Big Boy 4014 Restoration Underway!

July 29th, 2014

If you haven’t heard already, Union Pacific is in the process of restoring a Big Boy locomotive for operation. This is pretty exciting news for railfans, especially foamers (I use this term affectionately) with a penchant for steam locomotives. So far, UP 4014 has been moved from the RailGiants Train Museum at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, CA to Union Pacific’s steam locomotive shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. UP anticipates the restoration will take about 5 years; they are hoping to have it operational in time for the 150th Golden Spike Anniversary in 2019.

UP Big Boy 4014

No. 4014 Big Boy, Pomona, Calif., July 2013 (Credit: UP Steam Media Kit of uprr.com)

What makes Big Boys unique? The Big Boy was originally designed by the American Locomotive Company as an articulated, coal-burning, 4-8-8-4 to power wartime tonnage over the Wasatch Mountains and Sherman Hill. In fact, originally it was going to be called the Wasatch locomotive but one of ALCO’s mechanics working on the project wrote the words ‘Big Boy’ in chalk on the boiler and the name stuck. There were originally 20 built for Union Pacific with an additional order for 5 more to handle the increasing loads required by the war effort. Due to the impending switch of the industry to Diesel engines, there were no more produced. Only 8 of the Big Boys survive and all are in various states of (dis)repair in static (non-operating) display.

Once Union Pacific decided they wanted to restore a Big Boy, their Steam Operations Team went to visit all 8 remaining Big Boys to determine which was in the best shape to be restored to operation. They decided upon Big Boy 4014 owned by the Southern California Chapter of The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society where it had been on display in the mild climate of Southern California since 1962. To lessen the blow of taking Big Boy #4014 off their hands, UP gave the museum a freshly painted SD40-2C Diesel Locomotive (UP 3015), UP insulated boxcar #453665, and a CA-13-2 Bay Window Steel Caboose (UP 24567). The RailGiants Museum blog has many pictures and reports of the play-by-play action of the Big Boy moving out and the replacements moving in.

UP Bay Window Caboose

UP Caboose #24567 (Photo by Danny Mouawad)

Pentrex was also on hand for the elaborate process of moving the 4014 out of its Southern California home and onto the rails.  Their new DVD, Big Boy 4014 Update gives some history of the Big Boy locomotive including some nice vintage footage. The majority of the DVD is detailed coverage of  how the Big Boy #4014 made its way from its home of 52 years back onto the tracks so it could be relocated to Wyoming. The DVD shows a front-end loader towing 4014 from its static home at the RailGiants Train Museum through the parking lot using pre-built panel track sections (just like snap track!), to the San Gabriel Metrolink line. Then it joined a Special made up of UP Heritage 1996 (SD70ACE), 7 flat cars (6 empty and 1 carrying a vehicle and supplies for the Steam Operations Team) and UP 4014 (a diesel locomotive specifically chosen to help the Big Boy 4014 head to UP’s facility in Cheyenne, WY which took it onto the mainline.)

Big Boy 4014 Update

Big Boy 4014 Update DVD from Pentrex (Released June 2014) Click for more info or to order.

The first half of the DVD has almost constant narration about the logistics of each step of the elaborate move. The 2nd half of the DVD shows many long run-bys (including some nice footage on Cajon Pass), train meets, and the crowds of fans who turned out along the way to get a glimpse of this historic locomotive and its journey as it passes through Southern California.

More Big Boy

Products

From Pentrex:

Big Boy Combo Part 1

Big Boy Combo Part 1 DVD (Click for more info)

Big Boy Combo Part 2

Big Boy Combo Part 2 DVD (Click for more info)

Union Pacific Big Boy Collection

Union Pacific Big Boy Collection DVD (Click for more info)

Big Boys, Cab Forwards, Challengers & Daylights

Big Boys, Cab Forwards, Challengers & Daylights DVD

Union Pacific Classic Collector's Series Combo

Union Pacific Classic Collector's Series Combo DVD

From Greg Scholl:

