Saturday, December 30, 2017

Northern Pacific Davenport Well Location

This well is still on file with the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Here is the record.

While the legal description is correct, there is no legal record at the website that shows this well now maintained by the City of Davenport. Also, the Ecology website has it mislocated by a block or so.
In the picture below, the well is located underneath the red township and range numbers.

See this location today.

Friday, December 29, 2017

1947 Winston Utah Spur-Dry Coulee Siphon

Courtesy of the University of Idaho.

Spur was actually just to the left of the photo, but this work is why the spur was constructed. Note that you can see the ends of the ties of active tracks above the end of the tube.

See what this spot looks like today.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Northern Pacific Coulee City Well Location

This well is still on file with the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Here is the record.

Well location now seems to be a monitor well for the City of Coulee City sewer lagoons.

See this location today.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Milwaukee Road Ralston Well Location

This well is still on file with the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Here is the record.

Location has recently been restored and is the little building between the words "John Wayne Trail" and "Lind-Ralston Rd."

See this location today.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Milwaukee Road Warden Well Location

This well is still on file with the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Here is the record.

Location map:
Black dot means a multiple type of well. I suspect that means they don't really know much about the well.

The same location can be seen as a brown box-like thing in the parking area today.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

1948 Crab Creek Siphon At Adrian

Courtesy of the University of Idaho.

See what this location looks like today.

Looks like the GN mainline has just been restored, and that likely was rerouted around the specific site where the siphon would cross by building a temporary track a bit further south. Looks like that temporary track was recently removed and the original line was replaced.

Note the body of water on the left. That is Crab Creek. Part of the Adrian Irrigation Company ditch was removed for the digging of this project. Waters from Crab Creek were diverted into a ditch that ran through here all the way past Adrian for use to the west of town. Parts of the ditch can still be seen in the aerial view linked above. This irrigation project went out of business years ago.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

1934 Report On Fruit Traffic-GN

     The following were found in NP General Managers File 2554-20. Letters sent in response to a query regarding plans in operation for accumulating carload of fruit and vegetables and assembling the refrigerator traffic into trains. Request from Mr. Charles Donnelly, Chairman, Pacific Northwest Division Western Railroads.
      The General Managers files surrounding this file seem to deal with the development of regional railroad routes. This file asked for responses on how fruit and vegetable traffic in the Washington, Idaho, Oregon areas were handled by each railroad. I transcribed the data because I had thought that - though the date of these studies is 1934 and traffic nationwide, is down, the data does have significance to modelers for study in helping determine traffic patterns for their own application.  

Great Northern Railway

State of Washington

Points at which fruit and vegetable loading necessitate the supplying of refrigerator cars as follows:

East and North of Spokane
SC&P Railway
Spokane to Wenatchee
Wenatchee to Tacoma
Good- Hopkins spur 4 miles north of Northport
Soap Lake
Grand Forks, B.C.
Apple Center
Meyers Falls
Ohio Colony Spur
Davies Spur

Spokane Bridge



Post Falls



Everett to Blaine
Wenatchee to Oroville
Mansfield Branch
All stations

    For the territory north of Spokane and on Spokane, Coeur d' Alene, & Palouse Railway,  the empty cars are conditioned , and, if the car orders call for it, are iced at Hillyard and distributed to the loading stations by local way freight trains. After loaded, the cars are picked up by local way freight trains and brought into Hillyard, from which point they are forwarded in time freight trains or added to an eastward fruit train if a fruit train happens to be fit to run.

    From the territory Stratford to Trinidad, dry cars are furnished from the supply at Hillyard. Iced cars, when ordered, are furnished from Appleyard and either handled on the local way freight trains or through freight trains depending on the service required. Loaded cars eastbound when ready are handled by the local way freight trains to Wilson Creek, where they are picked up by the time freights or eastward fruit trains. Loaded cars moving westward are handled to Appleyard and moved out of there on the westbound time freight trains.  
    Empty cars for the territory Ohio Colony Spur, Malaga, and Palisades are furnished from Appleyard, and when so ordered are iced at Appleyard Empty cars are distributed to the loading stations by local way freight trains and the loaded cars returned by local way freight trains to Appleyard where they are put into time freights or eastward fruit trains.

