Sep 30, 2014

Save the Santa Fe 3751 from a facelift!

There's a member in our train club that wants to take this beautiful Santa Fe northern and turn it into a Great Northern loco.  Cards and letters, post cards and signs, pitchforks and torches will be needed to stop this travesty on Thursday!
Tom Kirk purchased 8 more Rio Grande passenger cars from me last week so he took it for a ride On Thursday.
Union Pacific had a number of 2 toned grey passenger locos for their operations to Portland, Oregon but this one is pulling a freight train!  Yikes, what will the rivet counters think?
Another run with Tom Kirk's passenger train makes a stop at Bakersville station to pick up a few customers.
The Milwaukee Road still lives on the Evergreen Railroad as Mike Baker showed up with his freight units.  The Milwaukee Road still doesn't have a wash rack?
New and improved! We acquired a new desk for the DCC computer table that is a better desk that's' longer with 4 drawers and a bit narrower that allows the chair to slide under and out of the way.

Sep 22, 2014

Variety on the rails

Member Skip showed up last week with this 4-4-0 unlettered and clean as a whistle. I volunteered my time to get it right by adding the Great Northern lettering and a little weathering for a new look.
Mr. Milwaukee Don has a long train working the Blue Main with a rare F45 in the middle of his power.
John Smith was a proud parent of a 4 unit set of Western Pacific F units for his California Zephyr passenger set. He waited 2 years to receive it!
Business must be good as NP had 6 units on the head end for a long train.
We had an impromptu swap meet last week and Mike Walcker showed to see what was for sale.
Chad showed up with his 4-8-4 Southern Pacific that really has steam/smoke on the model. Lots of variety seems to show up every week.

Sep 13, 2014

FW: Railfanning 101 - Part 2

Here's that same Up train we ended the last e-mail with as a wide shot on the Scribner curve.
Mike and Claudiu talked to a nice guy who stopped to see what we are doing. it turns out that he works for the company that picks up crews on the road that can't make it back to their destinations and need a lift. 
Burt shows off the new look for railfans with orange suspenders and a red shirt.  In the distance are Don and Keith in the Model T with another car that stopped to see what was going on.
This BNSF train had 4 covered hoppers going somewhere fast but we were running out of time and everyone wanted to go to another spot.
The Marshall Bridge is a good spot, its high above the tracks, good lighting and a moving grain train to boot. Just above the hillside was a stopped coal train that we saw moving when we were heading home!
This going away shot is from the other side of the bridge looking west and in the distance is the old NP yard that was part of the NP branch to Lewiston, Idaho. It is now run by the Palouse River and Coulee City RR.
Don and Keith get the Model T out of the weeds and we head for home. Don had the buggy backfire a few times and I remember that they did that sort of thing back then.

Railfanning 101 or how to avoid the railroad cops. Part 1

It all started out innocent enough as most of the guys joined me for lunch at Frank's Diner in West Spokane. It was an old NP diner turned into a pretty good place to eat. We are on our way to railfan the Marshall Canyon some 5 miles west of Spokane on the old UP/Milw, now bike trail that is between the ex-NP and the ex-SP&S lines.
I asked Don to bring his Moel T with him so we could use it as a prop for photos. Don is pointing to the stop sign but I don't know why he just doesn't use his turn signals?
The seven of us hiked up the old UP/Milw right of way which was the west approach to downtown Spokane. The overpass is the ex-SP&S connection at Scribner that allowed SP&S to use the NP Parkwater yard for freight transfers. That goup dows not have their fearless leader leading them...I guess I have to
lead from behind?
Here's the shot that never was as we wound up on the UP connection at Fish Lake that diverts from the ex-SP&S line that is now the westbound mainline for BNSF through Marshall Canyon. Confused?
I talked the guys into moving from the Fish Lake UP tracks as it was a long shot as the line may have 6 trains a day and we would not see one for a long time. We moved to the Scribner curve and this maintenance piece showed up that digs up ballast and cleans it for good drainage. BNSF has 50 trains a day.
What's the first train that's comes down the track? It's a Union Pacific train with a Canadian Pacific loaner on the point! If we stayed put we would have gotten the Model T shot. Why do they listen to me?

Sep 4, 2014

NP rules on Tuesdays!

When I came into the club on Tuesday Marvelous Marvin had his Northern Pacific trains running the rails. So I set up for a meet at Coyote Gulch ( I think that what Mike Applegate called it? ) to catch all 3 NP trains in one shot.
The 3605 is on the Blue main and the other is on the Red Main so we could have the guys run their trains without worrying about running into each other. The little red flags are for the sensors so 3605 can enter the 1 track tunnel system on the eats wall and not have another train coming at him as it would be in the mountain and tunnel areas that we can't see. Only one train at a time can be in that block.
Marvin also had our club power pulling our track cleaning cars which consist of a vacuum car and the liquid car to clean the rails with track cleaning solutions and an abrasive pad. The lead engine also has sound so you always know where it is!
Two trains pass the lumber mill in the front section of the layout.
Going to the club I saw this 1929 Chevrolet putting down Sullivan Road and it pulled into a gas station so I doubled back to take a photo. The old gentleman was pleased that I stopped to do this and I was too.
What do you call this? A 4 door sedan that's a semi-convertible. There must be an official name for it?

Sep 1, 2014

Remember the BN Railroad...the friendly line!

Oh how I miss the BN green on F units and Geeps. here we have a collection of them heading the wrong way on the flow of traffic that I see going the other way on eastbounds. Latah bridge is just to the left. I-90 is in the background and lovely Spokane as well. 
Last week someone complained about the railroads on the front page of the Review. Like they go too fast at 79 MPH through Spokane plus other gripes. It was full of mis-statements and lies. Here is a sign at Yardley back in the day that limits passenger and freight trains. On top of that downtown Spokane has a 25 MPH rule plus the (2) passenger trains (Amtrak) has to stop at the station so they start at 0 to go either way.  The foreign power were passing through BN territory.
 Remember the personalized trailers that BN put on the rails? I don't know if Spokane was one of them but there were many cities featured. They are all gone including the BN AMERICA containers.
As the non-official BN photographer of the day here I am shooting 2 F45s in 2 color schemes including the latest being in BN colors. No one said boo to me as I certainly was not a worker in my office clothes.
And the winner of the ugly BN caboose scheme is........? This one of kind color scheme was at Whitefish yard scaring all the moose and bears away.
 Remember the first AC power units on the BN? Now they are as common as thieves in Chicago, IL. My son rode these units to Pasco when he was a brakeman and I caught them on the way back east passing Erie St. yard in downtown Spokane.