Big Boys & Challengers

Big Boys & Challengers DVD

From Sunday River Productions:

Big Boys and Brothers in the '50s DVD

Sunday River Productions just released Big Boys and Brothers in the '50s on DVD, August 2014

For HO Modelers, from Rivarossi:

Union Pacific Big Boy Steam Engine #4008 - DCC Ready (HO)

Union Pacific Big Boy Steam Engine #4008 - DCC Ready (HO) from Rivarossi

Show off your Big Boy enthusiasm with this great Big Boy T-Shirt:

Big Boy at Night (Glow in the Dark T-shirt)

Big Boy at Night (Glow in the Dark T-shirt)

Child Sizes $12.99

Adult M, L, XL $14.99

2X $16.99

3X $18.99

LINKS

To read more about Big Boys here are some links:

UP’s 4014 Page with TONS of info

RailGiants Train Museum Big Boy Page

RailGiants Train Museum Big Boy News

The UP 4014 Project – Memories of the Move (YouTube Video from Union Pacific Railroad)

 

Rogue Valley Railroad Show 2012

December 6th, 2012

This year at the Rogue Valley Railroad Show the top two People’s Choice awards went to some family-created layouts. In first place was Gary Johnston and his nieces Sarah (12) and Rachel (8) with their layout.

Gary Johnston and his nieces Sarah & Rachel take 1st Place in People's Choice awards at the Rogue Valley Railroad Show 2012

Gary Johnston and his nieces Sarah & Rachel take 1st Place in People's Choice awards at the Rogue Valley Railroad Show 2012 - Photo by Cat Cook

In 2nd place was the Lego Train City layout by TR and Kara.

Lego City Train by TR & Kara won 2nd place in the People's Choice awards at the 2012 Rogue Valley Railroad Show

Lego City Train by TR & Kara won 2nd place in the People's Choice awards at the 2012 Rogue Valley Railroad Show - Photo by Cat Cook

Lego City Train

Lego City Train - Photo by Cat Cook

In 3rd place was the returning folks from the Lower Mckenzie Modular Railroad:

Lower Mckenzie Modular Railroad

Lower Mckenzie Modular Railroad took 3rd place in People's Choice at the 2012 Rogue Valley Railroad Show - Photo by Cat Cook

The Southern Oregon Live Steamers were on hand with some awesome locomotives:

One of the locomotives displayed by the Southern Oregon Live Steamers - Photo by Cat Cook

One of the locomotives displayed by the Southern Oregon Live Steamers - Photo by Cat Cook

Art Turner created a 1.5 inch scale model of Western Pacific’s diesel locomotive #805-A from the California Zephyr passenger train.  It has a sound system, air horns, operating lights, and a detailed cab interior and for the most part is completely scratch built. It took him four years to finish and it lives at the Medford Railroad Park.

Art Turner's WP 805-A in the form of a 1.5 inch scale model

Art Turner's WP 805-A in the form of a 1.5 inch scale model - Photo by Cat Cook

The newly opened Jackson County Genealogy Library also had a booth at the show.  They have the largest collection of genealogical information available located between Eugene, OR and Sacramento, CA. From their site: “The JCGL is open from 10AM to 3PM Monday through Saturday except for major holidays. We close the library the week leading up to Christmas and Thursday through Sunday at Thanksgiving. RVGS members have free access to the library, but there is a $5 fee per day for nonmembers. ”

The Jackson County Genealogical Library booth hosted by a smiling Betty Miller - Photo by Cat Cook

The Jackson County Genealogical Library booth hosted by a smiling Betty Miller - Photo by Cat Cook

The Southern Oregon Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society was on-hand providing information and selling their new shirts and hats to raise money for the restoration and operation of Medco 4, a Willamette geared locomotive, and Medco 8, Baldwin S-8 diesel. They hope to begin operating an excursion railroad in the future.

Next door to our booth was Sidetrack Laser who produce various model kits of buildings, etc. mostly inspired from locales in the western United States.

