Apr 29, 2017

What's this.... 8 engines and no cars?

Scotty Smith showed up Tuesday with a collection of Union Pacific heritage locos that were absorbed into the UP system. Each loco other than UP itself is a adaptation of the original railroad look
but changed to be more improved.  Union Pacific is one of the original railroad names that survives today.
For instance, this is the future look they put on a Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad , called the Katy,
that I consider a fancy, modern look for a small railroad that UP took over in 1988.
Well, UP got the red right as these old warhorses look pretty grimy to me.
Rio Grande always had a neat paint scheme on their locos, especially the passenger scheme and this
modern version would look pretty good climbing the hills of the Rockies today.
Another fallen flag is the Chicago & Northwestern in green and yellow. The engine number represents
the year the railroad was merged into the yellow peril. Ignore the fingertip! I said...oh never mind!
No those models are not N scale as Scotty Smith is a slightly large person and the illusion is understandable.

Apr 28, 2017

How did the UP trains get to Union Station from the east in Spokane?

Studying old bones is an art to discover history and this seems to be the same process. What in the world is
this concrete underpass in east Spokane? Its behind Adams Tractor on Trent Avenue.
When I got here in 1967 I did not understand this feature as there were 3 or 4 of these underpasses with fill which handled
some rail line. I later found out that this is how Union Pacific, Spokane International and Milwaukee Road
trains would use this route to get to Union Station from the east.
Here is Union Pacific Tower in East Spokane crossing the ex-NP main line. This train is heading north to Canada
but in the old days the switch immediately in front would be thrown to go to the right and travel across those
concrete underpasses to downtown Spokane.
Here we see the old S&IE electric ( ex-GN, ex BN line ) trestle crossing the Spokane River being torn down
but behind it is the trestle coming off the concrete underpasses and fill to the left. Brown Building supply would
be to the right of this photo. Trent Avenue is to my back.
The track went into a short tunnel and came out of the trough and went under Division Street to get to Union Station
on Trent Avenue. The brewery was Inland Metals back then. This is now the college campus area.
Now we arrive at the famous Union Station that was the pride and joy of Spokane for a few generations
where the City of Hinkle, trains to Portland, Spokane International passenger trains and the Milwaukee Hiawatha
would have been visitors as one time. The GN station to the left where the tower was saved at the Riverfront Park.
Is everyone sufficiently confused?

Apr 25, 2017

They just keep rolling along!

Four brand new Northern Pacific EMD GP-9's are on their first run out west crossing the many rivers it will encounter on the way. Ah, the good old days! Greg Mercier's models on a sunny Monday afternoon at the club.
The crew of this SP&S freight set has stopped for lunch at one of their beaneries on their railroad. They must have shut off the engines as there
is no smoke coming out of the engines, after all it is lunch time. They must have good batteries though as the lights were left on?
At times both railroads ran along side each other at Pasco and Spokane and this kind of shows that.
SP&S and rocks seem to go together especially around the Columbia River with plenty of tunnels to keep them company. The big one in the lead has 2 of its little brothers in tow.

Apr 19, 2017

Train time is anytime!

Some 2 miles from our club the Milwaukee Road long distance passenger trains past our way along Dishman–Mica Road in the Spokane Valley. Don Carnegie has done his best to show us what it
would have looked like back over 50 years ago. They had 4-8-4 steam engines such as the one shown doing the duties to get the train through the non-electrified gap between Avery, Idaho and
Othello, Washington.
These Alco FA-1s were the choice the SP&S made to replace the steam on their railroad. These 4 units are in the original colors before they went to the broad stripes. Keith Wiles owns these models.
We had 2 BN trains running on the layout when I arrived which reminded me of so many times I watched BN trains passing through town. People who have stopped by the club know this is what you would
first see when walking in the door.
Tom Kirk had the UP train making the rounds with first generation diesels that
did away with steam on mainline trains.
Keith Wiles came up with these 2 tank cars with his first name on them. Are they legit?

Video of rail action 44 years ago in Western Montana

Enjoy the scenery of the east slope of the Rockies provided by
a railfan with zoomidis!  Jerry



Apr 15, 2017

The delivery is not done until the lowly switcher puts it there.

Each car no matter what the contents is a special delivery by some switch engine putting it at the place where the customer needs it
to start the unloading process. That's what member Jack Pappas was doing Thursday night at the club. The railroad does not get paid
until the load is delivered.
Unlike passengers on passenger trains or trolleys who have to pay in advance to get on. Jack had this
Dewitt Clinton trolley making the rounds on the Blue main line picking up customers and dropping them off
maybe at their favorite fishing spot or too drunk to drive themselves home.
A very common sight to see steam engines delivering logs to the mills as we see here. Now trucks do
the heavy lifting bringing the logs out of the mountains instead of railroads, that's if the government
allows them to do it in the states.
If you live in the Spokane region you'll see many UP trains with Canadian power pulling everything
from potash to grain heading for the coastal ports for overseas delivery.
In the good old days Great Northern handled a lot of wood products from finished lumber to wood chips
and the SD7  is looking for more with the return of empties to the lills.
Thursday was a busy night when 5 of our members were recognized for their birthdays. Not only were there
plenty of members but we had 4 visitors from the Wenatchee area there to help us celebrate.