     For the territory Wenatchee west to Leavenworth and north to Oroville, the empty cars are furnished from the supply at Appleyard-Wenatchee Terminal and distributed by local way freight trains. The loaded cars are picked up by local way freight trains or mixed train and brought into Appleyard, from which time they are forwarded in time freight trains or eastward fruit trains. Ice houses are maintained at Wenatchee, Pateros and Oroville. Iced cars are distributed by local freight trains from Oroville south to Barker and sometimes as far south as Omak. Iced cars are distributed from Pateros to Okanogan and iced cars for the balance of the stations south of Okanogan and west to Leavenworth distributed from Appleyard-Wenatchee Terminal.

     A considerable portion of the soft fruits and cherries from the Wenatchee Valley district moved as passenger train freight. The empties are supplied from Appleyard-Wenatchee terminal, conditioned and iced for loading when so ordered. Empties are distributed by local way freight train and mixed trains and after loaded, brought by the same trains into Wenatchee for passenger train movement.

    For vegetable loading at Monroe, empties are furnished from Delta, where they are conditioned and initially iced and moved to Monroe by local way freight trains, or in some cases by eastward time freight trains. After loaded, cars are picked up by eastward time freight trains.

    At Fryelands, empties are supplied, after being conditioned, from either Hillyard, Appleyard, Delta, or Interbay, and moved by local way freight trains. Cars are initially iced at Fryelands. After being loaded, cars are either picked up by time freight trains at Fryelands or moved to some convenient point by local way freight trains where they are picked up by the time freight trains.

    At Burlington, empties for vegetable loading are supplied from Delta, where cars are conditioned and initially iced and moved to Burlington by local way freight trains. After being loaded, the local way freight trains move the cars back to Delta where they are put in the time freight trains.

    At Kent, Auburn, Sumner, and Puyallup, empty cars are furnished from Seattle, where they have been conditioned, and are initially iced at the loading station. Cars are moved to the loading station by way freight trains and after being loaded are moved to Interbay by way freight trains, from which point they are placed in time freight trains. Any shipments originating at these stations for California are picked up by the Interbay-Portland time freight train and are moved through to Vancouver, Wash. or Portland, Oregon, as the case may be.

    Berry shipments from Sumner and Puyallup mostly move as passenger train freight. For this movement, cars are assembled and conditioned at Seattle, and in some cases iced there and in other cases are iced at the loading station. Cars are distributed by way freight trains and after loaded are moved to Seattle in local way freight trains and placed in passenger trains there.

    For berry shipments from Snohomish, Burlington, and Bellingham, the cars are conditioned at delta. For Snohomish and Burlington, the cars are iced at Delta, and those for Bellingham are iced at Bellingham. Cars are distributed by local way freight trains and when loaded are picked up by the regular passenger trains at Bellingham and Burlington, and those loaded at Snohomish are picked up by train No.28.

The schedule for the eastward time freight train is:

Seattle to Minneapolis Junction
147' 30"
Wenatchee to Minneapolis Jct.
127' 00"
Hillyard to Minneapolis Jct.
113' 00"

Fruit Train Schedule is:

Appleyard to Minneapolis Jct.
124' 30"
Hillyard to Minneapolis Jct.
110' 30"

    There is no schedule arranged for the return from the east of empty refrigerator cars. Empty refrigerator cars are moved in westward trains as they can be handled, and in preparation for the heavy shipping period in the late fall, a supply of cars is accumulated previously so that when the heavy movement eastward is underway, the balancing movement westward takes care of the empty refrigerator car supply.

State of Idaho

    The movement of fruit and vegetables from points in this state on the Great Northern is negligible.

--------------------------------------------       End of Great Northern    ---------------------------------------------

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Ephrata Depot Picture

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Corgnati.

Date is in the 1946-1952 time frame.

Monday, December 11, 2017

1947 Bacon Siphon Tunnel

Courtesy of the University of Idaho.

Served by a Northern Pacific Connolly spur to the right and quite a few feet higher. The siphon tunnel was built to a 22 foot wide dimension.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Discussion of the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern in Spokane

This is a discussion culled from the GNGoat email Yahoo group from late 2005/early 2006.

From: "Don"
Subject: Re Seattle, Lake Shore, & Eastern

> I've read or heard where the GN leased trackage in downtown Spokane
> from the Seattle, Lake Shore, & Eastern. Anyone care to comment on this?