Sidetrack Laser kit of the Beaver Creek Shingle Company - Photo courtesy of Sidetrack Laser

Sidetrack Laser kit of the Beaver Creek Shingle Company - Photo courtesy of Sidetrack Laser

There are lots of train shows happening before the end of the year. To find one near you check our Train Shows page: http://www.theshortline.com/SHOWS.html. We will be at the Great Train Expo in Portland, OR this weekend, December 8th & 9th at the Portland Expo Center. The following weekend (December 15th & 16th) we will be at the Great Train Expo in Puyallup, WA at the Puyallup Fair and Events Center.

Our Visit to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center (Part of our Fall Focus on #4449)

November 21st, 2012

Early this month we headed on up to Portland so I (Cat) could bowl in a tournament and so Don and I could visit the newly opened Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC)! As soon as we arrived in town we drove directly over to the new home of the Southern Pacific 4449, Spokane, Portland & Seattle 700, and Oregon Railroad & Navigation 197 locomotives.  Before heading inside, we saw the familiar Oregon Operation Lifesaver trailer parked outside of some Empire Builder passenger cars and then we stepped into what is now affectionately known as the Doyle L. McCormack Enginehouse. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by friendly docents & volunteers welcoming us to the new facility. There is no admission to visit the center by the way, they rely solely on donations. I donated my folding money right away and started to explore.

The Doyle McCormack Enginehouse doors are the restored former Brooklyn Roundhouse doors which are a generous gift from Darcy Marentette in memory of David. (From a plaque next to the doors) Photo by Cat Cook

The Doyle McCormack Enginehouse doors are the restored former Brooklyn Roundhouse doors which are a generous gift from Darcy Marentette in memory of David. (From a plaque next to the doors) Photo by Cat Cook

Directly in front of you upon entry is the Nickel Plate Road 190, an Alco PA-1 built in 1948. Originally an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) it was purchased in 2000 by Daylight Locomotive Works and it is currently under restoration with the intent to make it operable once again.

Nickel Plate

Nickel Plate Road #190 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center - Photo by Cat Cook

There were train buffs old and young wandering the large space and you are presented with a variety of equipment you can get right up close to and experience.

Cat at the controls - Oregon Rail Heritage Center - Photo by Don Cook

Cat at the controls - Oregon Rail Heritage Center - Photo by Don Cook

The building contains Locomotive Inspection Pits so the engines can remain right on the rails after pulling into the engine house, giving the crews access to the underbellies of these historic locomotives.

4449 perched above her Inspection Pit, you can see the daylight coming in through the back door of the engine house at the other end of the Daylight - Photo by Cat Cook

4449 perched above her Inspection Pit, you can see the daylight coming in through the back door of the engine house at the other end of the Daylight - Photo by Cat Cook

Volunteers were busy maintaining the locomotives and moving heavy equipment including Terry Kimzey who you may have seen at train shows in the Pacific Northwest at the Operation Lifesaver trailer or Friends of the SP&S 700 booth. There’s also a video of this operation on our YouTube Channel: http://youtu.be/_5pYsVcqbw8

Terry Kimzey moves some heavy equipment at ORHC - Photo by Cat Cook

Terry Kimzey moves some heavy equipment at ORHC - Photo by Cat Cook

The center is not just great for seeing stationary trains, while we were visiting, we watched a Union Pacific train go by just feet away on the neighboring track and overhead, Portland’s streetcars traveled on the overpass. Here’s a video of the UP going by ORHC on our YouTube Channel:

UP at ORHC

The Portland Streetcar line passes right over the ORHC yard - Photo by Cat Cook

The Portland Streetcar line passes right over the ORHC yard - Photo by Cat Cook

The center also has a gift shop with apparel, books, calendars, pins, and more all providing an important revenue stream to the ORHC.

