Monday, June 30, 2008

Driving The Golden Spike at Grand Coulee Center

From the "Spokane Chronicle."

December, 8, 1934

History in the making is pictured here. At Grand Coulee Center, on Saturday, a large crane, barely showing in the background, dropped the final rail of the Grand Coulee railroad into place and a half dozen rather gentle taps with a hammer drove the golden spike into place. Had Governor Clarence Martin, United Stated Senator C. C. Dill, Contractor David Ryan, Cheney Cowles of the Spokane Chronicle, or others who handled the maul, struck a full blow on the golden head, the “driving” ceremony would have been complete, but they all did their hit and the spike went home with a thud into the solid body of the brand new tie. Mr. Cowles is pictured as he swung his blow. Members of the royal court are about him. At the left in the picture, in the legionnaire cap is Al Meyers, who just a short time ago promoted the democratic victory banquet in Spokane.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Seek Beauty to Preside at Coulee Spike Driving

From the "Spokane Chronicle."

November 19, 1934

Who is to be “Queen of the Columbia?”

The most beautiful of all the girls of the Columbia basin area will be chosen to preside over the driving of the golden spike in the new government railway, leading from Coulee City to the dam site.

The Chronicle, at the request of the Coulee dam post of the American legion, will undertake to find the queen of youth and beauty and to crown her on the day of the completion of the railroad.

David H. Ryan, builder of the Coulee line, announced today that he expects to finish the construction by December 1, when the ceremony of driving the golden spike will be held at the junction of the Ryan road with the Crick & Kuney line, at the head of the coulee.

Major Fred Weil, chairman of the American legion state employment committee, and an official of the Coulee dam post, today informed the Chronicle that the legion is making elaborate plans for entertainment of the visitors on Golden Spike day.

The Chronicle will send invitations to each city and town in the Columbia basin area to enter a candidate for queen. Final judging will take place in the new Roosevelt theater at Coulee Center.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

1905 Shipping Fruit from Coulee City

In 1905 the snow pack was heavy and provided a great amount of surface moisture in the spring of 1906. This encouraged Clifton Ham and Archie Tucker to start planting orchards northeast of Coulee City. The soil in this area had a high gravel content and was suitable for fruit production. Water for irrigation was obtained from springs, ponds, and shallow wells. The trees were planted in a definite pattern, with soft fruits, such as peaches, cherries and plums, alternating with apples and pears. By 1910 these two men had over 300 acres of orchard in production. The Ham orchard contained 200 acres of trees and the Tucker orchard, 100 acres. Both operations had packing sheds located on the home places and near the railroad depot. Peak employment reached 200 workers in the harvest season. In 1910, 90 railroad cars loads of peaches, pears and apples were shipped to points east. Shortly after this time the Ham orchard was listed as the largest D’Anjou pear producing orchard in Washington.


The Palisades country was in the process of being developed by the Moses Coulee Land Co. and the Mansfield branch of the Great Northern Railway had been completed the year before when this group of Wenatchee business men decided to visit the Moses Coulee-Mansfield-Waterville area. Leaving the Wenatchee depot at 7 a.m. April 20, 1910, the Wenatchee Commercial Club excursion party first stopped at the Ohio colony near Rock Island. An arch festooned with flowers and apples marked the next stop—Appledale—a settlement about three miles up the Moses Coulee from the Palisades turnoff. The party had lunch at Mansfield, hosted by the Mansfield Commercial Club. The Waterville Commercial Club met the Wenatchee group at Douglas with 14 autos and a number of horse-drawn carriages. The 110 man delegation was entertained at Waterville before re-boarding the train at Douglas for the return trip. The group arrived back in Wenatchee by train that day at 11 p.m.

Great Northern Train Near Alstown

Rail service was coming to the Mansfield-Douglas area when this picture was taken of the crew working on the line in 1908. The branch is part of the Great Northern Railway (then Burlington Northern, who abandoned the track in 1985). Taking off from the main track about two miles below Rock Island, the 60-mile line runs up the Moses Coulee through Douglas and on to Mansfield. Completion of the branch was celebrated Oct. 9, 1909, when the first passenger train which included chief engineer Hogeland’s private car, Manitoba, arrived in Mansfield. The location for this picture is 4 1/2 miles southwest of Alstown where Duffy Canyon empties into Douglas Creek. Passenger service on the branch line has long been eliminated and the freight train makes one or two trips a week to handle freight. During the wheat harvest season, three trips a week are occasionally necessary to pick up the grain.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The History of Hartline

The Hartline area was settled between 1885 and 1888. William Bundachue settled one half mile south of town, Henry Coplan a half mile north and one and one half miles east, and a Mr. Hall one and one half miles north.

