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
Millwood
Stratford
Monitor
Excelsior
Soap Lake
Cashmere
Dalton
Ephrata
Dryden
Marble
Dishman
Quincy
Peshastin
Grand Forks, B.C.
Apple Center
Trinidad
Leavenworth
Meyers Falls
Opportunity
Ohio Colony Spur
Snohomish
Denison
Vera
Malaga
Monroe
Davies Spur
Flora
Wenatchee
Fryelands
Mead
Greenacres

Kent
Hillyard
Spokane Bridge

Auburn
Spokane
McGuires

Puyallup

Post Falls

Sumner

Moscow





Everett to Blaine
Wenatchee to Oroville
Mansfield Branch
Burlington
All stations
Palisades
Bellingham





    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

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.

To: gngoat@yahoogroups.com
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.

Don

To: gngoat@yahoogroups.com
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.

Dave

To:
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,

Jim

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.

Sheldon

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.


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!






Sunday, December 3, 2017

1910 Beverly Photo

Thanks to Allen Miller for helping narrow down the date.

He adds:

I'm guessing those locomotives are both Prairies, the lite engine on the right is probably the helper. I can't make out the numbers. This would be very early, late 1909 or 1910. No idea on the photographer. When they were using Prairies (before the bigger Mikado's arrived) they probably used both a head end and rear end helper to get freight trains up Beverly hill.
The depot is in the orange and maroon with white trim scheme. Doors and window frames were black. Richard Percy Rozelle was the agent at Beverly at this time.


Friday, December 1, 2017

How To Run 3 CW Trains With Trainorders.....Or Not!

Reprinted with permission from Thomas A. White.

Thanks to Ted Curphey for bringing this to my attention.



Thomas White (TAW) is a very experienced dispatcher having worked for the
B&O Chicago Terminal Railway, BN and BNSF. He also worked on special
projects for BN and BNSF and later as a private consultant. He has more
than his share of stories to tell and has written a few excellent books on
railway operations. He recently shared this story about trying to go the
extra mile for CW customers only to get burned by a lazy trainmaster. This
is a very detailed and complex story;

"At some time in the early-mid 80s, I was the Spokane Division day
assistant chief dispatcher. I was working with a brand-new, not fresh out
of the box because he was never in one, trainmaster. He was not a
management trainee. He was in charge of the BN Coulee City (CW) and the
Palouse (P&L) branches. He was also the son of a BN VIP.

There was heavy grain loading on the CW, exceptionally heavy. Regular
service was three days out, Spokane to Coulee City Monday, Wednesday,
Friday, and three days back, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The railroad
was in…..let’s say transition. Senior management was pushing the railroad
toward terminals running the railroad and chief dispatchers answering the
phone and saying yes. However, there were no official written instructions
to that effect. I still considered it my railroad to run (as did others
who fought the system until realizing that it was over). My responsibility
as chief was to be sure that the trainmaster had the means needed to move
the traffic. His responsibility was to ensure that the plan was executed.
One might expect trainmasters to communicate trends and needs in advance,
but most of us didn't depend on it.

Back in those days, the chief dispatcher kept running track of the cars on
hand to move on line and the traffic to move in yards and terminals. We
weren’t allowed to let terminals get plugged nor allow cars to sit on line
waiting to move for an excessively long time. Each of us on the chief jobs
had our own set of COMPASS (the BN Information System) inquiry cards to
run when we came to work. Yes, each of us had a deck of IBM cards, a
couple of inches thick, that we put into the card reader when we came to
work. Later, it was a file in the Yard Management System computer, but we
still called it cards because COMPASS was a mainframe computer that only
spoke cards. The computer inquiry files were still formatted like 80
column IBM cards. Running the cards would result in a pile of greenbar
printout a couple of inches thick. Any of us could spend 30 minutes going
through it page by page and have a clear understanding of what was
happening and what would happen. That information would be supplemented by
phone calls to yardmasters depending on the situation. For example, 150
cars for Pasco at Spokane is not a big deal if they have been on hand for
a couple of hours. They would still need to be inspected and switched.
I’ll talk to the yardmaster in a while. 150 cars for Pasco that have been
on hand for 20 hours takes a call to the yardmaster right now.

An example of my cards on the Spokane Division chief job:

Block consist lineup (for each train shows ETA and breakdown of train
consist by load-empty-tons-feet per block / destination) for Northtown,
Minot, Havre, Shelby, Whitefish, Yardley (Spokane), Wenatchee, and Pasco.

