Thursday, July 30, 2009

Train Mountain Part 4

While the train was being put back on the track, I went up to the head end and took a picture of the motive power.

We traveled about half a mile further to a siding where we all got off the train and stretched our legs. At this siding is a miniature logging camp compete with a working log loader.

We could look through the windows of the mess shack and see the fancy dinner ware on the table.

While we were looking around, a woman pulled onto our siding riding a "high rail" car that she had made from an old pedal car. Real neat!

Then it was time to board our train again and pull out onto the main line to continue our train ride.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Train Mountain Part 3

Once we were through the industrial section of our trip, we headed for the big tunnel.

And under Chiloquin Blvd.

Then it was on out into the wilds of the forest to take in some pristine beauty.

Then it happened, the dreaded DERAIL!

The caboose was flipped onto its side and drug over the gravel.

The cars were lifted and placed back on the track and off we went again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Train Mountain Part 2

As we leave the station and run through several divisions of the railroad to the area on the north side of the highway, we pass other trains and various buildings along the way. Below is a group of guys getting their engines all steamed up.

Some of the larger scaled trains that are able to run on the 7.5-inch gauge track can carry a person inside.

Well, now that our train has passed the inspectors and have a green light on the signal bridge, we can proceed out onto the main line and start moving along at a maximum of 7 MPH. Railroad Mountain has a very good set of safety rules in place to keep all the trains and passengers safe.

So here we go!

We came upon an industrial area.

Then we headed for the tunnel under the highway, NEXT TIME.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Train Mountain Part 1

My next stop on my adventures was to take in the Live Steam trains at Train Mountain Railroad Museum which is located in Chiloquin, OR. They have a total of over 26 literal miles of 7.5-inch gauge track laid out over about 2,000 acres of beautiful forest. Every three years they host a group of model rail enthusiasts that is an international event. This year they had around 250 engines registered. The event lasts two weeks where the first week is a Work Week where they get the right of way cleaned up from all the forest debris and make sure everything is in working order. The second week is Play Time, where they operate their trains over all the rails. Not only that, but there are seminars on various aspects of developing a railroad club from how to build switches and track to car couplers. Most people are out enjoying the great opportunity of being able to run their train on such a massive and beautiful layout.

My son, Brent, who lives in Salem, OR brought his two sons, Andrew (age 11) and Aaron (age 7) down from Salem one afternoon and to where I had the coach parked at a local Indian casino. We spent the night there and about 9 o'clock the next morning were at the registration desk at Train Mountain to pick up our Day Passes to explore this massive museum.

It will take several Posts on this blog to show just the highlights of our day. So check back and see how much fun we had. One of the first things we did was put our names on a list to take the 10 o'clock train out of the main station for a ride to the Northern Section of the layout. While we were waiting, we looked around at the various engines. All the steam engines were parked on raised rail. This made it much easier for the engineer to get his engine steamed up and ready to head out on the open rails. Here is just a sampling of the various engines:

Below: This 2-8-8-4 was the largest live steamer wheel configuration that I saw there.

There were plenty of diesel-electric engines present, too:

Well, we have looked around for while and now it is time to board our train at the main station. Our train carried, 24 passengers and 2 crew. ALL ABOARD!

We will be pulling out of the station on my NEXT POST.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dunsmuir Part 6

Of all the things I did in Dunsmuir, the best part was when I became acquainted with my camping neighbors, there at Railroad Park RV Resort. We sat around and visited for hours at a time. We sat around campfires at night and told jokes and stories until the flames died out. When they found out that I was by myself On Father's Day, they invited me to have brunch with them.

From left to right: Ron & Chris Parton, Annean & Dug Barrett, Chris & John Berry, and myself

We sat around the picnic table and ate a wonderful brunch out under the pine trees.

And we don't want to forget Ottis and Mo. They are two therapy dogs that Annean has had for a number of years.

Later on in the day, we all went over to the north side of Dunsmuir and parked the cars and then hiked up the railroad tracks for over a mile or so with the river on one side and sheer wall on the other. We just hoped that a train did not come by.

In a while, we arrived at the very beautiful and unusual Mossbrae Falls.

This is actually a series of falls that are about 300 feet wide which shoot water out from the side of the hill from an underground river. It looked like the water was coming out from the vegetation. The water then falls some 80 feet into the Sacramento River. This cool spot provided some much needed relief for us from the very warm weather of the day.

What a great week I enjoyed while in Dunsmuir. And wouldn't you know it, on the way back to the cars, here comes a train! At least the engineer and conductor waved.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dunsmuir Part 5

One beautiful morning, I dedicated to explore the area south of Dunsmuir. I went about 7 or 8 miles south on I-5 and pulled off at Pollard Flats to see if I could find anything of interest. That was when I came across the E. Raymond Huber Bridge. This suspension bridge. that traverses the Sacramento River, was the first major CCC project to be completed back in 1933.

It is a still a very sturdy bridge and I would not hesitate to drive my car on it, but today it is only a pedestrian bridge.

After checking out several more bridges, I came across a spot where I could view three generations of bridges that crossed the same location. The bridge below was built somewhere in the 30s and was part of US-99 and is still used today. The bridge for I-5 above it was built in the 60s.

The following is what is under the bridge for US-99 above.

Less than 300 feet from the arches of the above bridge that was built in the 30s is this bridge that was built in 1915. The date in embedded in the concrete. Thus, three generations of bridges.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dunsmuir Part 4

You may remember that back in 1991 there was a train derailment on the then Southern Pacific Railroad in the Mt. Shasta area where a tank car with a load of herbicide came off a bridge and spilled its load into the Sacramento River. Well, this is the spot where all that happened, the Cantara Loop. It is a well known train watching location. The fish all died and the foliage along the river for a mile or so died, but due to a great job of cleaning up, today you would never know anything ever happened. Click on the picture of the plaque to enlarge and read for more information.

This is a beautiful spot to watch trains. The name calls this place a "loop" but it is only a 180 degree curve. A sharp curve at that for a major railroad's main line.