In 1887 J.H. Hill and wife and Stephen Evans came. In 1887-88 Carey Carr and wife and Gertrude Smith arrived. By the summer of 1886 a big rush brought the D. D. Utts, also the I. I. Coleys, Joseph Myers and family, John Hartline, Patrick Grantfield and James Odgers. Odgers was the originator of the Hartline, Almira, Parnell and Coulee City townsites. He also started the Coulee City News and later worked on the Davenport Tribune, dying in Davenport in 1909.

Late in 1888, when the Central Washington and Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern railroads were running their surveys through western Lincoln and eastern Douglas counties, their sprung into existence, in Douglas county, a town known as Parnell. It was on the survey of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern railroad and was four and one half miles southeast of the present town of Hartline. Here in the spring of 1889, D.F. Reeves and E.J. Brower established a store. This was the only business house in Parnell. J.W. Hartline was interested in the building of a town at this point and proceeded with preparations for the building of a city. Enthusiastic reports were sent out with glowing reports of several businesses that were to be built. In September 1889 a postoffice was established at the new town with the only businessman, E.J. Brower as postmaster. However, at this point, disaster fell on the new community. The construction of the Seattle line was abandoned and along with it the future of Parnell.

In the spring of 1889 John W. Hartline took up the quarter secton of land upon which Hartline is now situated. He erected a small shack, and first building on the Hartline townsite. In 1890 Mr. Reeves, who heretofore had been in partnership with Brower at Parnell, erected a store building on Mr. Hartline’s land and moved his stock of goods up from his former place of business. Reeves did this as he was certain that the Central Washington line would extend west earlier that the Seattle line and the new site was on the surveyed line of the former railroad.

A postoffice was established at the time of the more and named Hartline in honor of the homesteader of the land. Mr. Reeves was named postmaster and the town began to grow. P.J. Young erected a house, Grif Humphrey established a blacksmith shop, and Young put in a small stock of lumber. Since there were several families in the vicinity a school was established.

The year before the school opened in the town of Hartline, 1888-89, the first school in the area was held in the Charles Roberts’ shack a mile north of Hartline. The rural school continued and each winter it would be held in another place.

The first school in town was held in the J.W. Hartline shack and consisted of eight students, taught by a Miss Alice Cope. In 1892 the Coley and Hartline schoolhouses were built. In 1902, because the Hartline schoolhouse was so small, it was sold to the Hartline Standard and a larger building was built. In 1904 the two schools were consolidated.

The town was platted June 5, 1890 by John W. Hartline.

The coming of the railroad did not bring the expected prosperity as it did in so many other places. George W. Roberts erected a platform along the track before the railroad was in operation bought wheat in the new town, thus becoming the pioneer grain dealer. He did not locate here permanently at this time and soon disposed of his business. In late 1891 the second store was established by D.C. Johnson. It operated for two years.

In 1891 the town of Hartline contained the following people: D.F. Reeves and wife; P.J. Young, wife and 3 children; Grif Humphrey, wife and 2 children. Within a mile or two of town lived Carey Carr, William Bundschue, James Hill, H.H. Ames, Charles Ames, D.F. Ames and William Hart.

In 1893 John and George McDonald established grain businesses in Hartline and Coulee City, building warehouses at each place. John handled the business at Hartline and George at Coulee City. In 1894 when Reeves, the postmaster and merchant, died of typhoid, the store and goods were bought out by the McDonald brothers who continued the business for eight years. The next store to be opened in Hartline was built by Patrick Kane in 1898.

Until 1902 the business community consisted of the two grain warehouses, run by Robers and McDonald, and the stores of McDonald and Kane.

In 1902 building boomed in the new town with the addition of a large brick store built by M.E. and E.T. Hay of Wilbur, the opening of the Hartline Standard Newspaper, the building of a hotel, lumber yard and drug store. Also the Hartline State Bank was established that year.

The population in June 1903 was 140 and the next year saw it rise to about 300. In 1904 it was the third largest town in Douglas County.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Longtime Mansfield Branch Agent Retires

Jack Brady Recalls When the Mansfield Line Was In Its Hey-Day

Oct. 20, 1959

The Great Northern station here isn’t exactly as hectic as Grand Central Station and so Station Agent Jack Brady has time to talk about the old days along the “Mansfield Branch.”