4449 Wheel

Is it weird that I have a favorite locomotive wheel? Well I do, it's the 4449's Drive Wheels... - Photo by Cat Cook

Now that the holidays are imminent, make sure to ride the Holiday Express if you are able. Scheduled for November 30th through December 2nd; December 7th – December 9th; and December 14th – December 16th you can ride in a vintage rail car pulled by either the SP&S 700 or SP 4449 all decked out with thousands of holiday lights and holiday decorations. The trip is about 40 minutes starting from The Oaks Station across from Oaks Park in southeast Portland just north of the Sellwood Bridge (free parking is available). Join Santa and his elves for one of these trips! Proceeds from the tickets and your donations help fund the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. For tickets or more information go here: http://www.orhf.org/about-orhf/holiday-express/  or call 503-224-8499.

OR&N 197

ORNC's Oregon Railroad & Navigation 197 looking out the front of the Doyle L. McCormack Enginehouse

Happy Holidays!

SP&S 700

ORHC’s SP&S 700 – To see more pictures from our visit please like us on Facebook

To see more photos please visit our Facebook page: The Short Line


 

Momentous time for SP 4449 and Railfans

September 17th, 2012

Being a vendor at train shows throughout the Pacific Northwest, there is one locomotive that fans ask for DVDs and Blu-rays about more than any other, the ever-recognizable Southern Pacific 4449. This fall is an incredibly special time for SP 4449, her friends, and railfans everywhere. This weekend, September 22nd and 23rd, is the Grand Opening of the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. Over 5 million dollars have already been raised to make this opening a reality. The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation is still just under 1 million dollars away from being fully funded for Phase 1 of the project designed to house, give needed space to restore, and give public access to the three steam locomotives owned by the city of Portland, the only US city to own two operating steam locomotives (SP 4449 and SP&S 700);  Portland’s third (OR&N 197) is still being restored.

 

4449 Wishram 2011

4449 in Wishram, WA on July, 3rd 2011 during an excursion - Photo by Cat Cook

This October, you can even take an excursion with SP 4449 leading the way from Portland, OR to Bend, OR where they will spend the night and return the next day. These are very exciting times for railfans from all over the world. If you can make it to one of these events, do so! If you do, we’d love you to share your experiences with us by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page.

 

Veterans Need Jobs and the Rail Industry Has Great Ones

May 29th, 2012

Whether you are for or against certain (or all) wars, you likely support your country’s troops who bravely serve. One of the greatest struggles these troops have when they return home is finding employment. This Memorial Day, think about how you can help the effort to find every Veteran a job and spread the word when you find companies doing their part. The American Association of Railroads expects to hire 15,000 new employees in 2012 and expect 1 in 5 of those to be Veterans. They have created an online tribute to freight rail employees with military service, highlighting a variety of rail jobs: American Association of Railroads: Military Faces.

According to G.I. Jobs Magazine, five Class I Railroads are on the Top 100 Military Friendly Employers list for 2012 (up one from last year.) They are:

CSX - Rank 3

CSX is at Rank 3 and has 6 Years on the MFE Top 100

BNSF - Rank 4

BNSF is at Rank 4 and has 7 Years on the MFE Top 100

Union Pacific - Rank 28

Union Pacific is at Rank 28 and has 7 Years on the MFE Top 100

CN - Rank 49

Canadian National is at Rank 49 and has 3 Years on the MFE Top 100 (Photo Credit: CN)

NS - Rank 50

Norfolk Southern is at Rank 50 and has 5 Years on the MFE Top 100

Thank you for reading and a heartfelt thank you to all of our Veterans.

 

The Short Line goes to the World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour in Portland, OR – The Recap

April 13th, 2012

Late last month we had our booth at the biggest model railroad show we have ever attended. The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour in Portland, Oregon, held at the Oregon Convention Center.

Oregon Convention Center

Oregon Convention Center, site of Worlds Greatest Hobby on Tour Portland OR 2012 - Photo by Cat Cook

This place was huge! And there were so many vendors, layouts, and manufacturers there, it was a boon to anyone who had the chance to attend.  We were so completely slammed (in a good way!) with customers, we barely had time to look around but here are some pictures I was able to find the time to snap.

Last time we were in Portland, at the Great Train Expo, we saw the Rose City Garden Railway Society and they were at this show as well with their expansive layout!

