Oct 26, 2013

Evergreen action

Brock showed up Thursday night to unveil his latest creation of his BNSF units pulling an executive train of ex-Santa Fe passenger cars on a tour of the Evergreen lines. Nice!
Mike Baker showed up with a rough looking set of BN units pulling nicely weathered freight cars. Atta boy, Mike!!!
It was long and even had a BN caboose bringing up the rear. I sure do miss the caboose!
While setting up for a double shot of BN and SP&S trains what else shows up but a BNSF double stack near our port district that gets closer and closer to completion.
This guy on the left claims to be Todd Schwenk from Portland, Oregon. One rumor is that he published a book on the SP&S 15 years ago but the guy's photo in the book has dark hair!
The other guy claims to run BNSF trains for a living but in his fantasy world he is known as Mr SP&S Keith Wiles!  They were trading stories on SP&S passenger equipment.
Todd brought in 4 brass cabooses at a bargain price that he got in a damaged equipment sale and I gave them the primary caboose red paint to make them into SP&S rolling stock.
The Spokane Valley was glowing with color the other day along East Sprague when I was taking the wife to the doctor's office. These trees caught my eye with their colorful
brilliance even though it is not railroad related. Not all of our trees are Pine trees!

NEWS FLASH! Halloween Schedule Change and Photos!

By executive decision I decree the holy day of Halloween overrides the 5 years of members showing up on Thursday. On a one time decree the President of Evergreen Railroad modelers
declares that we we meet instead on the following day next week. Our big day will be Friday, November 1st from 1 pm to 9 pm. We would do the same if Thanksgiving and Christmas
did the same.

That's Spike Gorley's lone CP unit doing the heavy lifting.
This is Mike Bakers' idea to show Brock's special train in a derailment!  It shows we are not all perfect! Stay tuned for Mike Bakers' train to run aground!
Keith Wiles had his SP&S passenger train making the rounds last night and we agreed that the F unit needs to be upgraded to the lead E units looks.
Keith's train reflects what the SP&S passenger train looked like when it left Spokane as a collection of GN cars, NP cars and their own assortment to round out the roster.
They took cars from NP's train, GN Builder and put them together for the run to Portland, Oregon while the other 2 trains headed for Seattle, Washington back in the day before Amtrak.

Oct 21, 2013

The Wenatcheeans invade the Spokane Valley train Club!

Ron Neidhart , was one of the Wenatchee boys that I took the trip to Train Mountain with last year was one of the invaders. Ron makes believe he has film in his camera as
a BN freight passes by. Is his finger on the lens?
Stan Marr really impressed me with this box of locos he owns but he reminded me that most of these critters were once in the inventory of me!  I didn't realize what a good customer he was!  He paid me with Wenatchee funny money!
People make the funniest faces when they don't know they are being photographed! Stan sets up his BN F units on the Blue yard.
Here are what they really look like. Stan added extra detail so they look even better than before!  Did he really pay me for them? I can't remember?
Three more Wenatcheeans are shown here and 2 of the 3 used to be Evergeen RR Modelers. Jim Trunzo donated a beautiful model of a (Vinegar?) factory located on the layout and
Mike Walcker wears one of the early club member shirts. They traveled 200 miles to see what was new on the club layout. Other visitors were from Canada, Helena and Missoula, MT.

Did Spokane join up with Canada?

I did not need to travel to Canada to take this shot as I saw the headlight driving down Sprague and doubled back to a safe pphoto spot. The old Spokane International tracks that the Union Pacific took over in 1959 gives UP the connection with Canada thru Spokane.
I noticed almost every grain car had some kind of grafitti on it and how this guy got 14 feet above the rails to do this is beyond me unless he brought a ladder to do his work.
Where are the cops when you need one?
My favorite car was this CP grainer with graphics that must have taken hours to do. Someone will have to do the translating for me.
We have 3 Mikes in our train club. I wonder if any of them had anything to do with this one?
This UP train finally had one of their own with a pusher helper that needs a bath.
Coming home today I saw this little yard switcher that moves grain cars around the plant and it has real wheels and track wheels depending on what it needs to do. Cute?

We got a new shooter in town!

When I went out to my car to get my camera last night who do I see shooting photos of the front of the layout but Spike Gorley!   This shot is through the window of the club and it gave me a new angle and scene to share with you.
One of the regulars showing up on Thursday night is Keith Wiles and this was a new look for him as it is not SP&S equipment.  I would have added smoke but alias no Photoshop.
I played with my rolling stock but used the club's motive power last night. This scene was never shot from this angle as there was nothing to see around the port untill recently.
Burt and I did some filling in some landfills that were in need and added the weeds that give the area some color. Plus the lights. The camera focused on the bridge instead of the train!
Mr. Gorley's new addition to his collection is this sounded BNSF loco with the mystery stripe on the nose. We need to fix that factory error!
My trainset and Keith's lined up together and I caught both trains on the rear section of the layout. Maybe we need to change club run days as some
members haven't been seen lately. Anyone have any suggestions? Would Wednesday night be better?