The “Mansfield Branch,” of course, is the 60-mile rail line which leaves the Great Northern mainline at the mouth of Moses Coulee, and pierces into the heart of Douglas County’s wheat country.

Brady knew it in it hey-day when it was not only busily hauling wheat out but also when the daily train had a couple of passenger coaches and a baggage car.

There was also the shortline railroad from Waterville, which had as much as $3,000 a year in business, writing 40 cent tickets. Folks used it to get to Douglas, where they’d get on the GN (The life of that Waterville line was finally snuffed out by the 1948 flood which ruined sections of its track).

Those were the days of no roads. The daily train, said Brady, “took about three hours to Wenatchee. It left Mansfield at 8 a.m. and was back at 8 p.m. But in those days it was ‘try to get back at 8 p.m.’”

It hauled everything, wheat, freight, express, baggage, mail and people.

Brady had gone to work for GN at Ayr, N.D., Feb 1, 1910. He came to North Central Washington subsequently and went to Douglas as agent in 1917. He served elsewhere from 1925-39 but otherwise has been the agent at Douglas ever since.

The 1920s brought roads. People began ignoring rail travel as a means of getting to Wenatchee. The passenger service finally ended.

Nowadays, says Brady, “We get sometimes three trains a week, sometimes tow, sometimes one, depending on the volume of wheat you have.”

Brady has been a roving agent, working not only the shipment and billings out of Douglas, but other points along the Mansfield Branch as well. But now, at age 65, he has chosen to retire. What are his plans? “Nothing. Period!” he says.

Then he adds he might to some puttering around the yard and in his home workshop. And like other ex-railroaders, he’ll probably drop around the station once in awhile, too.

Some Background Information on the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern

The Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern (Lake Shore)was incorporated in 1885 by Seattle interests other than the NP. The main route was to be Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls, Cle Elum, Ellensburg, Rock Island Rapids and then Spokane. After the usual money difficulties on January 12th, 1887, a contract was made with the Puget Sound Construction Company for the first 40 miles to Squak. The price was $800,000 in bonds and $400,000 in stock. In early February, Seattle granted a right-of-way through the city and work began on February 25th.

The Lake Shore acquired some very valuable waterfront rights in Seattle and on March 25th Kerns Bros. had the contract to clear and grade the first 5 miles from Smith’s Cove. Other contracts were let for the second 5 miles, for piling and trestle work at the Cove and for 5000 tons of rail, 4 locomotives and other equipment. By June the line had been located 75 miles to Snoqualmie Pass.

On September 9th the Seattle Press gave a glowing account of the road and its backers plus the Puget Sound Construction Co. A few miles were in iron at the time and 300 miles were predicted for January 1st, 1889. There was a statement that Seattle was hopeful that the Lake Shore would free it from the NP. The article concluded with the indication that Tacoma was non-plussed by this turn of events. All of this journalistic support could not overcome the problems associated with a change in control, a change in the construction company and money difficulties. It was not until July 16th, 1888, that the first regular train ran from Seattle the 24 miles to Woodinville.

In early December of 1887, the Seattle and Eastern Construction Co. was incorporated to build the road for the Lake Shore. Four New Yorkers, T. Burke, Angus McIntosh, F.M. Jones and W.H. Scott were behind the venture. Their new organization finished the 20 miles from Woodinville to Sallal Prairie in the Cascades and that was as far as the line ever went. They began the connecting work west from Spokane in early 1888. Forty miles were planned to be ready for the fall harvest. Twenty miles of grade were in by July but here again lack of funds only saw 10 miles of track by November. The next few months were more productive and the line was open 45 miles to Wheatdale in mid-March, 1889. Then money problems became acute, the town of Davenport offered to grade the 5 miles to reach there. This was accepted and completed so that in October the eastern section consisted of the 50.05 miles from Spokane to Davenport and that was as far as that line was to go.

The major segment of the Lake Shore was not in the original planning. As the possibility of a Cascade line became remote a line to Canada became more appealing. On March 24th, 1888, the Lake Shore purchased the Seattle and West Coast Ry. That company had 14.4 miles of graded roadbed from Woodinville north to Snohomish. F.H. Whitworth of Seattle started work on this northern branch and by the end of April an easy route was located all the way to the Canadian line. December saw 20 miles in operation on this branch.

