Apr 6, 2018

Member 42 and other railroad activities!

Jack had his little BNSF loco doing switching duties at Bakersville today. Jack seems to like the challenge
of switching cars into different locations on the layout. Atta Boy Jack!
Jesse has his BN GP15 doing a local job while Steve Weso had a mainline freight moving a string
of auto racks to distant customers.
Our youngest non-member Eliam had this GN steamer pulling several passenger cars on the Green Branch
as a celebration of railfans made it desirable to pull off this unique event.
Rodney has been working on the trolley line and I am happy to see that it is working again with a
little labor and love to make it come alive again. Thanks Rodney, he is another retired railroader
that has joined the Evergreen club. That makes 7 ex-railroaders part of our group.
Can you see the locomotives on the far side of the aisle? They are 2 Great Northern F units pulling
90 ore cars jut like they do today in the ore fields of Minnesota. The cars are short because the ore
is so heavy they can't make them much bigger. Doug N. is the owner. The ore is needed to make steel.
Remember member 42..... its Scott Davis, a retired Army soldier that has gotten back into the hobby
and joined our club. We once were 12 members strong....now we are 42 members! Welcome Scott.

Apr 4, 2018

The age of the famous flat faced Behemoths!

Once upon a time when steam engines ran backwards to go forwards such a thing
happened on a small railroad called the Southern Pacific. Here we have 2 of these
creatures lining up for another adventure on the Evergreen Railroad. Larry
Sorenson owns them both.
They ran backwards because the SP had things like tunnels and snowsheds in the Cascade and Sierra
Mountains where smoke could make train crews very unhealthy with the smoke coming at them,
especially if the train stalled in the middle of their journey. Many men fell until they figured this out.
Say, is that Jack in the background?
Diesels did not smoke as much as steam engines and they lived happily ever after on most railroads.
This F unit set is a Union Pacific train owned by member Burt Whitney.
I tried to photograph Greg Mercier's beautiful SP&S wreck crane and all sorts of lighting efforts were
tried to show the detail.
This time I caught it in good light to show all the monkey motion that these creatures had to lift things
off the ground.
Greg also had a beautiful SP&S 4-6-6-4 Challenger with a long string of ice reefers with a lonely Baldwin
diesel going the other way with a short way freight. Both types of power visited Spokane in their day.

Mar 31, 2018

Friday Afternoon crew was working on the Railroad!

While Jim Bowden was working on the new paper mill site at the back of the layout, young Jack Pappas
was preping Mt. Whitney for the site of our newest model of a ranger station Jack put together.
The wood chip rotary is now installed in the green building and additional switches and track has been
installed today by Jim. We are waiting on switches to arrive from China or someplace. The tan building
is the main building in this paper complex.
The was a brass kit the Jack found and put together with
solder and care as it was very detailed. Jack did a terrific job on it.
He painted it too!  Don gave it to the club, thanks Don!
Willl Windom was showing off is Santiam and Western fire car this week and I was very impressed as well.
This is our newest member at the club but no stranger to me. His name is Chris MacKay and I knew
Chris some 10 years ago at a different train club. He was 13 years old then and loves modeling and ranching
so he is a welcomed addition to our other 40 members. Brings our average club member age down a few years
as well.

Mar 23, 2018

Remember the Baldwins?

No I don't refer to those mediocre actors that you see on TV from time to time but the steam engine
builder that could not continue their success in the diesel market. Baldwin Locomotive Co. had a number
of switchers here in Spokane when I arrived here in 1967. 
I never could get the model designations of the Baldwin locos down so we just say it's a switch
engine moving a few loads from one yard to another. Our new friend and member Doug Neighswonger
is the owner of this model. The flatcar is my creation.
Here she pulls into the Blue Main yard with its catch and out of the way of the mainline freights.
NP #415 passes through the Port District on its way to delivery point.
Two competitors race for the finish line before they both disappear from the railroad scene, the
SP&S in merger as a BN unit in 1970 and the Milwaukee Road in a sad end in 1980 as a bankrupt railroad.
Another fallen flag was the New York Central in a disaster move as a merger partner with the Pennsy.
Somebody should have gone to jail on that one.  Doug Neighswonger owns these beauties.

Keeping it out West........well almost!

Greg Mercier brought in this fantastic model of a Titchy small crane and what a terrific job he did.
With his blessings I gave it a little weathering for an in-service look.
Colin Fitzgerald now has this 3 unit FA set for SP&S followed by a 5 car NP passenger train.
The famous NP Mainstreeter was also present on Thursday as Marvin matched the real one with the
right cars in his lineup.
Greg also had an NP freight train riding the rial for several hours without a hitch. If we were
giving out trophies, Greg would have most of them.
Just to be fair, I included a Eastern railroad called the New York Central with the appropriate back east
rolling stock following along. New member Doug Neighswonger, ex Milw and BN employee, is at fault.
Back to Gods country is another Doug model of a Great Northern switcher doing God's work by
delivering box cars to on line customers.

Mar 7, 2018

At the train Show... Modeling German railway guns

Most of us follow military history, navel battles, tanks and stuff but not so much for artillery. At Sunday's
Train Show this fella shows up with a railway gun that was considered heavy like this gun in
desert colors.
Next to it was a model of the 4th largest moveable item ever built. This monster had a 33 inch diameter barrel
which is twice as big as anything we had on our battleships of World War Two. The Germans used it up
in Russia at Savastapool (sp) and took a 1000 man unit to operate and move it. The shells would have
been a job moving them alone much less building a double track to move and align to gun.
Here's a close up of the detail and the guy did a fabulous job in the building and painting of it.
Keith acquired 2 more SP&S RS units to his fleet and the semaphores would make it right at home.
Donald's 2 Milwaukee Road switch engines get main line service getting a bunch of coal cars to small
towns running out of coal for their homes to heat.
On a positive note many new members found that our workbench in the back of the club layout has
a grey Formica top that we haven't seen since it was installed years ago. I assume a party will be held to
celebrate this occasion?

Feb 26, 2018

Fw: West of Freya Street Bridge, before and after.

A few years ago I took this photo of 2 trains going west near the Freya bridge. Now it's a parking lot
for new cars from the factories. But it always was not this way, It was the home of a large meat packing plant.
The upper tracks was the original Northern Pacific main line. The lower line was the new main line.
Looking west from the bridge itself, the photographer shot the east entrance through the fence.
My suspicions is that the car was the photographer's.
The new main has been installed on the left. The Armour plant is now located on the north track.
Next time you cross the Freya bridge check it out. Keith Wiles worked this area when is worked for the
BNSF as the west switcher for the Yardley yard. When they banned cattle cars from the railroad that
took out the need for the plant.  Nothing ever stays the same.