While we've been celebrating Imagination Corporation's twenty-fifth anniversary and posting that story here, Janis & I have also been celebrating in another fashion by going to one of our favourite places - the Disneyland Resort in Californi. We had a great time! But it wasn't all fun and games. We took a drive up to Reedley, California to take a look at the installation of the Trinidad train components onto the running gear and chassis which was custom built by our friends at Hillcrest Shops.
It was so good to spend time with Sean Bautista once more and meet his lovely wife Melissa and their hard working crew. Sean and I first met about fifteen and a half years ago at a grand scale rail convention in Wisconsin. It was an instant friendship back then with the promise to work together on some projects when the occasion arose. Now at last was that time. The work these guys do is nothing short of world class, meticulous in every detail and marvellously engineered. They do it right - PERIOD.
I had read of the train convention in Grand Scale Railroad magazine published by Greg Robinson. That magazine fired up my interest in riding scale trains and when I heard of the gathering in Wisconsin I jumped at the chance to attend. Now, at last, that encounter came full circle. Thanks Greg for your role in this!
As we arrived at the shop they were in the final adjustment stage prior to bolting the train body onto the chassis. It sure looked great and fulfilled my vision perfectly. In the next days they will hook up all of the controls and thoroughly test it before loading the train, cars, track and various other components into the shipping containers for the trip to Trinidad. I'll next get a chance to visit with Sean when they are there to do the installation and shakedown run. I can hardly wait!
Sean was kind enough to give us a tour of the shop, all the awesome projects under way and all of the rest of the operation at Hillcrest. Words simply can't describe it. But if you are passionate about trains, especially narrow gauge, grand scale then this is the place of your dreams. Before I left Hillcrest we were already talking about the next project we would do together, and the next after that. This is going to be fun!