Dec 28, 2014

Saturday event goes smoothly!

With the Christmas holiday landing on our usual Thursday club session we had a Saturday open house to make up for it. So about 40 guests showed up to see what we've done and ran trains for them.
One of our guests was the president of the River City club in town and Mike T seems to be enjoying himself while he checked out with the other club has been up to. Mike is a very nice man and we talked about the different club's activities and shared the same ideals for the hobby. Thanks, Mike!
The star of the show had to be Mike B's pristine Great Northern Empire Builder.
Spike G ran his grain train with the big red Canadian Pacific units that frequent through Spokane on the real Union Pacific connection to Canada.
Milwaukee Road has been gone for 34 years but Don C remembers them with his fine collection of the railroad models.
Terry F showed up at the club after a long absence to run his BNSF train with help from his grandson.  Sharing the railroad experience is to be admired.

Dec 20, 2014

Party time at the Evergreen!

The fearless leaders of the train club decided to have a Christmas party last night and with a dozen or so members enjoying sandwiches, hot wings, and plenty of desserts that were brought in by the gang. 
Milwaukee Don had his F45s on the point of his massive coal train earning its keep for the masters. Alas, it just was not enough to save it!
The big surprise was a preview of Marvin's Boeing train he is building that I showed about a year
ago on the real thing.  The flats still need the "ice breakers" to protect the aircraft bodies and will be
soon installed!
Dominating the night was Keith's Alco FAs so I had to add the sounds of my 2 Alco C-636s to the action. There's that coal train plus that foreign interloper Canadian Pacific pulling grain trains through the Northwest.
Chuck Heimerdinger's photo of a Milwaukee freight trains passing each other inspired me to get this shot but depth of field did not cooperate with me.
We must be along the Columbia River for this shot but I don't know where the 2 main lines would be of different elevation. Maybe Keith knows? smoke!

Dec 16, 2014

River City Gold Spike - 1981 at old location near Pines Road in Spokane Valley.

I found this oldie but goodie of the old River City location in the Valley. It was about a year into our new home and this was a gold spike celebration for having a continuous loop around the layout. That's me in the middle getting my usual respect we all enjoy from time to time. The guy in the dark blue shirt is Bruce Nelson, a Spokane city detective, Harley Mederios is the one putting up the horns on my head, he now lives in Texas. Tom Jennings is at the far left of the picture and he built a lot of the trees on the Hangman Valley layout. I recognize Joel Baldwin in the near left with the green shirt, Mary to the right of me, Rocky Gibbs behind Bruce and finally Ron Peterson with the green stripped shirt to the right. Ron is the only one in the photo that is still with the old club. Everyone else moved on. We've come a long way in 33 years but fun seemed to be happening back in the good old days. I still had some black hair back then as well.

Dec 13, 2014

The many faces of the SP&S Railroad

I had a hankering to gather some of my SP&S locos for a photo shoot and I got most of the family to pose for this shot. 2 of them are RS-1s in different schemes, 2 are F-units in different schemes and the others are Alco C-425s and C-636s. The E unit stayed home with a cold.
The train club books are now in with Burt, Jim, Keith, Mike Fassler, Calvin, Doug, Phil, Steve books are now at the club or picked up already. One more still at Costco that I hope to have there on Thursday.
Famous last words from Marv is "I'm I in the shot?" Nope Marv, missed you by a mile. He had his 2 new LMX lease units running last week and one is weathered and one is not.  I wonder which one he brought from me?
Marv's LMX and BN power make it past the port district that keeps getting better with Scotty working underneath the layout to connect all the wires, But doing the bassasting and yours truly doing the ground cover. Next is the weeds!
A few of the Alcos were taken for a ride and they smoked like they were getting free government cigarettes! Ask the GIs of WW2 if that seems too extreme?
Steve Welton showed up Saturday afternoon and so we I at the club to photograph the new stuff. Between Sunset Junction hobby shop and a Milwaukee train convention Steve picked up a few goodies.
Mr. Clean ( aka Steve Welton ) ran his new set of Union Pacific F units as well and as you can see
his equipment still has that new cardboard smell direct from the factory. No smoke, no fumes, just
reflections from the overhead lights on the shiney,new paint. The cows don't seem to mind!

Dec 1, 2014

Saturday afternoon delight!