I'm not sure what the business arrangement was with this line. SLS&E projected
a route from Seattle to Spokane in the late 1880s, did construction work as far
west as Coulee City and laid rail from Spokane's first union station at Mallon
& Washington (joint with the OR&N) to near Davenport. By 1890 the first and
last trains had run. The outermost portion of the line survived as a curious
hook-shaped NPR branch, while the section between Garden Springs and Medical
Lake was taken over by Washington Water Power for its interurban. And the
section through Spokane, bridging the river at Downriver and passing what would
become Fort Wright Junction, was used by the Great Northern until its own high
bridge was built. For how long, I don't know. Nor do I know quite how GNR
managed to reach the Union Station from the east.

The remains of SLS&E line through the city survived until recent years, at
first under Union Pacific ownership and later Great Northern, as far northwest
as the vicinity of Belt Street and Augusta Avenue.


From: "bn6430"
Subject:  Re:Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern

     The Great Northern arrived in Spokane mid-year of 1892. The
right-of-way granted to the G.N. 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 O.R.&N. and the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern. 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 S.L.S.& E. This enabled the G.N. 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 G.N. 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 G.N. generated some business on the old Lake Shore trackage.
Both they and the O.R.& N. maintained industry tracks just to the
west of the Maple St. area. After 1922 the G.N. set up an agreement
with the O.R.& N. (Union Pacific) to do all the switching on the
north river bank and deliver all G.N. business to a small transfer
yard near Gonzaga University.


From: "GUY"
Subject: Re:Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern

I thought the GN gained access to Spokane on the Spokane Falls & Northern mainline which became the Spike Yard Spur Track, crossing Division Street into the Spokane Falls & Northern Depot ?  Bax...
From: Jim
Subject: Re: Seattle, Lake Shore, & Eastern

> I've read or heard where the GN leased trackage in downtown Spokane
> from the Seattle, Lake Shore, & Eastern. Anyone care to comment on this?

I was sure that someone else would comment on this ...  Yes, apparently
that's true.  When the GN arrived in Spokane, I've read that they used
the SLS&E trackage to exit Spokane to the west until they were able to
complete their own bridges over the Spokane River.   The SLS&E had a
huge, wooden trestle over the Spokane River north/downstream of the site
were GN built their Fort Wright trestle. I understand that the GN used
the OR&N/SLS&E Union depot north of the river during this time.  This
was the "first" Union depot.

I've forgotten all of the details, but later the GN acquired a portion
of the SLS&E trackage north of downtown to use as an industrial lead.
It goes something like this...  The NP bought the SLS&E and then
abandoned the portion of the line between Spokane and Cheney.  The GN
didn't want the UP to have sole access to downtown Spokane north of the
river, so they took control of the SLS&E between downtown and the Lake
Shore's crossing of the Spokane River on the northwest side of Spokane.

This line ran diagonally NW from near the site of the current Inn at the
Park/Flour Mill past the REI store. You can still see part of the right
of way at REI.  The UP had a parallel spur.  To reach the spur, the GN
used a bridge from Havermale Island (or just east of the island by their
downtown yard) across the northern channel of the Spokane River.

Can anyone offer more details or corrections?  If anyone's interested, I
can probably dig up my sources for this info and maybe even some maps.

Best Regards,


From: "Sheldon"
Subject: Re: Seattle, Lake Shore, & Eastern

> Can anyone offer more details or corrections?

There were actually two GN bridges.  One that took off from the south bank of the river
out of the downtown yard and across a short piece of the east end of Havermale island
and then back onto another bridge over to the north shore, with the track then immediatey
crossing Washington.  (See photo reference above.)  My understanding is that these
bridges were short-lived, disappearing sometime in the 1920's.

I know the GN line west of Washington was in place right up until the merger, if not Expo. 
It too can be seen in many aerial views of Spokane.

Mike Denuty could tell you a lot more about this sort of stuff.


Friday, December 8, 2017

BN 8173 West At Adrian

Courtesy of Brian Ambrose.

November 7, 1981.

Taken from the vantage-point of the long gone NP-built trestle.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How To Screw Up A Railroad Forever In 1888-1890

Guest post by Ted Curphey.