Power consist lineup for Shelby (many trains get new power at Havre so not
much sense in looking at power east of Havre), Whitefish, Spokane. We kept
power on the sheet for trains on our railroad (Whitefish – Yardley –
Wenatchee) but the power lineup provided condition and maintenance due for
reference.

Yard list by block (loads, empties, tons, feet by block and hours on hand)
for Northtown, Minot, Havre, Shelby, Whitefish, Yardley, Pasco,
Wenatchee).

Minor areas (tracks between terminals – COMPASS did not keep detailed
track of cars outside of terminals, just car-load/empty-station)
Minot-Havre, Havre-Shelby, Shelby-Whitefish, Whitefish-Yardley,
Yardley-Wenatchee, CW (Coulee City) branch, P&L (Palouse) branch, and
Kettle Falls branch.

Car orders everything between Minot and Wenatchee/Pasco and the CW, P&L,
Kettle Falls branches.

After the first pass reading the printout and making notes, it’s time to
compare the power on the sheet with the power lineups and be sure that all
condition/maintenance notes are marked up. Then call the Parkwater
(Yardley) roundhouse to compare the power on the sheet with what the
foreman has: condition, dates, facing which way, and where. The where
could be important. When setting up power, if the units could be any of
several, choose the easiest for the roundhouse to make. When something
specific needs to happen, however inconvenient, the roundhouse guys will
get right on it without complaint or delay because they know that the
chief and the foreman take care of them when possible and switching out a
unit from the middle of a line of them isn’t make work.

Now comes matching what the printout says to what the turnover says. If
there is traffic out there that isn’t represented in the plan the previous
shift left, need to get to work on that first. After that is extending (or
fixing if necessary) the current plan, which generally extends 24 hours
from when you came to work.

During this particular week, I saw the grain loads and car orders building
on the CW branch at a rate that could not be handled by the three times a
week CW local (out Monday, Wednesday, Friday, back Tuesday, Thursday,
Saturday). The need for a couple of extras on Sunday was apparent by
mid-week. Loads were building upon line. Empties were building up at
Yardley.

I stuck out a wire (email nowadays) to the Yardley yardmasters and
trainmasters, the Parkwater roundhouse foreman, and the branch trainmaster
(who hadn’t noticed over 100 grain loads on hand that he hadn’t moved and
wasn’t going to be able to). It looked like three trains, not two would be
needed in order to get the loads pulled and empties spotted for loading in
a day. There was too much work for the regular three times a week train to
finish in a in a week.

There was only one day to go get all this business. How is that going to
work?

I set it up the same way as I learned to do on the SP West Side line
between Fresno and Tracy during fruit rush. Divide the line into blocks
separated by a register station. Make use of the register station to keep
the trains apart but keep them from needing to flag. Representing the
traffic on a useful track car lineup was an additional necessity.

The plan would work like this:

I would need enough power to run three CW branch grain trains
simultaneously. On Saturday, I brought local service units from Whitefish
and Wenatchee. They would need to be returned Sunday night. I used Kettle
Falls local power that had to be returned Sunday night, P&L power, and the
regular CW power. This all had to be arranged on Friday.

Train 1 on duty 8am. Train 2 on duty 830am. Train 3 on duty 900am. Each
train would come to work at Yardley, register, get their work list and
orders, get the engine and train, and leave the main line onto the CW
branch at Cheney 90 minutes later. The trainmaster was supposed to leave
the list of stations at the Yardley telegraph office for each train to
work and the number of cars to get and leave at each station. Switch lists
and bills (all cars in those times had to be accompanied by the paper
waybill) at each station were in the usual bill box at the station.

The whole operation was going to be tight (Precision Railroading the way I
learned it). The CW line was (is) about 100 miles of dark railroad with no
open train order offices. There was no dispatcher phone and most of the
line could not be reached by radio. There was a register book, yard
limits, and a yard limits branch line to Eleanor at Davenport. The
register was only used by trains as directed by train order. There were
yard limits at Creston and Odair, between Davenport and Coulee City.
Trains had to protect anywhere else on the line. That wasn’t a big problem
in the days when the crew consisted of engineer, fireman, head man, hind
man, flagman, and conductor. Missing two of those people, working at
stations became more difficult and a lot slower. For that reason, the
regular CW local was fixed with a work order:

ENGINE 1 WORKS EXTRA 701AM UNTIL 701PM BETWEEN CHENEY AND COULEE CITY NOT
PROTECTING AGAINST EXTRA TRAINS

When a local was fixed with the same order (usually a work order or a run
extra and return), the order was called a rubber stamp. A rubber stamp has
the unintended consequence of the crew not even reading the order any
more.

