Mar 25, 2016

Competitors pass in the night.

A powerful Union Pacific gas turbine locomotive has an easy time with a short freight passing another rare loco in the form of an ex-SP&S Alco locomotive,
now a BN diesel unit waiting its time to get on the main line.
In the land of make believe Don Carnegie wins the prize with a modern diesel with a heritage paint
in Milwaukee Road passenger colors. The second unit is another "what if" the Rock island survived
to put this color scheme on another modern unit.
Steve Hart runs BNSF trains almost every day so on his day off he runs BN locos on the Evergreen.
Steve Weso is another Wishram baby so he models the SP&S as he remembers his dad running the
real ones back in the day.
That couple looks like they want to hop aboard this SP&S freight to get back to Spokane. Maybe that
will work if the engineer slows down enough to allow them to jump on.
Now we have a new railroad called Citirail in Spokane or is it another lease unit owned by some
small bank in New york called Citibank that realized an investment in locomotives is a good idea.

Mar 23, 2016

Marvin improves the North Coast Limited.

Marvin was popping his buttons today on the improvements he's made to his model of the
Northern Pacific's premier passenger train. when there were such things to be proud of.
Adding the red warning lights to his observation car took him several days to figure it out and
get them working right.That should keep those drunkin freight engineers from banging into his train!
Tom Kirk made up a work train this afternoon with Union Pacific power .along with a newly acquired
Southern Pacific unit in trail
What caught my eye was the pre-built sections of ready to drop into place when they have a derailment and
need to open the track as soon as possible.  The tie down chain really sets the models off.
Not a model you see every day much less the real ones.
Tom was arranging my SI covered hoppers and I thought they looked neat lined up in a row.
Finally I got this photo from somebody that I thought it was most appropriate that someone honored
the firefighters, medical, cops and others that show up to these disasters that we seem to be having too
many lately. Norfork Southern did it back east and that is something nice to see being done. But those
cop cars should be out chasing people off the prop....oh, never mind!

Mar 20, 2016

Building the fleet...some real and some imaginary

I was looking over some of my latest creations and I realized how I am constantly adding to my
Spokane International fleet of rolling stock. This gon used to be a Santa Fe model until I turned it
into what could have been if they purchased any of these types of cars. I used the box car lettering.
The SI had 50 of these covered hoppers to move cement usually for a customer on the line.
These models need to be assembled and I usually find them at swap meets as kits. Modelers today
don't need to do much work for excellent models but they pay a hefty price for the detail.
Athearn 40 foot flat cars are the standard fare for my flat car fleet. Removing the brake wheel system
is required and add a brake rod on one end to make it official.
Every flat car, gon, coal car needs to have a load to make it on my railroad. This one was freelanced
with barrels, boxes, ties and a couple of workers to finish it off. Photos taken with my iphone!
Early maintenance sand and gravel car always makes me think who is going to empty this car? I hope
they have a clam bucket crane to help them do it? Again boxcar lettering makes it all possible.
Decals are still available but who knows for how long. Jerry 509-939-5845

Mar 17, 2016

Lets go on a train ride!

Today we are riding on the North Coast Limited  out of Spokane for the far reaches of the country!
Four units is plenty of power to move 14 cars at track speed.
You got to be somebody special to be riding in the tail car of Northern Pacific's premier train.
Extra fare to say the least!
Before modern diesels it was steam engines that did the work on the railroads. The little 2-8-0 has a local
delivery and blessed with a tiny 4 wheel bobber caboose for the crew.
Greg later put on additional cars to see how many cars it could handle. I think 5 cars was it.
Oakway Lease units were popular during the 1980's but it did not continue as BNSF could buy them
rather than lease them from EMD.
Greg Mercier had this Maine Central unit pulling its weight around the layout. His wife comes from
the Northeast and therefore Greg models it as well as NP & SP&S.  Smart Greg!

The Milwaukee Road makes a comeback!

At least on the Evergreen!  Engine 156 was Milwaukee's entry into the Bi-centennial paint schemes
that covered the United States railroads back in 1976. This one was one of the best.
So here we are in 1976 with 3 units on the point pulling a large trainload of equipment. The F45 in the
middle is another rare model the railroad had on the roster.
The engineer ignores the competition as both enter their own tunnels thru Mount Whitney.
What is really special is these Locotrol unit 2/3 of the way back in the train.
As Don Carnegie's train made its way around the mountain he now has done a 180 degree turn and
passes his own caboose. Ah the good old days!

