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.
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.