After a 2 week delay in messages from the club I have a doozy of collection! ( What's a doozy?) Kansas City Southern F units showed up on our open house on Saturday. Phil Pesek is from that part of the country and he is on his way having a nice stable of equipment for his private home layout.
Phil had these 2 KCS units running flawlessly and the weathering made them look like they have been earning their keep.
Young Steve Welton had this 2 tone grey Union Pacific Northern making money by running freight trains instead of the normal passenger assignments.
Don Carnegie worked his coal train on the Green branch where the coal mines are located. It's a Milwaukee train and it didn't derail once!
Marvin picked up something that does not say Northern Pacific on it so there's still hope for him. LMX will be his "modern train" power and I have a mate for it as I'm looking at it right now as I type.
The big surprise of the day was Steve Welton's fabulous Southern Pacific Cab Forward #4100 where SP turned the loco around so the crew did not have the smoke blowing in their faces while going through snow sheds and tunnels and get killed. They had to be oil burners as coal does not work well on these turn around engines.
To wind up "Steam Day on the Evergreen", Chad Geissler had his Southern Pacific 4-8-4 in working man's black paint instead of the expected red, orange and black that GS locos usually wore. This engine had real smoke as well.

Nov 6, 2014

The good old days

In 2008,  with my friend Ralph and my grandson David, we went to the National Model Railroad Convention up in Chilliwack, Canada. Part of our adventure was watching Canadian trains passing by.
One of our tours was the Othello Tunnels that were built by the railroads back in the day through a winding canyon by the railroad wanted to go straight.
They accomplished it by drilling 5 or 6 tunnels with bridges between a very dramatic canyon.
Each tunnel was more dramatic than the other. The current bridge was not a railroad bridge but
made it into a hiking trail.
Look at this canyon. an you imagine King Kong coming up the river?
Another adventure that same day was Hells gate where we took the tram down to the river where there was a restaurant and viewing spots to enjoy. No skis were needed!
Did I mention that it was a model railroad convention? Some fantastic modeling was on display as well as sale tables to get good stuff!

Nov 1, 2014

Whose railroad is it anyway?

Our Canadian brothers get their time on the Evergreen club layout as we have 2 members that favor the Great White North. We used to have 3 members.  Spike has his 2 Dash 9s crossing famous Beaver canyon.
Great Northern steam put in time in running the rails as Skip has put together a very nice set of models to go with his good running 4-4-0.  Say.... they look like my boxcars?
The once great Milwaukee Road is well represented on the layout with Don Carnegie running modern diesels in their final days as a valid railroad.
Tom Kirk has a rare combination running on the Green branch to prove that big power can operate on the light curves and tunnels.
Burt Whitney with modern diesels? What is this world coming too? One compensation to his Camas Prairie railroad in the 30s is this Union Pacific F unit set.  There's still hope for this boy!
Claudiu tries his luck with a set of new F units on the Green branch as it works its way on to Chuck H. trestle in the north side of the layout.  Nice rock work for a bunch of kids! Its always Christmas Eve on Mt. Whitney!

Oct 28, 2014

Railfanning with the Smith Brothers

This past Saturday I went on an impromptu trip with Marvin and John to Pasco, Washington to visit PF&S hobby supply. That's Marvin near his car as I wait on the bridge at Sprague, Washington.
We saw a 3 unit train heading west and we thought that we could catch him at Sprague at this interesting spot. But after 30 minutes we gave up waiting for the train that had 3 BN green units, rare for them to survive after 19 years of BNSF merger.
We decided to see what was waiting for the westbound as we could see an eastbound waiting in the distance so we passed a large collection of rare vehicles including this Yellow Cab unit. Don Carneigie would be impressed!
Here's the eastbound container train waiting at the East Sprague siding...and waiting ...and waiting.
After a tour of a large hobby distribution center that makes believe it's a hobby shop in the middle of nowhere we stopped for a moment at the Pasco hump yard where foreign power was ready to go east.
Pasco has an NP 4-6-0 steamer on display and I got a quick snap of it as we passed.
Our final highlight was visiting the Pasco Industrial Park where this huge crane was still there since we visited a year ago. That blue spot is a 44 ton locomotive.

Oct 20, 2014

Fast times at the Evergreen

Decades old enemies pass each other on Thursday night. The GN and the NP, while owned by the same guy, James Hill, they fought each other for business especially when the GN arrived in Spokane in the early days of 1900. On the Evergreen Railroad they seem to get along with each other.
A similar shot was shown last week of a GN unit at this very spot but this time the cows are not standing on platforms and they have not turned into hamburger meat by a locomotive. Where's PETA when you need them to fix that fence? The Spokane International is one of my favorites!
Milwaukee Road shows up with a short passenger train perhaps it is some big wig inspecting our railroad for a potential merger with the Milwaukee?
I always look for kids with an expression on their face when a train is passing. Kids always get a good reception at our club when they show up.
Claudiu picked up 2 new GN F units with sound and DCC already installed. Our newest member is moving up in the collecting of quality stuff.
There are those 2 competitors rubbing shoulders again as more visitors observe the interactions from a safe distance!