Rose City Garden Railway Society yards

Where they get the trains ready for the day's work at Rose City - Photo by Cat Cook

The Rose City Garden Railway Society will be having their 2012 Summer Tour, Railroads in the Garden, on Saturday June 16th from 10am to 5pm with 8 – 12 layouts to see. For more information or to sign up for their once-a-year email reminder, you can go to www.rcgrs.com.

Pedestrian point of view in the Rose City Garden Railway Society layout

Lots of wildlife in downtown Rose City! - Photo by Cat Cook

Even though we were a few hours from home, we saw some of the layouts we see every year down in Medford.  Southern Oregon Z Modelers Engineers were on hand with their always popular layout.

SOZME

Southern Oregon Z Modelers Engineers were on hand! - Photo by Cat Cook

And next door, their friends, and ours, at Cascade Z Modelers!

Cascade Z Modelers

Cascade Z Modelers with airborne helicopters! - Photo by Cat Cook

Then, I got another look at a layout I had seen at another show, by the HO Modular Group of the Pacific Northwest Region – Fourth Division NMRA. Here is a shot of their layout of the, Seattle, Pacific & Eastern Railroad.

4th Division of the Pacific Northwest Region of the NMRA

Layout from the 4th Division of the Pacific Northwest Region of the NMRA - Photo by Cat Cook

For the first time I saw a layout from Northwest S Scalers. Here they have a nice variety of offerings shown in their layout from dramatic scenery to unique industry and townscapes.

Northwest S Scalers

Layout from Northwest S Scalers - Photo by Cat Cook

Another new layout for my eyes was that of the Beaverton Modular Railroad Club. Here’s a nice little scene sporting some fine scenery with some hard-working crews.

Beaverton Modular Railroad Club

Shot of the Beaverton Modular Railroad Club layout - Photo by Cat Cook

I snapped this shot of this homemade Thomas the Tank Engine driving by our booth with a dangerously cute child inside. They were advertising a giant kids consignment event in Portland for this weekend, more info is at www.superkidsresale.com.

www.superkidsresale.com

Dangerously cute child alert! - Photo by Cat Cook

Sometimes on the way to or from shows, we see strange things on the road. This time was no different. Driving home we found ourselves behind a helicopter. There’s something you don’t see everyday….

Helicopter Alert!

Are we near an A-Team movie set? - Photo by Cat Cook

I love it when a plan comes together….

 

Beam me up! Train layouts hide all sorts of goodies at Monroe WA show

February 24th, 2012

A few weeks ago was not just Superbowl Sunday but it was also a gem of a model railroad show, the 21st Annual Train Show & Swap Meet presented by the United Northwest Model Railroad Club in Monroe, WA at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.

When trains crash, United Northwest Model Railroad Club figures congregate to discuss the cause, to scale.... - Photo by Cat Cook

When trains crash, United Northwest Model Railroad Club figures congregate to discuss the cause, to scale.... - Photo by Cat Cook

We had heard from lots of folks that this was a great show and they were right. It filled a large hall with lots of vendors and layouts, many of whom I hadn’t the pleasure of seeing before.  First up allow me to present the 4th Division of the Pacific Northwest Region of the National Model Railroad Association.

Half Circle Farms module by Al Lowe of 4DNTrak - Photo by Cat Cook

Half Circle Farms module by Al Lowe of 4DNTrak - Photo by Cat Cook

My favorite part had to be Rob Jones’ logging module though, not just because I like logging themes but because of the Star Trek easter egg!

McCullough Logging module by Rob Jones of 4DNTrak featuring Star Trek away team - Photo by Cat Cook

McCullough Logging module by Rob Jones of 4DNTrak featuring Star Trek away team - Photo by Cat Cook

Also, showing off their handiwork was the Boeing Employee’s Model Railroading Club O-Scale Division.

BEMRRC

The Boeing Employee's Model Railroading Club O-Scale Division gets some attention - Photo by Cat Cook

Another nice layout was had by Tacoma Northwestern Model Railroad Club.

