Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ephrata Air Base Spur

From "Certain Lands Southeast of Ephrata"
by Patricia J Dunston

Transportation Corps

Originally known as the rail transportation department under the quartermaster, its mission was to fill Government transportation orders for both freight and troops, using whatever means possible—rail, bus, airplane, truck, etc. For three months this department was manned by only one corporal and one private. On August 27, 1942 a circular was issued creating a Transportation Corps but the change-over did not take place on this base until December 15.

Following a conference with Mr. E.C. Pittinger, station agent for the Great Northern Railway Company, an agreement was reached verbally whereby Mr. Pittinger set aside about 100 square feet of floor space in the Ephrata railway station for the use of two of the departmental personnel who were detailed to handle military passenger and freight matters, using the railroad station as their base of operation.

On September 1, 1943, the post engineers and the Great Northern Railway Company started the construction of a spur track from the main line of the Great Northern to the warehouse area on the Ephrata Air Base. It is expected that this job will be completed in October. The installation of this spur will greatly speed up the delivery of incoming freight to different organization; freight handling will be considerably cut down; troop movements will be greatly facilitated and will be made with much more secrecy.

On November 12, 1943, Mr. Goudie, the Great Northern trainmaster made and inspection tour of the base spur track for the purpose of checking it for the switching to be done by the Great Northern Company as was agreed in October. The Great Northern engine made its first trip to the base on November 15, 1943, bringing in one carload of coal for the post engineers, one carload of targets for the base ordinance, one carload of engines for the sub-depot and one carload of Teletype equipment for the base signal.

The spur takes off from underneath the word "Northern."

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