Aug 29, 2014

It's Thursday in sunny Washington State

Tommy Frank had 2 of his BNSF Dash 8 units on the point and 1 on the tail pushing. Just like the big guys.
The train passes our one and only ice station Titanic!  They should name a ship with that name!
Marvin had his NP units getting ready to roll after a wonderful vacation in Montana
More units were added for the main line freight.
Remember Keith Wiles? He was the BNSF engineer I talked about at Yardley. Keith has 13 of these Alco FA models that he asked me to help him fix them up. We removed the factory lettering and added the correct lettering in decals. We will add handrails, windshield wipers, correct horns and a little weathering.  I asked Keith to keep them to 6 models at a time so it could be managed. Yikes!

Aug 27, 2014

Orange is the color of the day!

Don Carnegie put this odd collection together today and I asked him what the caboose was for. It was a test run of his equipment so no real answer was needed.
Tommy Frank had 2 of his 3 BNSF GEs pulling a long freight train as the one needed an oil change.
Don's power was an E7 in the original paint scheme with the maroon stripe with the President of the railroad trying to figure out how to save the company. Maybe the Vice Pres. is in the caboose?
Keeping with the orange theme I ran into this set up on Railroad Avenue just south of the Yardley yard in Spokane. The unit is an ex-GP30 now a GP39 in the current paint scheme. The rear unit belongs to some obscure railroad that was eaten by the Santa Fe. The sign below the engine number says that it is a remote loco that can be run from the ground crew. Yikes!

Aug 25, 2014

The Funnel has a drain!

All BNSF traffic from Sandpoint west to Spokane comes in on one rail line ( ex-NP ) and it ends right here. The Latah Bridge is to the left where it has a Wye at the other end that send traffic to Seattle (North leg) or Portland (South leg). The rails dropping down on the right is the old NP line that drops down the South Hill to Marshal where the 2 lines come back together that go south.  I saw a UP train with red CP power that I thought would be a good shot on the Latah Bridge as I knew that they would come over the Latah Bridge as that is one way traffic on the south bound traffic. They never made it in the 45 minutes I was there.
I was the red signal that gave me confidence that it would shortly come out of downtown Spokane but maybe something else was coming to hold him in downtown.
With so much traffic noise I almost did not catch this eastbound from Seattle drifting down to the north leg of the wye pulling a bunch of ballast hoppers with sun panels for electricity to open the gates.
As the train crossed the Latah bridge I noticed the biker on the old Union Pacific right of way that came into town across the UP High Bridge that is now a bike path crossing I-90.
Standing under the wye I also looked at the old SP&S right of way that came out of Hillyard on the GN line. The Feds/and/or/Washington State built a nice new road crossing over I-90 as well.
Latah bridge is a box girder system that is simple yet strong enough to hold many tons of freight trains going on 40 years. A buddy of mine Bruce Nelson was able to walk through this bridge with a friend that would inspect it for cracks. They found one that was letting in sunlight and they closed the bridge for 2 days to patch the crack. Hey, I didn't say it was perfect!

Aug 20, 2014

The carpeted club! Plus the skirted club as well.

We have been at our club location for almost 6 years (Sept 1  2008) and we finally got new carpet installed! Kevin the carpet guy is shown finishing up the back side of the layout. No he's not a plumber!
Matching the design straight wise and angle wise was a challenge for Kevin but he came through. That red thing is a roller weight to get out any air bubbles and lumps. We have under-layout lights so when one of us needs to do maintenance we can see what we are doing! The skirting was removed for the carpet install.
So now it's all running trains and stuff as Calvin runs his beautiful 4-6-6-4 Challenger past Keith's new C-425 SP&S units.
They ran nicely but sound is in the future.
The yards were full of foreign power as this Western Pacific F unit set was in need of fuel or something.
Marvin loaded up some of my locos into the roundhouse as they were hanging around looking for their welfare checks.....those bums!

Aug 14, 2014

Searching for the electrics when there were electrics to chase.

I was searching through my slide collection, now CD collection, including the famous Chuck Heimerdinger photos and realized how much traveling he did back in the early 60s mostly in the west and Canada. Chuck made it to Arizona to catch the Black Mesa coal business with modern electrics.
Chuck is well known for his trip up to Washington and Montana and here he caught all 3 mainline power selections in one place. This is the Deer Lodge yard where a Little Joe, Boxcab and Bi-Polar electrics gather for their next assignment. The yellow was the Milwaukee making a deal with UP and some passenger assignments they cooperated on.
Up the road from Deer Lodge was the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific. They made it to Butte and Anaconda but fell short on the Pacific portion. They hauled ore from the mine in Butte to the smelter in Anaconda. At one time I had the headlight to the #65.
More modern than the boxcabs on the BA&P were there unique diesel looking things with pantographs on top. The yellow thing to the left is a line repair car, non electric for good reasons.
Back in the trolley days these cars were common but on the Yakima Valley Traction it was unique.
In California the Big Red cars of Los Angeles were well known but General Motors took care of them with some shifty deals. 

Mine your own business ....with a train!

Let's say you own a piece of property and someone tells you  its worth a fortune but you need to go down 500, 700, or 1000 feet
to find it. What do you do to bring it up to the top?
Build a railroad would be one answer. That's what they did in Utah to bring out the copper ore so we can have a better life with the commodity available to use in products.
Chuck Heimerdinger got permission to travel around the mine to take these photos some 50 years ago. Look at the grades these electric trains had to deal with. That took a lot of men and machines to make it work.
Everything is big...and dangerous. Old #728 has a crane in tow for some project down the hill.
Ugly brutes they are as they are as utilitarian as you can get.
Once on the flat bigger and more modern electrics take over to get the ore to the smelter.

Aug 10, 2014

Visiting the Hauser Yard fuel depot in Idaho

Five members of the Evergreen RR club decided to go on a tour of the area which our first stop was the fuel depot in Hauser. Since Keith works for the railroad he was our point man in getting past the gate.
An empty coal train was on track #1 where trains traveling from Chicago to Seattle fuel up so they can get back to get another load. Usually there are 2 or 3 units on the point with 1 or 2 in helper or pusher service.  When they built it in the late 80s not too many trains had pushers So when the lead units are filled up the train needs to move the entire train until the trailing units can then get fuel. It slows up the process and many trains have to wait to get turn at the spigot.

Keith points out what a FRED looks like and these units were bad ordered. They attach to the rear of the train and tells the engineer that he has air which means control of the train!
Marvin takes to photo of Burt, Jerry, Claudiu and Keith so we don't forget we were here!
I took this photo to show how it lays out. Building #5 is where the locomotives are seen.

Aug 9, 2014

Tunnel vision!

Being in the right place at the right time works real well for railroad photography but when you are working with models you can place them where ever you want! A little headlight helped as well.
John Smith acquired these beauties recently and they ran as well as looked.
Calvin had this little critter for some 25 years and it ran with both characters moving up and down as it ran around the layout. No DCC chip is going to fit into this guy so it ran straight DC.
Spike had his Canadian Pacific units working a long double stack.
This little guy's name is Nic and he showed up on Thursday with his dad and sis and he seemed pretty happy about what he saw.
Marvin put my ice reefers into the port ard and I think it now looks pretty neat.