The railroad was theirs to work anywhere on the line without the need to
send a couple of guys further out into the boondocks (given that the whole
line is in the boondocks in the first place) to flag. Working the CW was
time consuming enough without that inconvenience. Of course, the track car
lineup was useless. If the gandys needed the track, they had to protect
against the train, even if it was not coming to where they were working.
That affected the MofW budget, not the trainmaster budget, so that was no
problem.

The plan involved one train working west of Davenport, one east of
Davenport, and one working Davenport and the Eleanor branch. The trick was
setting up three trains to work stations on 100 miles of dark railroad
without delaying the work for flagging or running slow watching for a
flagman.

The set of orders needed to make the plan work looked like this:
~
ORDER NO 1
EXTRA 1 WEST AND EXTRA 2 WEST
WILL REGISTER AT CHENEY
ON ORDER NO 1 OF (DATE)

EXTRA 1 WEST AND EXTRA 2 WEST
WILL REGISTER AT DAVENPORT
ON ORDER NO 1 (DATE)

~
ORDER NO 2
EXTRA 1 WEST WAIT AT
CHENEY UNTIL 930AM
REARDON 1001AM

EXTRA 2 WEST WAIT AT
CHENEY UNTIL 1001AM
REARDON 1030AM
~
ORDER NO 3
EXTRA 1 WEST HAS RIGHT OVER EXTRA 2 WEST CHENEY TO DAVENPORT

EXTRA 2 WEST MAY CHECK REGISTER AT CHENEY
AGAINST EXTRA 1 WEST ON ORDER NO 1 OF (DATE)
~
ORDER NO 4
EXTRA 1 EAST WILL REGISTER AT DAVENPORT
ON ORDER NO 4 OF (DATE)
~
ORDER NO 5
EXTRA 1 EAST WAIT AT
DAVENPORT UNTIL 530PM
REARDAN 601PM

EXTRA 2 EAST WAIT AT
DAVENPORT UNTIL 601PM
REARDAN 630PM
~
ORDER NO 6
EXTRA 1 EAST HAS RIGHT OVER EXTRA 2 EAST
DAVENPORT TO CHENEY

EXTRA 2 EAST MAY CHECK REGISTER AT DAVENPORT
AGAINST EXTRA 1 EAST ON ORDER NO 4 OF (DATE)
~
ORDER NO 7
ENG 3 WORKS EXTRA
1030AM UNTIL 801PM
BETWEEN CHENEY AND DAVENPORT
NOT PROTECTING AGAINST EXTRA TRAINS EXCEPT PROTECT AGAINST
EXTRA 1 WEST AND EXTRA 2 WEST AND EXTRA 1 EAST AND EXTRA 2 EAST

WORK EXTRA 3 MAY CHECK REGISTER AT CHENEY
AGAINST EXTRA 1 WEST AND EXTRA 2 WEST ON ORDER NO 1 OF (DATE)
~
ORDER NO 8
ENG 1 WORKS EXTRA
1030AM UNTIL 530PM
BETWEEN DAVENPORT AND COULEE CITY
NOT PROTECTING AGAINST EXTRA TRAINS
~
ORDER NO 9
EXTRA 1 WEST HAS RIGHT OVER EXTRA 2 EAST CHENEY TO DAVENPORT

EXTRA 2 WEST HAS RIGHT OVER EXTRA 1 EAST CHENEY TO DAVENPORT
~
ORDER NO 10
ENG 1 RUN EXTRA CHENEY TO DAVENPORT AND RETURN TO CHENEY

EXTRA 1 EAST MAY CHECK REGISTER AT DAVENPORT
AGAINST EXTRA 2 WEST ON ORDER NO 1 OF (DATE)

ENG 2 RUN EXTRA CHENEY TO DAVENPORT AND RETURN TO CHENEY

EXTRA 2 EAST MAY CHECK REGISTER AT DAVENPORT
AGAINST EXTRA 1 WEST ON ORDER NO 1 OF (DATE)

EXTRA 2 EAST MAY CHECK REGISTER AT DAVENPORT
AGAINST EXTRA 1 EAST ON ORDER NO 4 OF (DATE)
~

There it is. 10 train orders to fix 3 trains on 100 miles of dark single
track with no operators, no dispatcher phone, and no radio. Each can
proceed about its work with very little need to consider the other trains.

