May 28, 2016

Back when the Milwaukee Road came to Spokane....

Back in the days of steam engines and passenger trains Spokane had UP, GN, NP, SP&S, SI and lastly the Chicago, Milwaukee , St. Paul & Pacific Railroad visit our fair city at least once a day.
The Milwaukee came on UP tracks into Union Station on Trent Ave. over the High Bridge west of town and also came from the east over the Dishman Mica line that now only has UP freight trains.
Don Carnegie now has a replica of one of the engines that brought hundreds of train loads into Spokane on both east and west journeys. The #267 is now running again abet in 1/87 scale!
It could pull these 18 passenger cars without a problem, you can see the engine just in front of the yellow
car behind a building as it made its way over the terrain. The whistle and sounds were amazing.
No Photoshop was needed!
Union Pacific had its turn for glory as Tom Kirk added to his UP power collection.
Another favorite for Greg Mercier is the Northern Pacific with his 2 GP9s pulling 30 cars up the grades
on the Blue line. I see that cop is still up there on the high line giving that poor photographer a bad time!
Two of Marvin's big Montana Rail Link engines have a long train in tow making the grades and crossing
many bridges on its way to delivering the goods.
One of my Milwaukee Road SD40-2 engines gets a look at by shop crews to keep it in tip top shape
just in case they need it out in the action.

May 27, 2016

Fw: The race is on.... old versus new!

Since the inception of the Montana Rail Link in the middle 80's when BN sold the old NP main line from Laurel ( Billings, Mt) to Sandpoint, Idaho the
railroad relied on trade-offs from prior owners to run the trains such as Steve Weso models of SD-40-2 diesels in the background. Now the MRL has
about 25 purchased new modern units that handles fast freights and helper service over Mullan Hill west of Helena. Marvin has those shown here.
I learned that these SD40-2 models are Athearn Blue box and Steve did all the work and paint on them.
Greg Mercier has ties to New England and Maine Central is part of that thinking. Here we have Greg
running 3 of them on the Blue Main.
More east power showed up Thursday night with new member Tom Hindley acquired 2 CSX models
plus another one from the Hubee collection I will be fixing up for him to run with these models. Welcome Tom!
Our gal Janis had this long Great Northern passenger train with 4 or 5 F units to keep it running on time.
Finally we had a meeting to describe the working of our computer DCC system on the layout to
teach and remind all of the members how to assign and work the functions needed for good operation.
Marvin went over the basics with some 14 members that were there for the clinic.

May 25, 2016

Evergreen Railroad Modelers video

Good morning Jerry,
I have uploaded another video packed full of club footage.
I believe it's about 20 minutes with 27 scenes.
Please share with our fan faithful.
Steve Weso (Wesolowski)
click on this here link ----->

May 22, 2016

Another Evergreen Railroad Modelers video

From the mighty Weso. Rail action at the speed of light!  Jerry
Hi Jerry,
How about sharing this with the fan club.....
click on this here link ----->
Steve Weso.

May 21, 2016

Odds and Ends

Avista is putting up these giant aluminum telephone poles that dwarf the large wood poles that were there on Sullivan Road
in the Spokane Valley.  Maybe Chuck Heimerdinger needs more power to run his HO scale Southern Pacific empire?
Returning to the scene of the crime, I saw a headlight coming east so I diverted to the north main (ex-NP) and got the sunlight in my favor as it was a morning shot. The south (new) main is behind me but this was the
original NP main line some 135 years ago.  I assume the rail has been replaced but the concrete must be original? Trent Avenue is in the background. We are in the Spokane Valley near Millwood, WA.
Speaking of old stuff how about this rusty set of rails? It is the original mainline for the Great Northern
just south of Hillyard where it headed south west and came into town along current Ruby and Division.
The other other remnant of this line now looks like an alley way. The current BNSF main drops down the
hill behind that tree in the background and old Hillyard would be where those silver tanks are in the distance.

May 20, 2016

Variety is the spice of life.

Milwaukee Donald put 2 of his GE models to work on the Green branch this time hauling logs to the mill
or the reload.
Mr. Weso also took his train on the Red line so he could visit Bakersville station. There are those log loads again.
Steve Weso had his SP&S Empire Builder/North Coast Limited/ Columbia Cannonball combination running
on the Blue main and the story goes that someday he will have the 3 unpainted cars in consort with his dreams.
Grey Mercier put his SP&S C-424s thru the works and remembers that railroad when he was a kid.
Steve Weso got this as delivered SP&S E-7 #750 in the GN Empire Builder colors but with different
lettering than what you normally think when you say Empire Builder as they carried a part of it from
Spokane to Portland back in the day. Needs a little weathering?
Evergreen club picked up a new member Thursday night named Tom Hindley who is new to the hobby
and he ready to learn all the good stuff it has to offer. Welcome aboard Tom!

The Amazing Weso and his friends!

Leftover from Wednesday's shoot with Steve Weso, I didn't want to leave out this shot of his SP&S FA leading the pack out of a rock cut on the Green branch on the Evergreen
club layout.  Rarely does a large and newer power make its way this far into the clubs higher reaches. Say, nice rock work! I wonder who they pay to get this kind of work?
Marvin had this 5 unit set of Northern Pacific freight F units out on the main line. The NP freight colors were
black, yellow and red stripes and the passenger units were 2 tone green.
The queen of the SP&S fleet showed up in the pin stripe scheme along with a smaller little brother
they call an F unit. It stopped to take on more customers and drop off others at Cobbleton Union Station.
Now the passenger duty is all Amtrak's as all railroads turned over the responsibilities to them. Janis
had a full set of passenger cars to make a long train.
One of my SP&S Alcos needed shop repairs to keep it going so the workers put it on our club's
transfer table to move it to the right bay. Hillyard had one just like this one.
Greg Mercier had his SP&S  freight loaded with 4 units in charge. This is the front of our layout and we
wanted to make it special. Every week I wonder what I am going to say about these photos and it
seems the guys keep giving me special stuff to show. Thanks guys.

