Aug 30, 2012

Something old, something new!

Big Al Cunningham run his beautiful Canadian engines each with their appropriate passenger cars. Each came at the need for good looking trains but took different routes. The Maroon and Grey was taken by the Canadian Pacific and the two tone Green was taken by the Canadian National. Wouldn't it be a real treat to ride in either one today?
 Something new as it never was. This is an F45 that used to be my BN F45 but I sold it to one of our new members that wanted it in Northern Pacific. The price was right so enjoy a "what if".
The Port is open! The Occupy Cobbleton Port protesters have finally departed when management threatened to cut off electricity to the campers.
The club will discuss future plans for this area next Thursday. This is the last of the big projects left for the club to work on.
Management felt bad for the Occupy Port crowd so they constructed this work bench for the great unwashed to do their dirty work like weathering equipment, fixing things that weren't broken and add things that don't need them. I think I have everyone confused.
Jim Bowden had multiple trains running but the pride of the fleet was his 4-8-4 Santa Fe steamer.

What do you know about steam engines?

When I got into the railroad scene in 1965 I knew nothing about railroads or why things were theway they were. Steam engines fascinated me but I didn't know why. This is a replica of the Union Pacific #119 that was at the Gold Spike celebration back in 1869 at Promontory Summit, Utah.I was there in 1969, drats I only missed it by 100 years! It is called an American 4-4-0.
This old clunker was called a Camelback because the cab sat in the middle of the engine. The fireman was in the back of the loco and the engineer sat in the cab. This was an 0-6-0 because of the wheel arrangement.
This is Bakersfield in 1955 on the Southern Pacific and I was tempted to put smoke and steam coming out to look
like the train was at speed. I thought better of it so the kids are not in danger.
Today the Southern Pacific engine similar to the previous one still runs around the Northwest. It's called a Daylight 4-8-4 Northern.
 It was featured in1 990 when it ran from Wenatchee to Leavenworth, Washington in celebration of the states Centennial. The City of Portland, Oregon owns it.  Spokane owns a bus!
Another darling of modern steam engines has to be the Union Pacific's 8444 or 844 depending on the time line. We see it here on the Joso Bridge crossing the Snake River from Oregon to Washington. I included this photo to show the bridge more than the engine because of its size. They need to get over this bridge to get to Spokane and to their SI connection to Canada. This shot was taken in 1974 as it heads to Expo 74.

Aug 29, 2012

Six Boeing aircraft fly low to the ground!

Driving down Trent Avenue sometimes pays dividends. Today I found this train loaded with aircraft bodies and support containers.
 I got up on the Havana bridge to record it at this new  train spotting sight.
 Check the serial numbers so maybe someday you will be flying on one of these planes. They build them back east and assemble them in Everett, WA.
One train was heading east and had all these containers on board. When did they name a container company after our train club?
A wind devil made an appearance to Yardley today and really kicked up a lot of dust. Does this qualify us for a Federal Disaster Loan?

Aug 25, 2012

Remembering the Milwaukee Road

After waiting 3 hours on a hillside in Rosalia, Washington here comes an westbound over a very unique concrete bridge that still stands today but without rails or even a railroad. I remember it was cold and windy!
A  favorite photo of mine was shot by our pal Chuck Heimerdinger who came up here to Dawson, Montana from sunny California back in the 1960s. The formatting on this photo is terrific showing the 2 kinds of electric locomotives they were running back in the good old days. Is today going to be considered by some as the good old days in 20 years?
I don't remember who shot this photo but it wasn't me because I am in the shot with my pretty white pants in a railroad yard! The place was Deer Lodge, Montana a busy spot for the railroad back in the day.

Back in the day when I could climb hills without catching my breath,  my good friend Leon Callaway from California came up here to see the final days of Milwaukee Road electric operations. The date is May 15th, 1974 and the power will be shut off in exactly 1 month to go. 
One of my all time favorites was me catching these old Boxcab eclectics in helper service at East Portal, Montana, which is on the Montana/Idaho border and about ready to enter a long tunnel. First off I was lucky to have my 300mm lens on as I didn't know they were coming until I saw them. Second, if they didn't have empty flat cars in the front of the engines, then no shot would be possible. Third, there was still sufficient light to stop the action with not much time to decide focal length, speed of the camera and formatting the shot. Lucky seems to come to my mind at being in the right place at the right time. Remember these are 50 year old machines when I took these photos, not many locomotives are around that long! I was in a time warp!

Aug 22, 2012

I remember Spokane especially the Great Northern

We lived in Spokane for almost 2 years before the cold winter of 1968-69 arrived and did I think twice about the wisdom of moving here! On this day in January 1969 the weather was minus 20 degrees and looking at the water to the east of the Great Northern station you can see the "heat" coming off the water in relation to the air temps.
Big Sky Blue was about to be bumped from the railroad as the BN merger is about to take over. This is a view of Hillyard looking northeast from the Francis Ave bridge. Western Fruit Express is in the background. Now this scene has but 2 tracks passing through to Colville, Washington.
One of my all time favorite places to take photos was at the Great Northern station where you could cross the tracks at Howard Street, park the car next to the tracks and take pictures without anybody stopping you or even question you and your intent. The Empire Builder came in late to Spokane and handed over cars to the SP&S for the Portland, Oregon train. The tower is the only thing remaining in this photo.
The Western Star was my favorite train to photograph on the GN as it arrived in Spokane around 2:30 pm and departed at 3 pm. Check out the clock.
The 1968 NRHS convention in Spokane gave us access to Hillyard where major repairs were made to GN equipment. It was a huge facility that fell out of favor with the BN officials who looked for ways to economize on their property. It employed over 500 people at one time and now Hillyard is long gone. Check out that crazy company car on the bottom.

Aug 19, 2012

Future photo spot for non trespassing railfans.

It's almost finished! The overpass on Havana Road is now paved and stripped and soon will be available for train shooting into the BNSF ( NP ) Parkwater/ Yardley, Washington. This was my favorite viewing spot before the bridge was built.
The water continues to rise in the mill pond. I would guess another 1/4 inch of liquid should do it.
The cars are lining up with extra logs and stuff on the other side of the mill. Soon production smoke will be rising from those smokestacks.
Brock and James showed up Thursday and ran these 3 monster SD90s on the railroad. They ran smoothly and are could pull lots of cars just like their big brothers.
 Mr. Persistence, Al Cunningham finally got his 3 CN locos to pull together and took his 30 car train around Old City.

And now...the 10 o'clock news from Greenacres, Washington

Allan had his 2 CP engines pulling a loaded 20 car coal train. They were even burning the stuff to make their locos go!
My newest addition to the roster is this rare 2-6-6-2 Weyerhaeuser steam engine which there were only 2 ever built for the backwoods of America. The Weyerhaeuser caboose is a figment of my imagination but I needed something for my log train.
2 of Jim Bowden's Big CN locos pass by the mill that is taking shape of the end of the front part of the layout.
Steve Welton's big UP engines lead by Heritage WP #1983. We now have 3 Steves in the club. At one time we had 4 Mikes.