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Sacramento Northern 1

Sacramento Northern 1

Description

Sacramento Northern Portable Substation #1, converts ACSacramento Northern Portable Substation #1, converts ACdistribution power to 600c DC for electric railway use. Automaticsubstations had only been recently developed by electricalengineer Bion J. Arnold, and #01 is the first portable versionbuilt for the electric railway industry. "Automatic" meansthat the sequence of events necessary for starting and shuttingdownthe rotary converter occur in the proper order without asubstation operator's needing to perform them.

History

Because of a 14 mile gap between Sacramento and the firstBecause of a 14 mile gap between Sacramento and the firstsubstation to the north, by 1918, the SN had been experiencingsignificant low voltage problems with its 3rd rail voltage in thearea when train traffic was heavy. So it contracted with GE fora portable substation to alleviate the situation. Housed in aboxcar, the substation was set up 6 miles north of Sacramentoon a spur at a station named Del Paso, which was convenientlynear the middle of the problem area.

It used an undervoltage relay and timer to sort out powerIt used an undervoltage relay and timer to sort out powerdemand from transient voltage fluctuations. Whenever the 3rdrail voltage dropped below the relay's setting, this started atime switch. If the undervoltage condition exceeded the timer'ssetting, this indicated a train was approaching, and the timer'sswitch would close to operate a motor-operated sequencingdrum type controller which started the rotary converter, polarizedits output to the correct polarity, and then put the substationon line.

Once 3rd rail power demand had slacked off after the train hadOnce 3rd rail power demand had slacked off after the train hadleft the area, an overvoltage relay tripped another timer whichran down to filter out overvoltage transients and initiate a shutdown process, using the same motor-operated drum controller.

Eventually the SN constructed a permanent automatic substationEventually the SN constructed a permanent automatic substationat Del Paso.

Substation #01 has been set up for use at Rio Vista Junction onSubstation #01 has been set up for use at Rio Vista Junction onan isolated section of track. Other than removing the synchronousconverter's armature once for servicing by GE, it hasbeen serving faithfully ever since.

Dates

1920: assembled by SN for use at Del Paso.

1920-19??: used at Del Paso.

19??: replaced by permanent substation and building

1947: use of 3rd rail on the former Northern Electric discontinued.

1951: #01 moved to the WP's Jeffery Shops in Sacramento to1951: #01 moved to the WP's Jeffery Shops in Sacramento topower test track when testing the locomotives still beingused in Yuba City and Marysville.

1965: #01 donated to Bay Area Electric Railroad Association.

1965/66: carbody unloaded from a flat car, trucks from a gondola1965/66: carbody unloaded from a flat car, trucks from a gondolaat Rio Vista Junction, and re-assembled.

1967: isolated section of track constructed; #01 was placed in1967: isolated section of track constructed; #01 was placed inpresent location and set up for use.

Latter 1990s: building erected to protect the car's wood structureLatter 1990s: building erected to protect the car's wood structurefrom the weather.

  • Vintage Photo: Vintage Photo
  • Owners: Sacramento Northern 1
  • Technical Data: Built: 1920 Builder: Sacramento Norther Railroad Length over pulling faces: 43' 0" Width: 10' 2" Height: 14' 7" Weight: 80,000
  • Trucks: Arch bar.
  • Air Brake Equipment: System: WABCo KC1012
  • Misc Data: Couplers: Janney type C, MCB
  • Current Condition: Portable Substation #01 is operational and used with the manual start-stop configuration of 1951 to power WRM's demonstration railway one weekend per month. The carbody's siding has recently been replaced.
  • Proposed Future Treatment: Replace siding when manpower and materials are available.
  • Date Last Modified: Saturday, 04 June 2011
  • Additional Photo 1: Additional Photo 1
  • Photo 1 Caption: SN #1 with doors open
  • Additional Photo 2: Additional Photo 2
  • Photo 2 Caption: Equipment inside of large door.
  • Additional Photo 3: Additional Photo 3
  • Photo 3 Caption: Equipment inside of small door.

Hours

Year Round
Saturdays & Sundays
10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Summer Hours
(June 13th - August 18th)
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays
10:30 am to 5:00 pm

Museum Location

5848 State Highway 12
Suisun City, CA 94585

(707) 374-2978

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