Thursday, September 17, 2015
In 1951, Australia's Railways began to turn to diesels for the road power. The first mainline diesel, an English Electric built by the South Australian Railways' shops entered traffic September 10, 1951. 10 days later, the first mainline EMD, but by licensee Clyde Engineering, entered traffic. Known by SAR as the GM class, the first 11 (GM1-11) were built in an A1A-A1A configuration to meet Australia's axle loading limits and were truly just elongated F units. As a result of the initial GM Class experience, coupled with interest from the Victorian Railways for a C-C version with double ends and the theory the lighter axle loading would be popular globally, EMD went to work. In 1951, VR placed their order for the ML-2 and with what EMD had learned "down under," released the SD7 to the US market, just 5 months before the first ML-2, VR's B Class leader B60, hit the rails in July 1952. Further orders of the GM class were also C-C units. The last new unit built with the "bulldog" nose in the world was CL17, now CLP10, which entered service in June 1972. Remarkably, some of these EMD pioneers can still be found in active service to this day for Southern Shorthaul Railroad, while thanks partly to a lower global demand for iron ore, has allowed GWA to store many of their older examples. Here, we look back and their life as they knew it in 2014, hauling infrastructure and wheat trains in New South Wales and South Australia.
The Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad... Many from the Northwest are familiar with the name. Fewer are familiar with the line. When I moved to Oregon in 2005 and it was the first thing I wanted to see. It was always one of those things in the backyard, you'd check it out occasionally, but the lure of big mainline railroading and exploring new parts of the states of Washington and Oregon, and further east to Idaho and Montana, kept me away. Like may things in your backyard, you just assume it'll always be there, and never pay it the attention it truly deserves...until it disappears forever. Such was the case in early December 2007, when the "Great Coastal Gale" moved through the Northwest. The amount of rain it brought wreaked havoc all over the Northwest, including flooding the city of Chehalis and BNSF's Seattle Subdivision for several days, causing the massive landslide just west of Clatskanie, OR that blocked the Portland & Western's Astoria District, and, by far the most damaging, were the landslides, washouts and tunnel collapses over the POTB's crossing of Oregon's Cost Range, largely confined to the section between MP 789 and MP 816, totaling 27 miles. Sadly for the fans of the line, with the $57.2 Million dollar price tag to repair the line, coupled with Hampton Lumber's inability (unwillingness?) to commit to the railroad, the Port of Tillamook Bay elected not to repair the line, instead using their FEMA money to build a golf resort. This decision effectively closed the 96-year book on trains over the must rugged and scenic operation in the Northwest. Since 2008, all but three locomotives, one GP9 and 2 SD9s have met the scrappers torch, while the line over the mountain continues to decay. I've sorted through my best and most memorable shots of the short 2-year period I was able to shoot it for this short presentation. Goodbye, old friend...
Dan takes us on a journey along the CN Ashcroft Sub and the CP Thompson River sub from a few days back in August of 2011. We are happy to have to have Dan back to show some of his great photography!
Friday, September 11, 2015
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Northern California’s McCloud Railway has a very vibrant history. However, rather than dwell on various dates and statistics, this photographic presentation is dedicated to the employees of the McCloud for making this shortline; “More Than Just A Railroad.” The most important attribute in railroading is the human element, for without it, a railroad does not exist. Often this is overlooked by flashy paint schemes, impressive motive power rosters, or even the unique scenery which a line traverses. Railroaders regard each other as family, and the employees of the McCloud have a distinct character which has been shared with many. Philip A. Brahms became well acquainted with the McCloud Railway throughout his childhood. He has been enslaved by the BNSF since 2001, and currently works as an Engineer out of Richmond, California.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
At this years show we will be selling raffle tickets for three 11"x17" signed prints by Blair Kooistra. You will be able to put tickets in on one, two or all three of these fantastic prints! Proceeds from the raffle will go towards this years show and the ongoing preservation efforts at the Fox Theater.
Keeping with this years theme of looking at the operations of our now lost logging railroads of Washington State, this show looks at both the Weyerhauser Woods Railroad and the Simpson Timber Railroad. Both of these railroads welcomed us in and showed us what it was like to be a part of a century-plus old tradition - moving logs by rail.