Sugar Beet Ghosts of the SP
Once upon a time, the Southern Pacific was known for their unit-trains of sugar beets. Long trains of steel and wood beet cars ran out of the central California valley to the processing plants. Those beets were loaded in the beet cars at locations like this.
This loader, standing all alone out in the valley, still looks like it could service cars right off the Southern Pacific, now UP, tracks nearby.
The trains at this location would come off the mainline and down the siding. They would pass the loader and go down the tail track. Then the locomotive would back through the beet loading siding, pulling the empty cars under the conveyor. The conveyor was loaded by trucks dumping into bins at the bottom.
If you’re modeling an area where beets were grown and hauled by train, especially a Southern Pacific layout, you would be remiss not to add one of these loaders, and the traffic it can generate, to your layout.