Wade Stevenson was a well known Milwaukee employee and photographer who
lived and worked in Othello. He rode and photographed CW passenger trains
315 & 316 which made a daily except Sunday round trip between Spokane and
Coulee City. This was back in the day when the hog law was 16 hours.
Here is the schedule (departure times) of these trains, taken from NP
Idaho Division Time Table 76 dated 11/16/1952:
315 Station 316
8:55am Spokane 5:20pm
9:29 Cheney 4:43
9:41 Four Lakes 4:29
9:50 Medical Lake 4:21
9:57 Deep Creek 4:12
10:16 Reardan 3:55
10:43 Davenport 3:30
11:18 Creston 2:50
11:38 Wilbur 2:31
12:08 Almira 2:07
12:24 Hartline 1:52
12:50 Coulee City 1:30pm
This train was discontinued in March, 1954. Normal consist was a self
propelled motorcar number B-18 (not an RDC) that consisted of an RPO
section, a baggage and Railway Express section and a small passenger
Class Q-6 Pacific (4-6-2) 2256 was kept in reserve at Parkwater and would
substitute with a 2-car conventional train if the B-18 was not available.
2256 was also substitute power for P&L passenger trains 311 & 314, as well
as mainline locals (Spokane-Paradise MT) 306 and 305.
When it ran on the P&L you can bet that I was on hand at Pullman for
#314's departure time of 5:38pm. The Pullman stop also included a water
stop and a coal stop.
The class Q-6 was the final group of Pacifics that NP rostered. Initially
they were assigned to the important mainline passenger trains, then
downgraded to secondary and branch line service as newer Northerns (4-8-4)
and diesels arrived. 2256 was my favorite and I even managed a cab ride
one night from Pullman to Palouse on train 314.
Many of the Q-6 engines, including 2256, were later equipped with
Worthington type SA feedwater heaters. There were 20 in the group, built
by Alco in 1923. They were very handsome locomotives. Ron Nixon made the
comment that, at one time or another, 2256 handled every passenger train
that the NP had!
I am grateful for Wade Stevenson for taking these pictures, and for the
MRHA (Milwaukee Road Historical Association) and the NPRHA (Northern
Pacific Railroad Historical Association) for preserving them and making