Yes, I am modeling the Embarcadero Freeway
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Yes, I am modeling the Embarcadero Freeway

Yes, I am modeling the Embarcadero Freeway

The Embarcadero Freeway was truly a depressing structure and made the Embarcadero near the ferry building seem dark and foreboding. And although the 1989 earthquake was a terrible experience, one of the few good things that came out of that was the condemnation and eventual removal of the freeway. Now walking along the Embarcadero is really a delight. Who would have thought in the 1960s that the Embarcadero would be transformed into a palm lined street bustling every day and night with people?

On my HO-scale Redwoods and Pacific Railroad, I’ve been planning for a long time to have a ferry building and a short section of Market street, along with a trolley loop. But guess what? I’ve decided to build the freeway.

Why? Perhaps there is something to the grittiness of those scenes in the 1960s when the Embarcadero was still mostly industrial. I like the way those State Belt RR trains would disappear under the concrete. I’m not striving to be prototypical per se… the streetcar and State Belt tracks will be combined and the total area for the city is barely large enough for a tight loop.

Mostly I’m doing it because I’ve always wanted to add a racetrack. An early design had the racetrack on the lower level so that I could use the road and rail crossing. But separating the two makes things a lot easier. The upper deck will be made from Tyco US1 trucking sections and the track will form an elongated figure-8 as it loops through the city.

What will it look like? Am I making a big mistake? We’ll see. I’m hoping that it will all look as gritty and industrial as those old black-and-white photos. I’ll post some pics once I have something to show.