Jun 30, 2014

Disaster on the Evergreen!

Jim Bowden took his beautiful Alaska Railroad passenger train out for a run when he realized a switch was not brought back to straight so he started to back it up when the automatic switch was out of time and turned under Jim's train. No damage was reported and no one was hurt! OSHA was notified!
Off it goes into the sunset and everything is right again with the world!
Chad showed up with his SP steam engine with real smoke but I added a little for the photo.
Tom Kirk had the Rio Grande Prospector traveling  towards Denver and it looked very nice.
Traffic jam on the Autumn section as Northern Pacific and Union Pacific gather heading south.
Yikes! I was waiting for the light at Argonne and Trent and who pulls up in the next lane but Mr. Taliban himself but he wasn't looking for me. It seems to me that he is trespassing on public lands?
Hoping I was on public lands at Trent and Fancher I saw this GP30 waiting its turn to get on the main line on the balloon track at Parkwater. The sun was about to come out when he started to move, oh well.
The location is Sullivan Road overpass on the UP (ex-SI) as this Canadian Pacific loco leads a northbound but waits under the bridge and sat on the main line with his train stopped on the Trentwood Bridge. Why? I don't know why.

Jun 22, 2014

The trains of Evergreen County.

My little NP steamer got put on the Green Branch to stretch its legs by getting a head of steam up to deliver boxcars loaded with new toys for the kids in the train club.
The yards were filled with a variety of power and it looks like the boys in the caboose want to keep warm on this cool spring evening.
It was Canadian Pacific night at the club as Spike Gorley added another big unit to his collection and with sound they looked real good.
There's Spike now in this candid shot of him looking over his long container train at Beaver Canyon. By the way he is Jack's dad!
Calvin added a heritage unit to his UP train and that had great sounds as well.
Steve Welton added to the pool power with CP and UP big units on his long grain train. What, no smoke?
The Evergreen layout is so big we don't even have an edge to it. How do the scenery guys do it?
Mike baker showed up with his BN and GN locos pulling a nicely weathered grain train. How did he learn to do those cars so well?

Jun 18, 2014

Skirting the issue!

We approved the concept to get the layout skirt installed on the layout a few months ago and now it is happening! John and Lucille Smith started the install today and it looks fantastic! The gap at Beaver Canyon is a custom cut so measurements were taken to fill in the gap.
This really helps clean up the visual clutter of 2x4 legs and storage boxes from the estate sale we have going to help with income for the club. New carpet is also ready to install thanks to member Kent Clausen so we will not have the carpet gap that was left from the install of the support pipe to the ceiling.
Here we have Lucille doing the install with Velcro and the panels she has sewn to make them fit. Thanks to both Smiths for a terrific job.
Calvin's new model of UP 842, a little brother of the famous UP 844 that still runs as an historic relic from the past when steam was king. Photoshop helps the picture but weathering would be nice!
The tide is in as Marvin's 5 NP locos team up to get the bacon to market. By the way water is tough to do!
The Port District never had so much water as Marvin's train fills up the entire section. The record is 70 cars so the layout can do it with no problem...including container trains! In a perfect world there would be an horizon at our club. A bigger building would help.

Jun 9, 2014

I was minding my own business shooting train pictures when an old friend happened by....

Yikes!  There's one of those beautiful multi-colored cars with a colorful light bar passing through the yard and not paying any attention to me as I was on private property. Here you can get 10 feet from the tracks!
What I was after was this foreign visitor in CN colors that caught my eye.  The Norfolk Southern not so much.  BNSF is so hungry for power many locomotives are on lease to move the coal, grain and oil that needs to get to market.
I went further west and saw this UP train stopped by the signal that allows UP trains to enter the BNSF tracks but he is now blocking Trent Avenue! He was there about 15 minutes and that is a no-no.
Part of the reason the UP train was held was another UP going eastbound into the UP yard at East Sprague. Five big powerful locos were pulling a very long train. Business is good!
Heading west to downtown Spokane I saw 2 WB trains stuck in downtown as what's going on? I got to my safe road spot and 2 trains were waiting on the old double track NP main with this UP train on the bridge and a BNSF train with its nose just past the South Hill slope.
A BNSF train goes west and this eastbound UP train starts moving into downtown. Union Pacific has trackage rights on BNSF from east Spokane to Fish Lake near Cheney.
Hearing the horn to the east I moved near the Latah Bridge for a different angle. It really shows the height of the bridge which is a box girder system sitting on concrete piers. The workers can walk through the bridge to inspect for cracks.
The I-90 Freeway is right behind me and the Sunset road Bridge is in the background. No room for derailments on this thing.
Finally the BNSF train that was hiding behind the South Hill starts moving up to the signal tower called Sunset Junction ( just like our hobby shop ). Time to go to work! 6 trains in 40 minutes.

Jun 8, 2014

Real Life Weathering at Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State

Sure Snoqualmie Falls has a beautiful falls by that's not why I think of this town. The Northwest Railway Museum has this restored NP station as well as other stuff. On the way back home from Tacoma last week we stopped by to see what was new and exciting.
On summer weekends it has live steam engines that pull passengers on a long piece of NP rails plus dozens of old pieces of railroad equipment including this small articulated engine that was built for the back woods of the Northwest.
Along the road near the station are many pieces of equipment in rough shape. Like many museums they can acquire more equipment than they have money to restore the stuff. The machinery to make it run is the V-2 motor that runs a crank shaft the works the wheels. Rough work but it was the best they had back in the day.
This old steam crane could sure use a paint job but 31 inches of rain near Seattle will wear out most improvements quickly. The Seahawks sure like the rain! Does Denver get rain?
When I got to Spokane in 1967 I saw this loco in the back yard of the Inland Empire Paper Mill in Millwood, Washington. It wasn't running but it sure didn't look this bad. Did I mention it rains a lot on the other side of the mountains?
The final insult to this diverse collection of stuff is this electric work car that seems to have collapsed on itself in a desperate manner. Looks beyond saving but I don't have a vote.

Jun 2, 2014

The amazing Washington State History Museum in Tacoma!

They didn't build it in Spokane! We had to do it on our own! This building is next to the old NP Tacoma station and is it a beauty.  They had lots of stuff in here but we are after the railroad end of it. The other guys with us were Ron, Stan and Sid from the great state of Wenatchee.
This shows the railroads of the area using HO models and did they do a terrific job. They have 50 volunteers but 20 do most of the work. Every scene is a copy of the real thing. The bridges, the factories, stations, etc. I heard about it but this is the first time I saw it. The edge treatment was unique as it is an antiqued pattern instead of black, or green or some solid color. I like it! Everything built was by volunteers.
The overhead wire is for the Milwaukee Road part of the layout. Not only was it big but the detail was impressive.
It was very impressive and I want to go back. Everyone should see it and you don't need to be a modeler.
This is the Northern Pacific roundhouse in Tacoma and I saw the real thing some 30 years ago on the
day before they were to tear it down.
It's the real thing just like the Coke commercials used to say before they came out with the other Coke. The NP line parallels the Milwaukee tracks for many miles on the coast.
Is it big? It's real big! Look at the 3 levels of holding tracks and scenery displays. We asked about the funding and they had $20,000 start up money with $8,000 per year since then. We got into the inner part of the layout when Marvin asked if we could! We were modelers after all...the brotherhood.