Funds needed for the Canadian line would be large so the Lake Shore increased its stock to provide a bonus for bonds to be issued. In April, 1889, it was reported that $2,000,000 would be offered. The surveys had been run from Snohomish to the Skagit River in 1888 but the end-of-track remained 6 miles north of Snohomish for many months. In 1889 the surveys were completed to the Canadian line. Earle & MacLeod were the contractors for much of the work. They put the Lake Shore in and out of receivership in order to collect $87,000 for previous work. When $90,000 in bonds were posted all was well. During the year the first 15 miles south from the line were cleared and also the 15 miles south from the Skagit River. Clearing was very difficult due to the heavy timber. The maximum grade was held to 1.5% and there was much bridging for all the streams and rivers flowed west from the well-watered Cascade Range.

In Spokane during February, 1890, bondholders applied for a receiver and for an injunction to prevent giving the Seattle and Eastern Construction Co. any more securities. There were implications in the papers of the time that the NP was behind this suit. It was transferred to Seattle and denied in early March. In june reports began that the NP had control of the Lake Shore due to its valuable Seattle Harbor franchises. Thomas F. Oakes, a member of the NP board of directors, denied this but stated that the two companies were going to coordinate the construction of a Lake Washington Belt Line and in July the NP had the firm of Henry and Balch of Minneapolis working on the 20 mile section of the belt line east of the lake. The NP had been surveying here the previous February. In July the Oregon & Transcontinental, a holding company organized by Henry Villard in 1881, purchased a majority of the Lake Shore stock for $45 per share, $2,335,000 of the $4,150,000 outstanding. Oakes had to reverse himself stating on the 22nd that $3,000,000 of the stock had been purchased and the road leased for 6% on the bonds and a $300,000 rental. Traffic north of Seattle apparently was heavy enough to cover interest charges. At the time one major reason stated for this action was that James J. Hill of the GN wanted it.

To finish the construction story of this branch we find 500 to 700 men working at tree different sites during 1890. In May track was 30 miles north of Snohomish and on August 1st the San Francisco Bridge Co. completed the Stillaguamish bridge at Arlington, 61 miles from Seattle. This 240 foot drawbridge with its 4000 foot pile trestle approach had held up progress for a long time. Heavy rain and the lack of skilled labor had their part too. The longest uncompleted section was now the 21 miles from Arlington to Sedro including the Skagit River bridge at Sedro. This was a 650 foot combination drawbridge with a 4800 foot pile trestle on the north and a 2305 foot trestle on the south side. In December trains were running between Arlington and Sedro and the grading was finished to the boundary. April 10th, 1891, the road was open Seattle to Sumas which was one half mile south of the Canadian line. During June, 1891, Traffic Manager J.M. Hannaford assumed similar duties for the Lake Shore and on May 1st, 1892, operations were consolidated with those of the NP. On March 31st, 1893, a Lake Shore stockholder started a suit to have the NP lease annulled and a receiver appointed. A receiver, T.R. Brown, was appointed on July 7th, but the NP traffic contract was continued and the NP operations were continued. The Lake Shore came out of the receivership as two companies both operated by the NP.

At the annual meeting on October 20th, 1892 a stockholders committee was organized to investigate the affairs of the NP. In Washington critical note was taken of the relationship with the Lake Shore, the eastern section paralleled the Central Washington and was relatively useless. In the western section only the line from Seattle to the Canadian line was considered worthwhile. The NP had purchased 31,626 ½ shares of 41,500 outstanding at $45 each on May 23rd, 1890 and between July 1st, 1890 and June 30th, 1892 the line was run at a deficit of $584,300. To argue that the Lake Shore was needed to deter the Manitoba (St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba RR-forerunner of the GN) did not hold for it did not do so. The Lake Shore was purported to have started as a land speculation and then money speculators got the bonds at 80 and the stock as a bonus. The NP purchase included a bond guarantee and this would have been very beneficial to the speculators if all was true.

The Lake Shore had an operation loss as of June 30th, 1893 of $257,701. Before the NP entered its second reorganization of the mid 1890s, the Lake Shore had its lease terminated.

The Lake Shore was leading a separate existence during the NP receivership. Its lease had had been given up shortly before the NP receivership and it had gone the bankruptcy road too. There had been continuing litigation between the NP and the Lake Shore as to who was indebted to whom and the NP was trying to prevent a foreclosure. However, on March 31st, 1896, Judge Hannaford ordered foreclosure sale on May 16th and the bondholders agreed to this on April 10th. The Lake Shore was thus sold to its reorganization committee on May 22nd for $1,000,000 and the sale was confirmed on June 9th although Circuit Court approval was delayed until February, 1897.