May 19, 2016

Half hour on the Otis Orchard overpass

As I crossed over the Barker Road rail crossing I saw I had a green block of something coming east so I
diverted my car to the highway overpass on this beautiful sunny day in May. I waited about 10 minute when this
high rail truck showed up going west. He stopped under the bridge I was standing on as he had a red block.
Ten minutes after the truck arrived here comes what I was waiting for. This BNSF train is crossing Baker Road
and he is designated to take the siding as the high rail truck is sitting on the main track. I use my 200 mm lens
for this shot.
The train has 5 big units of power in the lead so that means it has 4400 horsepower times 5 engines,
if you care to do the math on how many horse it has. Focal lens is about 150mm.
As it came closer I pulled back to about 25 mm and get this wide angle look standing on the outside of
the railing. A Spokane County cop passed me a few minutes earlier so I guess I wasn't violating something.
I quick dash across the road catches this eastbound in good light and you can see Trent Avenue of the left with a substantial power pole line as well. The 4 lead units are GE Dash 9s and the
trailing unit is a EMD model #9240 with the notched nose for sand traction for the wheels. Mr. Buffet would be proud of his railroad.
It was a very long train with mostly JB Hunt containers loaded with goodies for the eastern markets.

May 18, 2016

Smoking at a young age!

As I understand the mechanics of American Locomotive products ( Alco) They had a lagging turbo problem that fed fuel into the motor faster than it
could burn the fuel for its power. Therefore they smoked a lot, especially when they were starting out.
I stopped by the club today and Steve Weso followed me soon after to set up his models for a Wednesday
night run session.  He put his 4 SP&S locos on the Green branch which is rarely photographed as it has
short radius curves and not as attractive to most members.
His pride and joy was this little 24 foot brass caboose that is a copy of the parent NP caboose.
Steve stopped at every bridge for me to take my photos to avoid the chance of getting blurry photos.
Even the Heimerdinger bridge got its share of attention with all units in the shot.
You'll always know Steve is in the house as he always seems happy in what he is doing and laughs
to show his pleasure. More of us should be like Steve!

May 17, 2016

New models show up

Never before seen by the Lords of the Evergreen Clan is this brass W&R W-1 Mikado owned by member Greg Mercier. What a beauty she is with all the detail of the real thing. Greg asked me
to give it a little weathering but the model was painted with a well done paint job so being careful was a priority.
The W-1s would have been used in helper service in the mountainous areas of the railroad and this
one is helping a new Baldwin diesel up some grade.
Once clear of the mountain grades she puts on her own display of power so now she is pulling the diesel
quicker than the diesel could run.
It turned out to be Northern Pacific Day at the Evergreen when Marvin put his own show on with a long
North Coast Limited passenger train.
The light coming into the train layout looks different with the sunlight making for a more realistic
lighting on the train. Too bad we don't have skylights at the club.

Returning to the overpasss on a sunny Monday afternoon.

I was going to a meeting tonight but had time to kill and after spotting a headlight on the old NP main
I thought I would get back to the UP/ BNSF overpass in the Spokane Valley. I didn't make it as you can see.
This Citirail Dash 9 got there first pulling a half dozen containers west. That would have been a good catch
if I was on the sunny side of the bridge I thought.
So I waited for another westbound that might come along and found the angle of the sun to my liking.
I heard a horn in the distance and thought that it was an eastbound on the old NP north main so I walked over
to it to catch the good sunlight on it. A few minutes later the eastbound showed up but on the south main.
So much for out thinking the railroad.
It was an empty oil train heading back to South Dakota for another load of sweet smelling sulfur!
For a few moments I though all was lost until I thought this train may have a helper unit on the rear?
Sure enough it did and caught him pushing his share of oil cans with a spacer car between them for safety.
Does this area look safe to you?

May 14, 2016

My adopted railroad

When I moved to Spokane from New Jersey in 1967 I didn't know anything about the Spokane International railroad. Now its my all time favorite. It's a little railroad
as things go from Spokane to the Canadian border in North Idaho where it connects with the Canadian Pacific and that is the secret to its success. Union Pacific
merged ( consumed it ) in 1959 but the little spunky railroad still lives on in many people's hearts. Larry Shauver started it all when he said they don't like the SI.
I told Larry that it's not that they don't like it but they don't know about it. That started me making the
decals for the box car....and then all the rest of their equipment including the SI RS-1 locos you see here.
The Northern Pacific may be my number two favorite RR and I just made up these coal cars and added the
coal loads. All my open cars get a load of something. I don't like them not earning their living.
Our Green Branch at the club is the line on top of the hills. It has narrow curves and requires small
equipment. I got these cars at swap meets and then I paint them and turn them into SP&S or other
local roads to haul behind my NP 4-4-0 steam engine.
Another photo from the Grand Hotel from 2 weeks ago, this time
with the water fountain in the foreground. This seems like a good
reason to live in Spokane don't you think?