Dec 24, 2011

Pizza Party Overdose

On Thursday evening we had a Pizza Party with club members. I ordered 8 large pizzas from Rocky Rococo - Ralph and Jerry's favorite pizza joint this side of the Mississippi River. It cost $200.00 and most members contributed to the purchase. I thought I ordered too much as there were 3 pies (36 pieces) left over but not to worry. We had dozens of visitors showing up at 6 pm where pizza was available to them as well. It was the best event we ever put on. Other than one ill tempered comment to one of the members it was a terrific evening.
I put together a photo book for the club from the 100's of photos I took over the 3 1/2 years of the club and the members. I brought in to the club Thursday and a number of you wanted one for yourself. Other than Lloyd I can't remember who told me you wanted one. I can add additional photos of a member for their version of the photo book so let me know if you want one. 
The book has a hard cover, excellent quality photos, 30 pages long and a would guess 180 photos in my version shown here.
The cost is $35.00 plus tax. Email me at jerry "at" signalsigns "dot" com.

Dec 18, 2011

Fw: What are you doing the Eve of the Eve of Christmas Eve?


That's Thursday before the big night. This would be a great surprise to share with our kids,
or your parents or your friends or even your enemies. After all it's the Christmas season!
Join us on Thursday 12/ 22 from 6 to 9 pm
18213 East Appleway in the Spokane Valley... Exit 293 Barker Road.
Just one of the fabulous scenes we have created to share with everyone!
Sorry no smoking except the locomotives!
Towards the rear of the layout is this wonderful mountain we call Mt Whitney!
Look there's even snow for the season!

Dec 9, 2011

Cold night in Spokane -Part 2‏

A real triple header! One of our best non-members chastised me for calling two engines on the front with one pushing a triple-header but I guess they all need to be in the front. Oh well, he is out of the will!
We had an 8 year old show up tonight with his mom and he brought in this 44 ton GE engine so I got him to pull a few SI ore cars around the layout.
All workers at the engine house know to keep the Alco's outside the building if at all possible. Alco's were notorious as smokers and qualified as steam engines for their pollution.
Steam engines waiting for the torch are next to the engine house where the victors reside for a time. in 20 years the Fs will be replaced by newer engines and in turn they will be replaced. The industry continues to evolve as I remember what Spokane looked like when I got here in 1967 and what remains today.
And finally Burt took some cars up the Green branch after loading up on clean fresh water from a water tank. Soon this engine will have a name, a number, and some road grime!

Cold night in Spokane - Part 1 - Burt's new toy

This is what the railroaders called a Climax locomotive because that is who made them. They were built for low speed but plenty of lugging power.
The engine makes its way across the newly built bridge for the Green branch on its maiden run. Are those union guys ever going to get the job finished?
They are working late tonight at the engine shops with a Great Northern F unit on the Transfer Table. The dirt crew has not been by this place as the transfer floor is spotless. What are they thinking this is Lionel or something?
My favorite candidate for Vice president in 18 years is the fellow below who I was able to talk into running my Big Boy and blowing the horn around the layout. This guy has more enthusiasm for trains that most of us have! Mom looks like she is having a good time as well.

Dec 6, 2011

Who knew they had one?‏

This one is for you train nuts. This photo is a post card I purchased 20 years ago and just found it in my collection.

Before the Spokane Union Station was built in 1914, the Spokane International and the OWR&N (UP) had passenger trains in and out of Spokane. So they needed something.

The post card has a date on it of August 2, 1911 and the station was located near the Inn at the Park on the parking lot across the road and to the west of Washington Street.

In those days if you didn't travel by train then you traveled by horse and wagon. Good luck with that!

Dec 5, 2011

How to make paint templates‏

I was asked to make a special car for a customer from a O gauge Lionel car into an HO car of similiar model. The above print is a copy from my scanner of the Lionel car. I took it into the office and had a 66 percent color copy make and saw how it fit on the HO car.
I took the color copy and taped it to a piece of thin cardboard that will be my template for the silver airbrush pattern. The other colors will be decals but the pattern for the silver needed a cardboard template.
Here is the HO car with some of the decals applied. I little touch up is in order but that will be taken care of in the final work.
The finished template is now cut out through the paper copy in the upper right with the debris of the cut out part and cardboard panel are on the original scan of the Lionel car. Tomorrow I will spray silver with this template and we shall see how it turns out.
There will be a test on this tomorrow so bring your pencils ( or crayons) to the club.

The Good Old Days in the Cascades

The Great Northern Railway is long gone, the electric locomotives retired, the depot is gone but the highway bridge remains. It is BNSF main line over Steven's Pass.

If you've ever traveled over US #2 from Seattle to Wenatchee you would have gone over this bridge. 2 miles away is a ski resort and to the top left of the photo is a small railroad town called Wellington/Tye.

In 1910 it snowed for 3 days at 1 foot of snow per hour that stopped all train travel in the mountains. 2 passenger trains were trapped across this valley where you see the cut in the mountain that the road currently goes.

The snow slides were coming and eventually one snow slide hit the passenger trains, steam engines, steam rotary plows and everything went into the canyon 100 people died that February in 1910 and to this day the worst railroad disaster in US history.

The site is now an historical place with appropiate markers. Jim Hill was so embarrased that it happened on his railroad that he started building a new route with an 8 mile tunnel to bypass the site where snow slides bring down rocks and trees on to the tracks and blocked in the trains.

The train in the photo just came out of the tunnel.

Kind of like the Titanic but on a smaller scale.

Dec 4, 2011

Thinking of traveling to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho?‏

Especially if you are a bag of potatoes or something back at' the turn of the century...the last century! We see a crew moving bags of produce off or on the Lake steamer that ran from Couer d'Alene to Harrison, Idaho. Perhaps further up the Couer d'Alene River to Cataldo Mission, near Wallace, Idaho. This site is now a luxury hotel in downtown CDA.

Oh, the Good Old days!

Why didn't they take I-90?