The road began anew with the profitable western section as one railroad and the useless eastern section as another although they both had the same officers. On July 11th the old bondholders of the Lake Shore began a general creditor’s suit in Milwaukee to forestall the NP sale as they claimed that the general creditors had been left out of the reorganization. The case was argued on July 21st and denied on the 22nd. Likewise the reorganization committee for the Lake Shore stated on July 24th that there was no NP lien as it came after the first mortgage and the road had been sold under that mortgage and thus the NP lien was against a defunct road. It was several years before these two independent roads came back into the NP fold.

The NP had been behind the long delay between the sale of the Lake Shore in May, 1896, and its final court confirmation in February, 1897. This was because the NP owned $3,162,650 of stock and $1,258,691 of bonds in the company and the sale price was only $1,000,000. After the confirmation of the sale the western section of the Lake Shore, which was the part of value, passed to a company called the Seattle and International on July 10th.

This company had been formed earlier in the summer for just this purpose. During January, 1898, the NP bought $5,558,000 of the bonds of the S&I and displaced the reorganization management. Not only did the NP want to keep this line out of any rival hands, the Canadian Pacific was rumored to be bidding on it, but also one of the Lake Shore reorganization groups was trying to assert a large claim against the old NP RR. This purchase stopped this action. At this time the line consisted of the 125.3 miles from Seattle to Sumas, the 38.6 mile branch into the Cascades from Woodinville to Sallal and valuable terminal properties in Seattle. The GN began using the Seattle train station on March 20th, 1896. The Klondike Gold Rush was providing much business at this time and May 20th the NP traffic department absorbed that of the S&I.

In February, 1900, the NP bought, using the S&I, the western section of the Everett, the western section of the Everett & Monte Cristo, from Snohomish to Everett, 11.5 miles and terminals. The property was leased until the title was cleared. In April, 1900, again using the S&I, surveys began between Arlington, on the Sumas line, and Darrington up the Stillaguamish Valley in the Cascades. This was through very fine timber country. Right-of-way was secured in June and the contract was let in July to Larson & Greenough. The last rail was in by the end of May, 1901. Meanwhile, on March 21st, 1901, the NP purchased the S&I outright and these two newer sections came with it.

The eastern section of the Lake Shore was also acquired on July 10th, 1896 by a new company called the Spokane and Seattle. Its officers were the same as those of the S&I. The 50 mile line from Spokane to Davenport was always operated by the NP. It closely paralleled the Washington Central, successor company to the Central Washington. This latter company had been sold at Spokane January 19th, 1898, and bid in by the bondholders for $100,000. The NP acquired all of the capital stock and leased it in March.

In March a year later the NP purchased the Medical Lake-Davenport section of the S&S, and in October, 1900, the Spokane-Medical Lake section. Along with the purchase went the abandonment of the 29 miles from Spokane to Ditmar which was the section paralleling the Washington Central.

Building of the CW branch

The NP built a branch to compete with the eastern section of the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern.. It was called the Central Washington. NP records indicate that between December 6th, 1887, and February 25th, 1888, surveys were made and a line located diverging from the main line at Cheney and extending westward through portions of Spokane, Lincoln, and Douglas counties across the middle crossing of the Grand Coulee, a distance of 115 miles. It was a very good line, under 1% grade, with light work except for some areas where the rock came to the surface. The area was rich and fertile second only to the Palouse.

To forestall the Lake Shore line, the NP put G.W. Hunt to work here grading five miles through Grand Coulee in early summer 1888. This action along with the other Lake Shore problems was sufficient to allow later Central Washington construction.

Aside from the Grand Coulee work Wilson & Glenn, the contractors, did little in 1888. During 1889 the road was completed the 46 miles to Almira and a contract for the additional 15 miles to Grand Coulee was let. By May 30th, 1890, grade and bridges were completed for the entire branch and by July 1st the track was in.

When the NP acquired control of the Lake Shore in 1890 it had two branches into the Big Bend country and both could not be supported especially as the Great Northern was to be entering the region shortly. Despite this fact the eastern section of the Lake Shore was not abandoned until well after the turn of the century.

The annual meeting on October 16th 1890 it was announced that the Central Washington entered the Big Bend country of Washington and would be extended to the Okanogan mining area later.