Tacoma Northwestern Model Railroad Club Layout - Photo by Cat Cook

Tacoma Northwestern Model Railroad Club Layout - Photo by Cat Cook

scenery shot TNWMRC

Scenery shot of Tacoma Northwestern Model Railroad Club - Photo by Cat Cook

We also met Linda McCune who was in the booth next to us. Linda was on hand to share the Don McCune Library which she established to preserve the works of her late husband Don McCune. Don McCune created many radio and television documentaries and was perhaps best known for writing and narrating over 400 episodes of Exploration Northwest. After being exposed to some of his excellent work we have decided along with Linda to add some of the episodes to our library of train-related DVDs. They aren’t on our website yet but they will be very soon. For more information on Linda McCune, Don McCune, and the Don McCune Library you can visit www.donmccunelibrary.com.

Linda McCune of Don McCune Library

Linda McCune of the Don McCune Library at the show! - Photo by Cat Cook

Next show is the World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour show in Portland Oregon, February 25th and 26th at the Convention Center. We hope to see you there or at another show in the future!

 

 

 

 

Reporting from the Capitol… of California… the Great Train Expo in Sacramento and other Train Goodness

February 16th, 2012

A few weeks ago we attended the Sacramento Great Train Expo. Usually I try to document the trip within a week or two but unfortunately my immune system was assaulted (repeatedly) which laid me up for awhile and I got behind on a lot of tasks. This ended up getting further compounded by another show. I apologize especially to those who I told would be making an appearance in this blog, please forgive me. Without further adieu… here’s my report on the Sacramento show and the accompanying trip!

My trip began with a flight from Southern Oregon to Burbank where I sat next to a nice woman who had been a teacher most of her life and we had a long conversation about a variety of topics. Here, I have to offer another apology as I lost her name and email address but hopefully she kept mine and will see this. As we discussed trains and travel, she asked me what the longest train route was and I admitted that I didn’t know but that I would find out and put it in my blog for her and my readers. A few days later, as Don and I were headed north from Los Angeles on our way to Sacramento we fortuitously heard a story on NPR’s Morning Edition on the Trans-Siberian Railway and I realized that was the answer to her question. To further flesh out the answer, someone has made a nice little page on Wikipedia attempting to document the longest passenger train journeys, the top 3 of which are all in Russia.

Trans-Siberian railway, photos by DAVID GILKEY

Trans-Siberian railway, photo by DAVID GILKEY from his NPR story titled 'Russia By Rail'

Once we arrived in Sacramento we made our way to the Cal Expo State Fairgrounds where vendors were in one hall and layouts were next door. As we were unloading the truck we could hear trains passing nearby blowing their whistles. Once we we were set up, I took the opportunity to visit the other vendors and layouts. I met Diane Rodriguez who is an artist and painter who brought many of her original works of watercolor and oil paintings showcasing locomotives and trains. She also sells prints and and cards of her works, you can check them all out on her website, www.dianerodriguezart.com.

Diane Rodriguez Art

Diane Rodriguez and some of her paintings - Photo by Cat Cook

Out of Ione, California, Comstock Construction were on hand showing off their Garden Railroad Structures. They only sell direct so you can contact them through the info on their website: Comstock Construction Their buildings are designed to endure the elements, “using water resistant adhesives, mechanically fastened joints with steel brads, or staples, and all California Redwood construction.”

Comstock Construction

Comstock Construction Garden Railroad Structures - Photo by Cat Cook

Among the layouts were the Diablo Pacific Short Line which is a non-profit organization that educates the public about railroading and the role of railroads in America. They are a modular layout with 500 feet of track and have members from hard-core modelers to youths just learning about railroading.

Diablo Pacific Short Line

Diablo Pacific Short Line - Photo by Cat Cook

Another large layout was provided by Coastal Valley Lines out of the Sonoma Valley, CA. I met two of the module designers, Allie and Joan. They and some of their designs are highlighted below.