I've been deeply engrossed in research recently (how anyone can ever be bored in the age of the internet is beyond me). The Northern Pacific Central Washington Branch was built based on the 1887 survey by engineer J.Q. Jamieson (sometimes misspelled Jamison or J.I.Jamieson). Jamieson was a very busy man in those heady days prior to World War I when railroads were being pushed into all corners of the country. He also had skill and a knack for locating railroads in difficult terrain. From 1885 until late 1887 Jamieson was the construction engineer on the Stampede Pass Tunnel, and then surveyed the CW branch. By 1895 he was chief engineer of the Astoria & Columbia River RR which was building east out of Astoria up the Columbia River to the NP at Goble, OR. 1901 found him back in the employ of the NP at Tacoma when he became the Division Engineer. Jamieson quit the NP again at the end of 1902 to help build the Western Pacific RR. 1905 found him locating the railroad in the extremely rugged Feather River Canyon between Oroville and the Nevada State Line.

The CW Line as located by Jamieson would have been a wonderful branchline with moderate grades and curves. Unfortunately for locomotive engineers and railroad accountants since then, a group of NP directors involved in a townsite company had sway over the final route of the as built NP Central Washington Branch. They rerouted the line to prospective townsites such as Hite, Creston and Hanson to resell the town plots at a great profit once the railroad was established. The deviations imposed on the route sharp curves, steep grades and extra mileage. The Jamieson Survey was to have maximum grades of 0.7% and maximum curves of 7 degrees. Instead the CW line as laid out by construction engineer C.F. Reardan has grades up to 1.5% and curves as sharp as 10 degrees. Even rival Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern was building a line with max grades of 1% compensated and max curvature of 7 degrees.

Today the Eastern Washington Gateway RR still struggles with the extra operational cost and difficulties caused by the detours. Attached is a map showing the westernmost of the detours with the approximated survey between MP86 and MP104. By rerouting the tracks northwest out of Almira, an extra 123' of elevation that had to be climbed to surmount the ridge between Hartline and Almira over the route of the Survey. The Deviation also added some extra miles to the line as well. For whatever reason, the directors involved in the townsite business like to place towns at high point, such as Hanson. But this really does not make sense as there is a scarcity of water at those lofty points, and the townsites are exposed to wind and harsh weather conditions. Little wonder that the "town" of Hanson never developed beyond the grain elevators occupying space along the railroad siding intended for the town. BTW, the location now known as Cement at the far west end of the detour was originally known as Patterson, and may have been another one the townsites that failed to develop.

The as built CW branch also varied greatly from the survey between Teleford (a.k.a. Fellows) and Govan (MP57 to MP81 on the CW line). The surveyed line featured light grades (0.2%) and curvature with only one summit, but was replaced with the worst grades and sharp curves on the as built line. Even where the CW line followed the 1887 survey, the cheap, rushed construction failed to follow the standards set in the 1887 survey, eschewing deep cuts and tall fills or trestles that would have eased the grade and curvature. Today trains struggle to climb the 1.2% grade out of Wilbur and bite at the sharp curves in the grades going in and out of "Cougar Canyon" east of Webb. Jamieson specifically sought to avoid the steep grades and heavy rock work that would be required along the current route by swinging to the south and following Sinking Creek to Govan. Map 2 clearly shows the route.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of the deviations from the 1887 survey was between MP12 and MP 26 on the CW Line, where a virtually flat and tangent route was replaced with the "Roller Coaster", as the section from Reardan to Deep Creek is known. The current route is 4.5 miles longer than the survey and features multiple grades of up to 1.2% and curves as sharp as 10 degrees. Included in this is a drop of 227' from a point near Hite to Deep Creek. That may not sound like much in a standard automobile, but for a 8000 ton train that works out to 3.6 Billion foot-pounds of force required to climb that distance. According to notes, the grade was virtually complete along the route of the 1887 survey in 1888 and ready for track when the NP directors changed the routing to benefit their townsite at Hite (which failed to develop).

The CW line was far from the only part of the NP to suffer from short-sightedness on the part of NP management of the time, as that was the case during much of the early history of the railroad. NP struggled to turn a profit for years due to the high operating costs imposed by this kind of half-assed construction, and it would take hundreds of realignments to make the mainline acceptable. But the CW Line never benefited from those realignments, and the track remains where C.F. Reardan placed it 128 years ago!