In August, 1902, the NP decided to extend the Washington Central to connect with the GN main line west and thus possibly give another quicker line to Puget Sound. In May of 1903 Larson & Foley of Spokane started track laying from Coulee Jct. and the 21 miles to Adrian on the GN were ready September 11th.

Five years passed and in July, 1908, a line from Adrian to Connell, on the NP main line north of Pasco, was considered as a joint venture by the NP-SP&S-GN. There was no action so in June, 1909, the NP incorporated the Connell Northern and by November 1st, 1910 the 73.5 mile line Connell to Adco had completed the big loop through the Big Bend of the Columbia. This was to be a very valuable feeder to the NP in later years after the completion of Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin Project.

The GN/SLSE connection in Spokane

The Great Northern arrived in Spokane mid-year of 1892. The
right-of-way granted to the GN required six bridges across the
Spokane River-three large ones and three smaller ones. In order to
expedite construction they set up trackage rights with two existing
railroads in Spokane.

The first mile on the east side of town was over the Oregon
Railway and Navigation line. This took them to a Union Depot jointly
operated by the OR&N,the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern, and the Spokane Falls & Northern. The current location would be the northeast corner of Washington Street
and North River Drive.

The remaining approx. four miles west of the Union Depot
belonged to the SLSE. This enabled the GN to rejoin their own
right-of-way just to the north of the military post Fort George
Wright. A large timber bridge on the Lake Shore crossed the Spokane
River about two miles west of the Union Depot.

The GN made use of these arrangements until their own line via
Havermale Island and what would become Fort Wright Station was
completed in June of 1901. The passenger depot on Havermale Island
(from which the clocktower still stands) was not completed until June
of 1902.

The GN generated some business on the old Lake Shore trackage.
Both they and the OR&N maintained industry tracks just to the
west of the Maple St. area. After 1922 the GN set up an agreement
with the OR&N (Union Pacific) to do all the switching on the
north river bank and deliver all GN business to a small transfer
yard near Gonzaga University.

Waterville Railroad Locomotive

This engine formerly belonged to the Great Northern. Now is lettered for the 5 mile long Waterville Railroad.

US Construction Railroad Piles Up Tonnage

From the "Spokane Chronicle."

May 14, 1936

One yardstick to apply to the progress being made on the Grand Coulee dam is the tonnage handled by the little railroad, built for the purpose, to move materials and equipment from Odair, near Coulee City, up the Grand coulee and down the hill to the damsite. The story is told with facts and figures in a recent issue of the MWAK Columbian, house organ of the general contractors. It is as follows:

An oil-burning shay that backs down a 5 per cent grade has a great part in moving and re-moving the 162,000,000 net pounds that had come in by rail by April 1. This means a gross tonnage of 290,000,000 pounds for 2087 cars used.

A locomotive makes daily trips from the main line at Odair, 31 miles away, to Electric City. the low-geared shay continues the additional five mile to the government warehouse by swinging wide about curves and long the cutbacks of high abutments.

From the cement silos to the warehouse yards is two-miles-about 4000 feet as the crow might fly. Up and down this grade, the shay creeps along at the rate of from eight to 10 miles per hour. This gear-driven engine is used in place of a road locomotive because the steep grade requires it.

Since first use of the shay, July 23, 1935, the month of March has taken over a lion’s share in monthly railroad work as 23,641 net tons, or 48,316 gross tons, came into Electric City on 530 cars and 561 empties were returned. The tonnage for March is four times the 550-ton average for each month of railroad operations in 1935. January and February are next high in order with 16,077 and 14,380 tons. More than tow-thirds of the weight by rail has been brought in during the three months of 1936.

The explanation lies in the present increased cement shipments of 25 cars daily, with 72,000 pounds per car net; the 3,000,000 feet of timbering arriving during the last two months and the 187 carloads of steel for the concrete-carrying trestles.

The 2087 carloads brought in meant 962 cars of bulk cement for the cement silos, and 1125 of miscellaneous, such as timber, steel and explosives. Cement itself, both bulk and sack has reached 70,000,000 since the beginning of work here.

The 120,000 net tons that have passed over the railroads represent 55 per cent of all tonnage checked by the company warehouse. And yet of more than 21 months of receiving material, the railroad has been in operation but eight.

The railroad system was constructed by David H. Ryan. It is operated by the MWAK company. Governor Clarence D. Martin piloted the first official train over the line last July 29.