May 28, 2012

Union Pacific...ship and travel everywhere on the Evergreen RR

Our buddy Steve Welton was running trains today at the club when I was heading for the Post Office so I stopped by to see what he was up too.
Steve had two sets of trains running and they were both Union Pacific! One coal train and the other general freight. No matter how good your equipment is I think they look better when running through good looking scenery. I hope you agree! The natural light coming through the windows adds a different hue.
The back side of the layout has this wide shot with the north end of Blue main yard in the foreground.  The caboose is now a relic of another day.
 This view is more to what us railfans see when we are out on the hunt looking for stuff to photograph. Nowadays,I do more shooting at the club than I do on the mainlines.

May 20, 2012

Club Pizza Party

Normally we have open house events to show off our layout to the public. But this time we decided to have a Pizza party just for the members and their wives and family members. We had a good turnout with Pizza from Rocky Rococo's in downtown Spokane.   Steve and Rick volunteered to pick it up but no one thought of the problem with parking because of Lilac parade was being held the same night! Yikes!  Tonight's theme was STEAM era!
John Smith was running a Santa Fe Northern (4-8-4) past Mount Whitney.
Brock brought in his GN steam engine and pulled 6 GN reefers that Mike baker left behind for a little weathering project.
A guy named Glen Krause showed up (he says he's a member in long standing) but we are going to check on his records. He brought in 3 locos of one was the UP engine to the left, next to my brass GN model.
The interloper diesel in the background was not removed by the owner. Woops, that was me!

I told you that Glen Krause showed up and here is proof! We did a test of DNA on his red hair and it proved to be him!
Welcome back Glen.  Get that camera vertical!
My faithful UP Big Boy made it around the layout without fail pulling 16 or so ice reefers. The real ones pulled 100 plus cars up the Sherman Hill in Wyoming back in the day from 1941 to 1958.
The diesels stayed in the barn while the steamers made the rounds. It gave up a theme for the night and our next Pizza party will be with period diesels with a time line in mind. The engine facilities has the look of Hillyard doesn't it?
Brock's train waits at Bakersville before making it up the grade. Maybe the engineer is taking a lunch break?

May 16, 2012

More Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad

The Rock Creek trestle south of Spokane on the old Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad.
See old people used to do crazy things when they were young as well!  Location is the Holiday Inn Express on North Division in Spokane.
Spokane "celebrated getting rid of those old noisy trolleys in favor of those modern "clean" buses in 1936.

I was minding my own business.....

When I noticed  a few of the guys laying on the floor!   They were wiring stuff and having a great time!                                  
Rick seemed happy by himself painting panels that will be used to hold the controllers along the side of the layout.  Burt stayed above the layout painting water!
The really big news was the completion of a kit bashed Broadway Limited UP engine that got a makeover to look like a Canadian National Bullet nose Betty Allan did as much as he could to represent the premiere 4-8-4 that rules the rails up north in the late 40's and 50s.. Very nice job Allan. N scale Jon painted it for him. He gets these e-mails so I can't ignore him on this project.
Looks pretty and ran very well.
Me? I busied myself with a fleet of work train box cars for the Spokane International.  I got the cars for $2.00 each and now making them into something neat.

May 12, 2012

You can tell it's Spring!

After May 1st you can take a photo of a train on the Irvin Bridge in the Spokane Valley from the north side. I was able to spot the headlight in time to get to the bridge for this shot. See, trains can be pretty!
Yep, it's is Spring all right and plenty of snow and rainwater to prove it. This is the falls in downtown Spokane and it is almost at flood stage here. Expo 74 was held at the location back in......1974. There was a covered canvas on the teepee netting but it tore off in the wind. Now Spiderman lives here.
Looking north is the other half of the river and it is moving fast. The city was called Spokane Falls in the early days and now you know why.

Lumber Mill remodel

Did you ever wonder how a lumber mill worked? The club members have been pondering that question to come up with a logical layout to the parts of the model we purchased about one year ago. Mike Baker asked if instead of burning the wood chip debris we could turn it into a profit by loading up wood chip cars to sell to those people who make paper. That would give us another use of cars when we get to do operations.
Rick and Allan have elevated the structure so it sits on a concrete base, added a deck for the workers to move the logs, and a number of other features that will make this area another feature of our layout to be proud of. Did I mention I weathered the building yet?  Wait till the water gets put in place!

UP East Spokane Interlocking Tower

When I got to Spokane in 1967 there was a building that intrigued me as it was called UP Tower. It was located on the Northern Pacific line in East Spokane and it allowed Union Pacific trains (Spokane International) to cross their sacred territory since they were there first. Spokane was loaded with rails everywhere in the downtown area back then.
A Union Pacific caboose ( SIRR ) gets ready to pick up orders from the tower operator at this location. The track board is on the second floor. Back in those days they allowed rail fans to visit them but those days are long gone. So is the tower.
I thought this was interesting as the main line for UP/SI passes under Sullivan Road in the Spokane Valley and uses wood ties. The siding has concrete ties. The reason was that the siding belongs to CXT Concrete Tie Plant and they did it with their own product, hence the logic being backwards. I must have too much time on my hands to do this stuff.

The Spokane and Inland Empire Railway

On the corner of Trent and Hamilton in Spokane is a very large building with very high door openings. It was the engine facilities for the trolley system that served the Spokane region for almost 40 years.  This building I am told is now been restored to a very neat interior that Mike Baker was able to tour this week. The railroad part is long gone. One trolley body was recovered and restored by the Inland Empire Historical Society. The Great Northern took it over from the Spokane and Inland Empire Railway.
Looking west from the building was a small engine facility . You can see the Great Northern bridge on the far right of the photo. Gonzaga University to just off camera to the left. The old Post office was also to the left along Trent Ave. There is a road and a rail bridge to the  right.
These units were used for freight traffic from Spokane to Colfax, Washington and Moscow, Idaho. They are electric powered from the overhead wires. The building can be seen to the right as you go South up the Hamilton Street overpass. I got lots more pictures of this stuff.

May 1, 2012

Modeling what we see

I saw this UP train heading east through Spokane and knew where it was going so I set myself up at a good vantage point for the lighting on this sunny but blustery day. Three giant sized SD70s had these empty grain cars returning to Canada and points east.
My goal was to shoot what I thought were over weathered equipment to show nature does a fine job at making them look worn out.
Vandals add to the problem by adding graffiti to some of the cars. The railroad must go crazy when the taggers do this to their locomotives!
Instead of rust or graffiti sometimes dirt seems to be enough to make things look old.

Heading for Helena.

For you easterners who may never see scenery like this, I shot this through the windshield heading down the hill west of Helena, MT.
That's Burt down at the end of the table fixing up my display of stuff I was selling at the Helena Train Show. As you can see Anorexia is not found very often in the hobby.
Here you can see some of the crazies that frequent the hobby, selling stuff ( and buying stuff )
If we sold all of it we might be able to pay off the national debt!
Mountain Man Mike Applegate showed up for a brief vacation from trucking in North Dakota. Look at that beard! It must get cold out there in the wilds of North Dakota fracking stuff so we can run our country's economy! I haven't seen him this happy in a long time!