Category: Railroading

Red Ball model railroad kits

Image: Red Ball kit components.

Marvel Dale Newton “launched Red Ball Ltd. in 1939. Early catalogs list his address as 2303 Hyde Park Blvd, LA. The company was the ‘M. Dale Newton Company’ and it appears that ‘Red Ball HO Trains’ was the brand name of the product.”

“…Newton did not invent HO scale but he was certainly in the group of pioneering manufacturers. He knew a good thing and how to improve on it when he saw it. The early kits were rolling stock with printed cardboard sides, wood frames and metal or plastic parts and cast metal trucks.”

“Although the detail castings were among the best in the industry, Red Ball was famous for the car sides. It is easy to dismiss a ‘cardboard’ part as being simplistic and inaccurate. Nothing could be further from the truth. M. Dale Newton’s expertise in the printing field must have driven his passion for quality.”

Excerpts and image from .

See the link for a detailed history of the company and many more photos.

First Santa Fe revenue train at the new Los Angeles Union Station


Image: from SBRHS facebook page (link below). Photo by T. Nixon.

On this day 81 years ago, Santa Fe 3751 made history as it led the first revenue passenger train into Union Station Los Angeles.
T. Nixon was on hand that morning in 1939 to capture the young, 12-year-old locomotive lead Train No. 1, “The Scout,” into the newly built station that had its grand opening just four days prior.
Near the end of her career with the Santa Fe, 3751 became a regular at Union Station as it pulled trains in and out Los Angeles. With your support, these two icons of Southern California will continue to meet many more times to come.
Learn more about how you can help by visiting .

Image and text from the San Bernardino Historical Society facebook page:


After its revenue producing days were over, this locomotive was placed on display in San Bernardino, California. Decades later it was restored to operating condition by the SBRHS and is used for public appearances and special excursion trains.

Railroad Boosters trolley trip



The Railroad Boosters (now Pacific Railroad Society) were southern California railfans who sometimes chartered trips on trolleys and trains. The video at the link is from a 1939 trip they took from Los Angeles to points north of San Bernardino on the Pacific Electric red cars. At 5:32 you can see where tank cars were filled with Arrowhead water near the famous Arrowhead Hotel.

This is a silent amateur movie that offers a glimpse into the greater L.A. area. A few seconds are blank (6:10 to 6:20) followed by seemingly random shots of trolleys that may or may not have been part of this trip. In the comments section of the youtube link there are some mentions of locations seen.

This film was saved and made available by Periscope Film LLC. Learn more about them and how to support their work at .