Mar 12, 2016

Expaining the Latah Bridge in Spokane

Explanation from a railroader about the Latah Bridge
and Sunset Junction I refer to from time to time.
10:44pm Mar 11
Gerald... the tall bridge is "new"... it was built by BN to tie in the old GN, SP&S, UP, and Milwaukee onto the former NP route through Spokane.
At the wye at Latah Junction (on the bridge, itself), the right fork, going westward, heads towards Lions, which is where we get back on the GN line.
The left fork of the bridge puts us on the SP&S line after it crosses I-90. We are on the SP&S through Scribner (Marshall) and tie into the NP a couple miles west at Lakeside Jct. From here, the SP&S is abandoned to just a few miles east of Pasco and the UP gets on it's track for it's run along the Snake River and on to Walulla and Hermiston.
The NP is the short bridge that crosses I-90 to the left before the tall bridge. It goes downhill to cross the Colfax highway, through Marshall, Lakeside Jct, Cheney, Ritzville, to Pasco.
We usually run the westbounds up the "Highside" (SP&S) and eastbounds down the "Lowside" (NP) because the westbound grade is easier on the SP&S than on the NP lines.

Mar 11, 2016

Before time began?

The primitive stage of Beaver Canyon finds Burt playing the foreman's job while the worker, Tom
Frank is doing the underneath stuff. We had no idea what was going to turn out at this area except that
it was going to be special.
Probably the most scenic spot on the layout where 3 railroads pass through this spot.  The passenger
trains are on what we call the Blue Main which is the major rail line. The Red main is hidden behind
the Great Northern train and is the smaller main. Then there is the Green Branch line which is reserved
for little cars and small locos because it has tighter curves. Not bad for a bunch of kids?

It was celebrate Pre-Merger Day at the Evergreen

It was unplanned to have all this stuff show up at the club today but here it is! Northern Pacific and Spokane, Portland and Seattle trains gather towards the rear of the
club layout! We could have added more but then we have enough. Mr. SP&S Keith Wiles missed it as well as his job on the railroad kept him away. Sorry Keith!
The new look for the SP&S shows up with one of the broad scheme GP7 trailing the original  paint
scheme. Member Greg Mercier soon to be moving from the Seattle area to North Idaho has found a
new home here at the Evergreen club. Goodbye 405!
Marvin found the turnaround on the Red Main to his liking as he now travels the opposite direction
with his Northern Pacific freight.
This odd collection of locos was run at an earlier time with SP&S #332 leading the pack.
I just finished a number of Up box cars with a little weathering and Scotty took them around the layout
with his 2 UP Centennials. Freight cars look so much better with a little TLC added to them! Right Ralph?
Finally a little suspender humor for Burt!

Does life mirror art or is it the other way around?

As a life long photographer , at least until I could afford to buy film I was always interested in photographing life including trains, planes and automobiles ( including
cop cars, fire trucks, etc. ). This time its art mirroring life as it shows "somebody" being approached by a BNSF cop while an "innocent" railfan is about to be questioned
as to what he is doing.  Duh, I'm taking a picture of some fascinating train coming down the tracks.....I have been doing so for over 50 years.  Why do you ask?
Co-conspirator Bob Gadsby ( border patrol Bob ) worked for several months finding models and decals to pull this off. I think Marvin had something to do with it as well.
Another potential member has been rejected by your President Quinn as
she does not conform to the limitations of our train club aisles. I guess we
need our elbow room? We have so many rules don't we?
Speaking of big we have the largest pair of locomotives ever built in the form of DD-40s ( I kid you not)
which were Union Pacific's Centennials built in 1969 as I saw the first one ( 6900) at Ogden station
for their 100th anniversary of the Golden Spike which united our country from sea to shining sea.
Scotty Smith acquired 2 of them recently where one has sound and the other does not.  These locos
were huge as they had 2 diesel engines built into the one body and each loco generated over 6000
hp to get trains over the grades in Wyoming and Utah.
The real 6936 visited Spokane a number of years ago and is the last operating survivor of the class
and is now in the UP Heritage collection along with a Big Boy, Challenger and a Northern steam locos.
By the way these photos were taken by my iphone as my battery gave out on my Canon. Not bad?

Mar 8, 2016

FreeMo comes to Spokane!

This is the best bridge I ever saw in HO scale. Allan Cunningham is the creator and what a structure it is.  Allan also did the curved bridge in the back of the
Evergreen layout with the girder built into the system. This one must have taken Allan quite a while to build and well worth the time. The people in the back
give it scale as to its massive size. Love the colorization!
FreeMo allows a modular system to travel distances and can connect with other modular systems.
The only stipulation is your 2 outside modules need to conform to the standards of wiring and track connections.
This circle allows everything to return back around. Hundreds of modules can be used in any design
The big boys were there as well with G scale or as some like to think of as outdoor equipment that
goes in the garden or the backyard.
Another private module layout had a lot of detail and interesting scenes such as this Great Northern
passenger train being pulled by an Alco FA, which was a freight unit in real life. Pretty anyway.
There's a lot of effort put into these modules as well as hauling all the units long distances just for
the satisfaction of showing off your work.
Years ago I created the artwork for the Spokane International Railroad and I have decaled many models that
followed the prototype and some to my imagination. This model was spotted by Dave H. and he sent
it to me after the show. The SI was merged into the UP so they were not able to purchase a modern
Airslide hopper such as this model shows but it does show some creativity using a boxcar decal set.