale length of the building. Verifying the height of standard door and window sizes, I finally had a pretty good plan to work from. I approximated the depth of the depot and comparing it with the photos I was ready to start my next scratchbuilding project.

I must admid, that the beginning of the construction already started almost six years ago. I completed the freight room and the office building to the stage in the above picture. Other commitments and projects had higher priorities that this depot.

The passenger shelter was the next segment of the depot that I built. By looking at the pictures and the drawing it looks like the depot was built in three steps, like I did. Not only the different building parts are unique, but also the orientation and the shape of the three roofs.
It is certainly easier to build a standard structure under one roof, than this one. But that's what makes if a special challenge.

On the passenger shelter roof there is another smaller roof topped off with an ornate chimney. The slope of the smaller roof is the same than the main roof.

I built the chimney from scrap bits and pieces.

The walls of the chimney are brick sheet and the diamond shaped elements are from a piece of Kibri styrene chain link fencing. The top cover is a piece of angle stock.

The walls were all built using plain styrene sheet. To achieve the stucco finish I used stucco sheets made by Plastruct, laminated to the plain walls.

Then I glued the three building segments together.

All I could guess from my available pictures was one rear window. The freight room had no windows and the passenger shelter an arched opening to the rear also.

Now the depot is basically ready for the paint shop.

This will be the location of the depot on my layout.

This was a somehow challenging build, but again it is aother signature structure that I'm proud to have on my Surf Line.

Stay tuned for another structure built from pictures only, the San Clemente outhouse. 

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