Oct 14, 2013

Open House on the Prairie

We got the place cleaned up and the folks started arriving at 4 pm instead of the advertised 5 pm start time. Open houses are special to the members who can show off their efforts a few times a year when we open the joint up for visitors who come into town for the Train Show and we give them something to do on Saturday night!
Things started popping as Jim Bowden had has good looking Santa Fe 4-8-4 doing the chores pulling a very long freight train. I did the weathering!
Tommy Frank made a partial comeback after surgery and has his long passenger train making the turnaround on the Red line through an added tunnel section so they can go in the opposite direction.
Mounr Whitney is on the Green Branch where only small diesels and small steam engines dare to tred. Burt had his little 2-6-0 making the rounds with an ore train.
One young visitor wanted to get the little steamer on the bridge but it looks like I distracted him. The red light protects the back section of the layout when someone already occupys
that section of track. Safety first!
UP and Santa Fe speed by on a paralell course but who will get to the tunnel portals first is anyones guess. This would have been a good photo to use Photoshop but I don't have it at home anymore when my computer crashed 3 months ago.

Oct 12, 2013

Tuning up for the big show!

The Spokane Swap meet and train show is on Sunday but our show at the Evergreen Club is on Saturday (tomorrow! ) Here is the stored equipment that the club will be selling for an estate sale and its our way of making a few bucks. Check out our club tables to see what we have.
One of the favorites Saturday night starting at 5 pm will be Jim Bowden's Santa Fe Northern with a long string of ice reefers from the good old days. Wait till you hear the sounds this beauty makes!
Jim did some video shooting with his camera phone and the action was sururb! Someday we will do another video production of the improvements we have made on the layout.
Keith Wiles ( Mr. SP&S ) is running some Norhtern Pacific equipment and this little passenger train was very nice addition to his stuff.
Spike Gorley will have his Canadian Pacific freight in action as it passes my UP Gas Turbine which is a favorite of mine.
The latest addition to the port district are crossing signals which protects 3 main lines and a siding. Good luck on the wireing on this project!
See you all tomorrow night from 5 to 9 pm at 18213 East Appleway.

Oct 11, 2013

Railfanning by telephoto lens

Playing it "safe' these days makes me pick locations that may not be my first choice but it helps my photo desires for taking pictures. This site is interesting in several ways. The first is that BNSF gave me three different paint schems in one shot. I like number 3 the best. The rails below the bridge are the old Spokane International, now Union Pacific to Canada. The other side of the opening used to have the Spokane & Inland Empire electrified line to Coeur d'Alene as well. The GN ran it for a number of years but no more.
I'm on a public street, at least I think I am, where these 2 old war horses were at the east end of Yardley, Washington on the old NP line. The stripe below the number 1875 tells me that it is a remote controlled ( man on ground) unit for switching the yard. Maybe member Keith Wiles has run these units around?
This grain hopper was hit by vandals and they must have used a paint roller to get the paint 13 feet high. Where's there a BNSF cop when you need one?
Coming home on Monday it was raining pretty hard when the sun came out when I was still downtown heading for the hobby shop to drop off open house flyers for our Saturday event.
The double rainbows showed up and by aiming my camera out the window i was able to time one rainbow hitting my favorite hobby store in the whole world.

Shooting for the moon

Trying to capture the moment with a kid is not easy but I hope for the best. A child's recation is a precious thing to try to capture in a shot with model trains.
Same shot as last e-mail but from a different angle. Jim Bowden's classic set of 3 Santa Fe freight locos make their way into one of our 18 tunnels of the layout.
Two old war horses in Great Northern colors shows the difference between the original garb and the simplified scheme. Saving a buck for the merger I guess?
BNSF and the GN caboose would not be seen together as cabooses were eliminated long before the merger..

Oct 10, 2013

Spokane railroads around 1910

Some of us at dinner last week were talking about where the tracks went in the downtown area of Spokane. Here is a map that shows a turntable about 1 inch below the number 43.  That was the Milwaukee Road facility, Brown building supply was in there for years and now Hamilton Street bridge goes over it. The track that goes into section 37 is the Spokane & Inland Empire line that climbs the South Hill, goes past Valleyford and on to Colfax, Washington and Moscow, Idaho. The Northern Pacific tracks on section 36 is the BNSF main through the Valley.

Oct 5, 2013

What's new on the Evergreen Railroad?

After shooting photos on the Evergreen club layout I still try to take photos at different angles to keep the collection fresh. Jim Bowden stopped his train at this spot when we started the clean up at the club. I leaned over the club with my hand straight out with the camera and got what I think is a pretty good dramatic shot of his Santa Fe freight.
Mike Gorley had this intermodal train ready to go when I noticed the yellow stripe on the nose that lines up with the yellow seperation stripe on the body. I looked at a few of my
photos of the real thing and I did not see them on the prototype. Is this something they are doing and never noticed before?
I haven't run a GN train in a long time especially the older F units so I brought this set in to run with the small ore cars that was in the estate stuff.
I forgot I owned this well detailed caboose I got several years ago that has interior lighting and red marker lights installed. The little ore cars can be seen in this shot. I added the loads.