Allie with her Coastal Valley Lines modular layout

Allie with her Coastal Valley Lines modular layout - Photo by Cat Cook

Allie's Snow-Themed Coastal Valley Lines Modular Layout

Allie's Snow-Themed Coastal Valley Lines Modular Layout - Photo by Cat Cook

Joan Fleck with one of her Coastal Valley Lines modular layouts

Joan Fleck with one of her Coastal Valley Lines modular layouts - Photo by Cat Cook

Coastal Valley Lines Stack Train

Coastal Valley Lines stack train in front of one of Joan Fleck's Module

Joan's Farm

Farm layout by Joan Fleck of Coastal Valley Lines - Photo by Cat Cook

Also at the show was Sacramento Valley N-Trak who model the greater Sacramento area focusing on fallen flags including Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, Santa Fe, Sacramento Northern, Tidewater Southern, and others.

Sacramento Valley N-Trak

Sacramento Valley N-Trak Layout - Photo by Cat Cook

I also came across this layout called the Rusty Spike Railroad Co. , a member of the Toy Train Operating Society (TTOS). I believe they will also be at the upcoming Toy Train Expo & Sale in Santa Clara, CA on Sunday March 4 from 9am to 4pm.

Rusty Spike

The Rusty Spike Railroad Co. - Photo by Cat Cook

Another group visiting from the wine country was the aptly named, Wine Country N-Scalers.

Wine Country Layout

Wine Country N-Scalers - Photo by Cat Cook

That’s it from the show, it turned out to be great even though my beloved Saints lost the playoffs that weekend (boo.) Our drive home was pretty uneventful. Except for this guy….

Overpass Northern California

The Keeper of the Overpass - Photo by Cat Cook

It was cold, clear, and beautiful out. I snapped a nice shot of Mount Shasta as from the warmth of the truck as we drove by.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta January 2012 - Photo by Cat Cook

More blogs are in the hopper! Stay tuned… :)

 

Report from Rickreall Show – Winter is Coming!

December 7th, 2011

Last Saturday we drove up to Rickreall, west of Salem, Oregon for the Willamette Valley Model Railroad Show at the Polk County Fairgrounds. We left good ol’ Merlin in the wee hours of the dark and cold morning. Once the sun came up a few hours later we could see the passing countryside tinged with white frost everywhere and as ice formed on our antenna it began to flail back and forth with gusto as if in irritation.

Sunrise by the tracks on the way to Rickreall

Sunrise by the tracks on the way to Rickreall

Since we were only allotted a couple of hours to set up we brought our railfan goods (DVDs, Blu-rays, T-Shirts, etc.) and had to leave the bulk of our scale modeling items back at the ranch as our usual show setup takes about 5 hours to erect. Available from the wide variety of vendors were new and used goods in a variety of scales. It was a proper swap meet format lacking operating layouts on display which seemed to suit the 500+ attendees just fine as they kept a discerning eye out for prized pieces for their collections.

The Show Floor in Rickreall Oregon on December 3rd 2011

The Show Floor in Rickreall Oregon on December 3rd 2011

Below you will find a picture of a SW1200 with full sound and battery charger custom made by Michael Baker of R & M Electric Locomotives. It is 7 1/2 inch gauge in 1 1/2″ scale and is available to purchase for $9100 by emailing mjbaker.1@juno.com. He is in the process of building another one that will also be available to purchase and it can even be custom-ordered to the road name and paint scheme you choose.  If you are looking for a place to run it after you’ve bought it then look no further than the Pacific Northwest Live Steamers and their Shady Dell Train Park in Molalla, OR. You can learn more about this non-profit train park by visiting them online at PNLS.org or you can call 503-829-6866. Their 2011 season is closed now but next year they will again be open to the public Sundays and holidays from 12:00pm to 5:00pm beginning the first Sunday in May through the last Sunday in October.