It took a bit of time to figure it out and the trick job that handled the
CW was a busy main line job, so I gave the trick man a sketch (like this
example-see below) of how it would work. The trick man would check to be sure I
hadn’t missed anything, then spend a big part of Sunday morning 3rd trick
sticking out orders at Yardley to the three CW branch trains.

Sunday morning, the operator at Yardley called me. The first CW is there
but there is no work message or list for him or the other two. I called
the trainmaster. No answer.

I called again and left an answering machine message. I waited. The second
CW had come to work and my day was collapsing even if nothing else went
wrong. Even though I left a message, I called again…and again.

Finally, I got an answer. It seems that the trainmaster just got back from
church.

The first and second CW are at Yardley ready to go except they don’t know
what they’re supposed to do. Did you leave them a work message or some
lists?

Well, no, I need to do that.

No, you needed to do that…yesterday.

It won’t take long to drive there. I can be there in 30-40 minutes.

I don’t have 30-40 minutes. Read the work to me. I’ll copy and send it to
the operator.

Sure, just a minute.

(the sound of the phone handset being put on the table, the sound of
footsteps and footsteps and rustling and footsteps, and the handset being
picked up)

I don’t have it. I’ll have to call you back.

What do you mean, you don’t have it?

Well….it looks like my wife used it for a shopping list. She just left a
few minutes ago.

She just left with the work for the CWs? When is she going to be back?

Oh, I don’t really know for sure. Maybe an hour or so or maybe more. She
had a lot of chores to do this morning. I can call you when she gets back.

Ok fine, I’m on the phone with the VIP son of a VVVIP, whose wife wrote
the shopping list on the apparently only copy of the work that my three
locals, all of which have been on duty for a while, are supposed to do.
The whole plan was worked out to let them all work independently and be
back in time to mail the units I borrowed back to their assignments.

All three are now in each other’s way, or they would be if they could go
somewhere. They might be able to go somewhere in an hour or so or maybe
not. A quick run through what would happen if all three blast off in an
hour or two or more brought the specter of dogcatches and power not making
it back in time to be mailed back to where it was borrowed from. Looking
at the power sheet, I didn’t see a readily available way to swap power and
mail other units back to where I borrowed from while the three CWs are out
there in each other’s way and dying in the boondocks where communication
was find a phone booth in a town.

No, don’t bother. It’s not going to work out. I’ll see about something else.

OK, well thanks.

I called the Yardley operator and told him to bust the calls on all three,
tell them to put in a timeslip and go home. I just paid 12 guys a day’s
pay each to hang out in the locker room.

I called the Yardley yardmaster.

The three CWs won’t be running, so you can just put the trains together
and out of the way.

I didn’t get anything on them having a train, so I thought they would just
be going with a caboose.

You didn’t have empties lined up to go on them?

No. I wish I did. I’m buried.

OK, I’ll see what I can do.

Now what? I looked at the power sheet. There were no Spokane Division
locals that could spare any power for the week. Between grades and
tonnage, they all needed their regular assignment of power.

I called the Parkwater roundhouse. I asked if he could resurrect two or
three extra units for the CW local out of the shop units, to stay on it
all week. There was a pause while he looked through what he had and what
they needed. He said that he could, at least two, maybe three.

OK, set it up.

It wouldn’t be pretty, but it would have to do. Hopefully the extra power
would allow the regular CW to get the line cleaned up in a week. If not,
there’s always another week to try again.

I called the trainmaster back.

The CW this week will have two extra units or maybe three. See if you can
figure out how to get caught up this week with just the regular CW and the
extra power…and let the yardmaster know what you want in the trains. There
is way more in the yard than the regular job will be able to handle in a
day or two.

OK, Thanks. I’ll do that.

I don’t remember if the CW was cleaned up in the next week. I think I had
already moved to the chief job on the Pacific or Portland Division before
the next weekend.

The attached image shows what a quick scratch work trainsheet for planning
would have looked like.