Jun 23, 2013

Tacoma and Switzerland are similar in one way.

This railroad must be on a par with the clean locomotives I saw 2 years ago in Switzerland. The Tacoma Rail is a local entity that does switching and transfer work in the Tacoma area.  The 4001 is a GP unit with 4 axles and the 3001 is a SD with 6 axles.  Built by the same loco manufacturer EMD, they have a family look.
They even have a few passenger cars but I don't know where or when they would use them. It must be above my pay grade.
Note this one is a switcher with a white body and a red stripe.
This bad boy was off by itself and has a red body with a white stripe. I wonder if the shop crew got confused and did it opposite the instructions
or maybe it just looks better and besides it's their railroad just like us modelers make up stuff on a whim!
Shooting from a moving car we crossed over this bridge with a very organized yard for BNSF.
Just to show all is not nice and clean and shiny this Temco switcher has seen better days...but not for a long time has it turned a wheel!
My final shot of the day was when Burt and I got back to Western Washington at Davenport, Washington and found this SD-40- dash 2 sitting on the
siding ( or is it the main line ) of the local Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad. ( I'm not even sure of that ) WRIX means something! Ex UP loco I would guess.

Jun 22, 2013

Checking out the Tacoma rail scene.

Burt approaches Mike and Sid on the bridge overlooking the Tacoma yard. That turntable used to belong to the Northern Pacific and it had a roundhouse that had curved top doors. The engine house was slated to be torn down the following day. I got a picture of it somewhere.
A Union Pacific freight goes north but I was not in a position to shoot it so all I got was the yard.
This auto rack looked strange to be in all aluminum paint with a very small logo on it. What could it be?
it's the world's smallest logo on a freight car! 3 little Kansas City Southern logos were attached below the 125th anniversary symbol. I know guys who
would want to see this!
The other side of the bridge was the old Tacoma Union Station! I seem to remember this spot in my younger days!
Back 40 years ago I caught an Amtrak departing Tacoma station in 1972.  Compare this photo with the one above. It got saved from demolition and is now used as a Court House if I remember right.

City of towers!

This scene caught my eye and got Mike to stop the car so I could take it. That's Mount Rainier overlooking the  city and if ever went active Tacoma would be like that town in Italy that got buried 1200 years ago. What I really noticed then were all the different cranes that were all around me.
These guys are strictly for lifting containers which is the modern way to move them from ship to train or trailer. Containers also keep the longshoremen from getting their grubby hands on the new toys, TVs and electronics that we receive from overseas.
Heavy lifting is done this way with the Shuttlelift system. The other option is to employ 10,000 gorillas to do the job.
These bad boys reach out over a ship and lift the cargos, mostly containers, out of the hold and on the the flat cars to haul east.

Jun 21, 2013

Something old...something new!

It's 1967 all over again, especially in model railroading when you can get models like these that represent the way the real railroads looked back then when I moved out to Spokane. One of my photos I took back then was of the GN Hustle Muscle #400 that was published in one of the GN photo books.
The new model on the scene is this war baby 4-8-4 Daylight without the skirts and colors because of the war needs.  Chad brought it in Thursday and had the smoke unit working on it as well.
New member Tom Kirk took my Big Boy and UP Gas Turbine out for a spin pulling his own freight train.

Jun 20, 2013

Look what I found!

I knew there was something at Airway Heights near Fairchild Air Force base in the way of locomotives but didn't know how much was there.  This modern Canadian National caboose caught my eye first with its 2 smoke stacks. Does it get that cold up there to need 2 stoves?
Most of it was second generation stuff with railroad names on them that I never heard of. There were only EMD locos, no Baldwins, no Alcos.
It's prior owner was the famous Santa Fe. Who is Billy?  Billy Carter?
#324 is ready to put your name on the side of this loco and drive it away. All of these units are for sale or lease. Bring your checkbook.
Never heard of the Oregon Pacific but I do now.  WRIX initials were on most equipment.
Some 30 years ago the big railroads started to shed many of their branch lines and that created all these short lines without unions to run them. If the unions were included I would guess the railroads would have failed on financial issues.

Jun 19, 2013

Visiting sunny Bremerton, Washington

This weekend, 4 of us guys from Spokane and Wenatchee, Washington visited Bremerton Naval Base while the main reason was to attend a model train  show. The photos of these ships do not do them justice as to the size of these monsters! The one on the right was numbered 61 which we think is the Constellation.
This one was lettered so no guessing is needed. It's the Kitty Hawk and I remember this one involved in the rescue of the guys coming back from space shots and being picked up by this ship.
The other ships were numbered #64 and #63. All of them retired or mothballed except the Stennis that is the far away ship. That ramp in the foreground I walked on back in 1996 with a Boy Scout troop from New Jersey that my brother and his scout leaders brought with them on a 2200 mile tour of the Northwest. At that time it was the Battleship Missouri to the right and the Battleship New Jersey was where the Kitty Hawk is birthed.
Remember this ship. We think it was the Turner Joy. Remember this one? The North Vietnamese Navy approached this ship at high speed and they shot at their torpedo boats. Was it real? It got us to commit ground troops to Vietnam back in the good old days. To some, the ship needed to be sunk before we believe it happened.

Jun 10, 2013

Thursday Night Rumbles

Mr. California, John Smith had his SP Daylight making the rounds with a model of the only saved E8-9 at the Old Sacramento train museum.
Here is his stretched out passenger train set crossing Beaver Canyon.
A newcomer to Evergreen RR Modelers is Scotty Smith who brought in his years old purchase and finally ran it on something other than a 3 foot piece
of track in his home. He has a bunch of brand new UP hopper cars looking for something to haul.
Most of you might remember Scotty as one of us ex-River City members some 10 years ago. Scott is Mike Applegate size and a terrific addition to our club.
Brock showed up to the train club Thursday as his work schedule fin ally allowed him to be with us for the evening. He had these beautiful BNSF units pulling
a string of container/trailer flats at a prototype speed.

Jun 8, 2013

Railfanning...despite BNSF's jack-boot security policy

I found out recently that BNSF is cracking down on railfans and I am no exception. So the following photos were shot without putting a foot down on their sacred land. I am standing on the road 2 feet from the yellow line at Barker Road. I saw this guy coming and made it to the crossing before he did.
This comparison on an old SW1500 and a ex Santa Fe B unit seemed to say the newer stuff is just that much bigger. Still on a road near to a parking lot.
My 200 mm lens came in handy for this long shot of BN units sandwiching 4 of those ex-Santa Fe B units. They were not moving while I was there with one
eye on them and one eye on any vehicle traffic heading my way.
Heading home this afternoon I saw a headlight coming out of the UP/SI connection near the old Playfair property and I knew it was not BNSF but UP or
perhaps lease power so I set up on friendly territory above the tracks for this shot. The second unit was a lease unit that runs from Canada to the ocean.
The CP unit is not in a race with the BNSF train but is the pusher from the prior shot. Nobody is in the unit as it is controlled by the engineer in the front unit.
This BNSF train is a returning empty oil train heading back to the Balkin Oil Fields in North Dakota. That's a safety spacer car between the tank cars and the locos.
In 2011 BNSF made 1 billion dollars hauling oil. In 2015 it will be hauling 5 billion dollars of oil for us Americans.
All from private investment, not government!  Finally something to be happy about!