Jul 31, 2013

Memories of the Northern Pacific

I had a conversation with our new member Calvin and he mentioned that he saw a bunch of steam engines at Parkwater when he was a kid. I said I have a photo of them from Fancher bridge. The year must have been 1958 and all steam is now dead on the Northern Pacific and they are waiting to be hauled off for scrap. The 2 water towers to the left were taken down about 10 years ago still with the NP monad on them.
The NP Minnetonka was stored at the Parkwater roundhouse in Spokane for many years before they shipped it off to a Duluth museum. That's my oldest son who is the N scale Guru on buildings that you see photos of his stuff.  Where's the BNSF cops when you need them?
The original NP station in Spokane but you won't see it this way. When the tracks were elevated in 1914 it became a one story depot from trackside as this is all fill today where the passenger cars are located. Ah, progress!  It is now an Amtrak station as the old NP is now the route of Amtrak through the Northwest.  The smoke is not Photo shopped!

Jul 24, 2013

Looking back on the Great Northern depot

I came across an old postcard that I purchased when Moses was a teenager and I realized again how commerce was the keystone to the vitality of any city worth its salt. The Spokane River was on both sides of Havermale Island where the depot stood and on the south side they used the channel for power generation with the Washington Water Power/now Avista.  

We tried to save the station in 1971 but failed by a 43/57 voter approval. The city announced they were going to save the tower when the issue was still in doubt. Some in the group called it the "Quinn Tower".  Mike Applegate called it a success a few years ago! What!...... the building got torn down! He replied yes, but you changed the minds of the BN corporate to save Tacoma, Livingston, Missoula, Helena and others when you showed them the buildings still had value even if they did not serve the railroads! I don't know if that is true but I loved hearing it anyway!  Jerry PS. There is no bell in the tower!

Jul 21, 2013

Horn stolen from NW Rail Museum!

The Inland Northwest Rail Museum (aka The Inland Empire Railway Historical Society) has some rather unfortunate news about a stolen piece of equipment off of one of their locomotives:   Please be on the lookout for a stolen Nathan P3 horn.  
A thief removed the horn from the IERHS F9 at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds, probably within the last month or so - after being safe on the unit for 20+ years!  Here is a picture of what this horn would look like.  This IS NOT the horn that was stolen, but it is the same model. 

The stolen horn does not have the nylon covers over the bells like the one pictured. 
 If you have any information, please contact the Inland Northwest Rail Museum.

Jul 13, 2013

Train thoughts by the members

Steve Welton ponders what he might have in the future! Imagine a passenger train called the "Welton Special".
Two SD45s from the good old days of GN making its way through the wilds of the Northwest.  Jim Bowden gave the lead SD45 to one of our new members so he would have good equipment to run.
Keith Wiles ponders the good old days when his SP&S E7 hauled the southern leg of the Empire Builder past his home in Wishram, WA along the Columbia River.
Steve Welton does have a beautiful passenger train of his own and this Rio Grande has 12 cars in tow in the form of the California Zephyr.
I don't know what these two guys were saying but I took a shot, maybe they were talking about me?

Jul 10, 2013

The Orange railroads

My Milwaukee Road buddy Don Carnegie wanted to run one of my Little Joes at the club and the orange ice reefers made it a neat looking train.
Almost like it was 1972 again as the string of ice reefers comes out of the blue main tunnel.
The real Milwaukee Road had numerous tunnels in the west and I tried to catch it coming out of them. Say, those union guys as still painting that bridge support!
The Little Joe electrics, named after Joe Stalin during the 1948 cold war embargo so GE could not sell them to the Soviet Union, the Milwaukee got 12 of them  as a bargain price (1 million dollars? ) reset the wheels to 4' 81/2" and ran them for 25 years. At 5,000 hp in an era where 1500 hp was the norm for diesels, they didn't owe the railroad a dime when they were retired in June of 1974.
The other Orange railroad is the mighty Great Northern and new member Tom Kirk borrowed my F unit for a spin with his oil cans.

Jul 8, 2013

The edge of the earth has been banned from the Evergreen Railroad!

Lloyd Peacock came by on Saturday and trotted out 3 of his 6 Dash 9 units to run his coal train around the Blue Main. I got him to stop the train at  different locations by the edge of the earth was showing in the first 2 shots and that was not appropriate so Mr. Photoshop was employed to help!
His 100 plus ( I think it really was only 10 cars ) coal cars, but just like the big guys, it needs this pusher in the rear of the train to keep it on schedule so it does not slow down Amtrak's Empire Builder in getting to Seattle on time. Imagine that!
Coal trains keep our trade balance from getting out of hand so move those coal trains to the coast! Notice you can't see its only 10 cars!
Moving the camera with the speed of the train has the cab numbers almost in focus as opposed to stopping and shooting at 1/30 of a second.
Just so it is not all BNSF on this e-mail, I added the Burlington Route Zephyr with a little Photoshop adding a little smoke and rust to make it not all shiny and new as the background has a UP Gas Turbine so it is not 1935 anymore. More like 1955.

Jul 6, 2013

Looks like its a Milwaukee Day on the Evergreen!

New member Don Carnegie ran his GP Milwaukee Road unit with little regard to the environmental impact of the need for a ring job.
Chad Giessler ran his beautiful steam engine with natural gas and left no smoke! Now that's what I call a good American!  Don's GP unit must have ran out of fuel?
Once that GE unit gets going there will be no clear skies in Evergreen Railroad territory!
Chad's SP 4-8-4 Northern puts out only clean H2O as it burns a little electric to get going.
Allan added another building to the gas plant and if he can get the switches then the track crew will come in! The unpainted panel will hold a clear plastic
Remember the company that "brings good things to life"? Good old GE burns up the fuel and makes for a grey sky. They are going to love GE in China!
I watched a passing BNSF freight the other day when I spotted this unusual 4 dome tank car I never saw before. That means it has 4 containers inside?

The SP&S rides again ....in smaller scale!

When Keith showed up Tuesday for the evening run session he hauled out his 2 brand new Baldwin switchers and I knew I had 3 a kind to beat 2 of a kind!
While his 2 Baldwins made it around the layout my 3 SP&S RS-1s did a smokin good job of catching up.
My Alcos made good time to catch up to the Baldwins so it would not be long before the two sets met.
Wait a minute? They were running in opposite directions. He was going west to Wishram and I was going east to Spokane. Funny I didn't see the Columbia
River to my right but never mind. It was all in my mind anyway.
The final shot is my caboose putting out a fair amount of smoke as the Photoshop God intended.