You Can Own This 7 1/2" Gauge Illinois Terminal Locomotive by Michael Baker of R & M Locomotives

You Can Own This 7 1/2" Gauge Illinois Terminal Locomotive by Michael Baker of R & M Locomotives

Also with a booth at the show were the folks from the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association who are dedicated to preserving the history of the Northern Pacific Railway. If you’d like more information or to become a member please visit them at www.NPRHA.org.

Northern Pacific Railroad Historical Association booth at the show in Rickreall OR

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association booth at the show in Rickreall OR

Happy Holidays from us at The Short Line!

Brrr.... It's cold out there!

Brrr.... It's cold out there!

Thanksgiving Weekend’s Railroad Show in Medford

December 1st, 2011

This past weekend was the annual Rogue Valley Railroad Show in Medford, Oregon. This year the main floor was packed with even more layouts and displays than before and when the doors were opened on Saturday we were slammed with attendees all day long which was great to see. One of the first-timers was Laurie who I initially met at the Rickreall Train Show earlier this year, she is a photographer who was showing her work which captures rolling stock adorned with street art (aka graffiti). In August she was featured in the Douglas County, News-Review Currents; if you have a subscription you can read the article here: News-Review Article on Laurie.

Laurie's work was featured on the front page of the News-Review' Currents section August 25, 2011

Laurie's work was featured on the front page of the News-Review' Currents section August 25, 2011

Also represented was the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association whom I first met at the Eugene Train Show.  In their own words, they are a… “non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to restoring, maintaining, and operating historic railway equipment of the Pacific Northwest. [They] are the official caretakers of the SP&S 700, a 4-8-4 steam locomotive that ranks among the largest steam engines still in operation.” If you’d like to help them out you can visit their website to buy some of the goodies you can see in the picture below or become a member here: http://www.sps700.org/

Goods featured by the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association - Photo by Cat Cook

Goods featured by the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association - Photo by Cat Cook

Next door to the SP&S 700-people was Roger Rasmussen, of Coastmans, showing off his Evergreen trees & kits. His kits are handcrafted in Oregon and are incredibly realistic. The Douglas Fir Tree Kit is their flagship product offering the absolute best in detail and prototype accuracy. Another one of their products, “SuperTrunks” is made from 100% Port Orford, Oregon Cedar. It may not singlehandedly keep the Oregon forestry industry alive but hey, every little bit helps. The kits and “RediMade” trees are high quality and affordably priced. Check out the Coastmans website here: www.coastmans.com

High quality trees for scale modeling direct from Oregon - Photo courtesy of www.coastmans.com

High quality trees for scale modeling direct from Oregon - Photo courtesy of www.coastmans.com

One of the layouts was by Shaun Anscombe and depicted Hogsmeade as well as some other Harry Potter-inspired scenes. He also had some reference photos of the real-life of the train station in England (where he hails from.)

Hogsmeade Station by Shaun Anscombe - Photo by Cat Cook

Hogsmeade Station by Shaun Anscombe - Photo by Cat Cook

A train speeds through Shaun Anscombe's Hogsmeade - Photo by Cat Cook

A train speeds through Shaun Anscombe's Hogsmeade - Photo by Cat Cook

Also sharing their layout was the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad Club out of Springfield, Oregon.

BNSF locomotive with warbonnet paint scheme on the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

BNSF locomotive with warbonnet paint scheme on the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

Lumber operations on the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

Lumber operations on the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

Winning first place for People’s Choice was the Southern Oregon Z-Scale Modelers out of Medford, Oregon. Check out the short video below featuring part of their layout:  It features a helicopter with rotating blades, a highway with moving vehicles, tunnels with plexiglass sides so you can see what is going on inside, and more!

This Saturday is the Rickreall Railroad Show and Swap Meet – Sponsored by the Willamette Valley Model Railroad Club – 10AM-3PM Polk at Polk County Fairgrounds Hwy 22 and Hwy 99E, 10 miles west of Salem. Over 50 different vendors on over 100 tables, a wide variety of railroad products, and inexpensive food. Since it is just a one day show (with 2 hours for setup) we can’t bring all of our modeling items, just railfan goods this trip, but hope to see some of you there!