Apr 13, 2017

Boeing plances still looking for a place to land!

If you live in the great northwest seeing airplane bodies sailing down the tracks has become common place. They come out west on MRL tracks but the
trains are still BNSF and the power tells you who is running the show. They have trackage rights on the MRL from Laural, Montana to Sandpoint, Idaho where
they finally get back on their own BNSF ( ex-NP) rails just east of the Sandpoint bridge over Lake Pend'Orielle.
This scene is possible in the Spokane area as UP tracks ( ex-SI) run paralell for a distance where a race
could be achieved. Even Rio Grande could be involved as the UP absorbed them back in the 90s.
Anything is possible at the Evergreen as lease power could show up anywhere in the country including
the Chicago & Northwestern ( now UP)
Woops, someone forgot to set the brakes and this occurred on the Green Branch. It reminds me of
Breakheart Pass movie where a box car was rolling down the hill and derails at a bridge before
it takes off into the wild blue.  I gotta change my meds?
Just like the big guys we also have members running pusher service on their trains. There is no
crew aboard the real locos as the guy in front controls them by using black magic! We do it with Digitacts.
Another member has joined the club and Colin is an experienced modeler and that is his GN train on
the bridge,

Apr 7, 2017

Re-living the dream!

Any of your that see this message might remember the days when trains were a big part of your life. This photo makes me think about a Northern Pacific
wall calendar I had hanging in my kitchen in our home in New Jersey back in 1965. The photo showed a NP freight train crossing a bridge out west somewhere
and I know that had a influence on my decision to move my family out west to Spokane. This was Marvin's train but something told me to take this photo.
Mike baker showed up to run his 3 BN F units with sound and how that adds to the believability of
running model trains around a layout! Spokane was a stronghold for BN Fs in their final days around 1985.
Many of them were so dirty that you could not tell what color they used to be through the dirty black exteriors.
We still loved them as they were a throw back to the premerger days.
Back in 1976, the year of our nation Bi-Centennial, BN painted 3 diesels in the red/white/blue colors
to celebrate the event. The numbers were 1776, 1876 and 1976. Clever! Janis owned this train.
New member Ver had these 2 BNSF Dash 9s making miles on the Blue main. These models can be seen
all over the system and I would guess that the railroad has some 6000 of these 4400 hp beasts doing
most of the hauling on today's rails.
Can't ignore the Union Pacific representation on our layout and Tom Frank has his 2 road warriors
pulling their weight on the Red Main.
Must be a local with 1 unit on the point as road power would be 3 or more units if it was working around
this neck of the woods with our grades to attend too.  It's Don Carnegie's train and he will tell me different.

Apr 6, 2017

What's new at the Evergreen?

One of our new members named Ver ( not a mistake) had this Baby GE (not 6 axle but 4 axle) at the club but it had no number so I came to
his rescue and added the correct numbers to that particular model. He is well on his way to have a fleet of cars to pull as well.
Not so new member Will made this detailed model to reflect his love of shortline railroads and this
one is in a name of his youth to built a hypothetical railroad of his own making.
Three of the members gathered their trains for a group shot that I was asked to use for a shot.
None of them have ventured near the spray booth?
This is the maiden run of Keith Wiles newest addition to the SP&S fleet and it's a beauty! Its another one
of those Challengers that sounds like the real thing. The tiny WP engine stopped in awe when it was passing by.
Fifty years of technical advancement is seen here with SP&S RS-1s representing the 50s and  the
Union Pacific EMDs show what the current power looks like. The two UP engines would match 8 of the
SP&S models in pulling power.
Our newest new member s Colin FitzGerald and that's his Great Northern train on Heimerdinger trestle.

Apr 2, 2017

Evergreen club visits 2 home layouts in the Spokane Valley.

What better way is there to spend an afternoon with friends visiting 2 terrific model railroad layouts that they had not seen before? We started out
with a pizza party at Savageland where we had 16 members, 2 family members and 1 guest for lunch. We then departed to Allan Cunningham's home
where an N scale masterpiece awaited us. Allan has his layout functioning where 18 trains can run on his layout with the push of 2 buttons.
The theme is all Canadian railroads including many passenger trains from VIA to Canadian Pacific
and Canadian National trains represented. The detail is amazing and everyone was impressed with
Allan's work and craftsmanship.
Not only were they well done but they were long trains and everything stayed on the rails and worked
perfectly. If space is at a premium, N scale is the answer.
Our next stop was Chuck Heimerdinger's HO empire but his theme was Southern Pacific standard
and narrow gauge in the 1930s. Members gathered to enjoy another well done layout and hopefully be
inspired by what they saw.
Another room had another theme built around logging which Chuck is very familiar with his travels
to many logging railroads when they were still running in the west.
Will and Rod were taking photos when I came in this room and commenting on Chuck's work on his
log reloader when they used available materials to built it. The log stumps and the forest debris was
well done.