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.

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