Northern Nevada Railroad,Ely, Nevada

Club member Dan Fessler and his friend Akin Orhun recently returned from a trip to Sheridan, Montana. Akin sent me this e-mail, “Dan and I took HWY 50 on the way back to California. This highway is known as the loneliest road in US.  We spent a night in Ely, Nevada in the middle of the state.  It has operating copper mine.  The railroad [the Northern Nevada Railroad] operated by mining interests has been turned over to volunteers.  They have two steam engines, a diesel/electric engine and a few others in various states.  Their machine shop and storage facilities were huge………I am sending a few pictures I took.”

The pictures are great – see below:

IMG_1078">upright engine">IMG_1090 upright">IMG_1089IMG_1066Thanks Akin.

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Picture of Three Shay Locomotives under Steam

I have no idea where this photograph was taken. I received an e-mail with the link.

There aren’t very many Shay locomotives left running in the world and three in one place all under steam is, indeed, something to behold. A great pic.

Three Shay locomotives

Three Shay locomotives

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Mendocino, a book by Dorothy Bear and Beth Stebbins published in 1973

Cover

Cover

Club member Earl Craighill brought this book to our weekly Wednesday brekkers meeting a couple of weeks ago. As the club’s historian I am always interested in books, articles, pictures etc. which amplify what we already know of the railroad and logging operations along the Mendocino Coast. Earl, generous soul that he is, soon granted me the opportunity to take it home and have a long butchers.

The book I found out is mainly about the families who first came to Mendocino and their homes – many of which still stand. Their were some new items about which I heretofore had no knowledge. One item was details of the Azorian fishermen who lived in Mendocino:

The Portugese of Mendocino

The Portuguese of Mendocino

When I first came to the Mendocino Coast in the early 1990′s I was told that you could identify the houses of the Azorian fishermen by the abalone shells decorating their houses.

The next interesting bit of history to catch my eye was this picture of the first mill in Mendocino which was perched at the end of the point:

First Mill on the PointIf you look closely at the photo you can see that the finished lumber is being loaded via a chute onto a lighter and not onto a schooner. The photo below shows the Point a little later and shows three chutes. Perched at the end of the first chute is the clapper man – his job was to stop the pieces of lumber sent down the chute to allow them to be passed onto the lighter.

Loading by chute to a lighter

Loading by chute to a lighter

Interesting snippets what! Thanks Earl for the lend.

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Fantasy Switchback Railroad

For the past three days I have been working on the design for a complex layout for a friend. Much, much frustration trying to get everything “in”. To relieve my inability to get it “all right” I began fantasizing about what sort of model railroad I might put/create along a twenty four foot wall in my train room. I dug into one of many boxes where I store layout ideas and came across the pic below which  initially baffled me as to why I had kept it. Then I remembered why.

One of the many layouts I want to create is an HOe layout. HOe uses HO scale engines and rolling stock and runs them on N scale (9mm) track. The “e” means metre gauge. Most of what little is produced in HOe are European models and the prototypes run on one metre wide (39 inches approx) track. The metre gauge railroads often run through mountainous terrain and need to get over ridges and up mountains so switchbacks abound.

Have you got it yet? How about if I design/build an HOe railroad that climbs eight feet along the twenty four foot wall? Look at the pic and think railroad instead of road.

How about "Switchback Hell" for the name of the railroad?

How about “Switchback Hell” for the name of the railroad?

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …………..

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1865, 1873, 1876, 1889, 1897,1910, 1994 and 2007 Maps of Noyo and old pictures of Noyo

Thanks to club member and muqquomp of Noyo harbour, Dusty Dillion we have some very interesting maps of Noyo. First is the 1865 map:

1865 map of mouth of the Noyo River

1865 map of mouth of the Noyo River

At the top of the 1865 map you can see the location of the Richardson mill -built by George Hegenmeyer.

Next is the 1873 map:

1873 Map of NOYO harbour showing site of mIL

1873 Map of Noyo harbour showing site of mIl

In the 1873 map you can see that the mill has moved downriver onto the flats on the north side.

The 1876 map:

1876 Map of Noyo Harbour showing land ownership

1876 Map of Noyo Harbour showing land ownership

This map does not show the mill but does show the road and the bridge over the Noyo for the first time.

The 1889 map shows the land has bee sub-divided along the coast road:

1889 Map of Noyo River showing land ownersip

1889 Map of Noyo River showing land ownership

The 1897 map is VERY interesting. Did you know that Fort Bragg had a race track? I sure didn’t. I don’t know if the track was for cars or horses. As there was car racing at Pine Grove just south of Noyo I’m guessing it was cars. The second really interesting piece of info from the map are the rail lines and chute in the upper left hand corner.

1897 Map of Noyo River showing location of race track and rail lines leading to wire loading place

1897 Map of Noyo River showing location of race track and rail lines leading to wire loading place

This picture that Dusty recently gave us shows the chute at work:

Noyo Harbour

Noyo Harbour

This pic, also from Dusty shows spectators watching the chute at work.

Watching the chute at work

Watching the chute at work

The 1910 map adds a few details to the 1897 map.

1910 Mao of Noyo River showing County Road

1910 Mao of Noyo River showing County Road

Lastly we have an aerial photo map showing how things have changes since “back then”.

1994 Aerial View of Noyo Basin

1994 Aerial View of Noyo Basin

Last, but not least is a street amp of the area around Noyo harbour dated 2007 which shows the growth in streets but interestingly the original coast road remians.

 

2007 Street Map of area around Noyo Basin

2007 Street Map of area around Noyo Basin

Thanks Dusty – your contribution and knowledge is invaluable.

 

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Night Time Run On the Sonora Pacific N.G. RR.

Club member Frank Smith lives way south of us Fort Braggers in Northern California. Frank lives near San Luis Obispo. Frank’s friend, John LaBarba, has just completed his garden layout – The Sonora Pacific N.G. RR. In John’s e-mail to Frank he said, “Finally got most of the tweaks out of the track. My Consolidation [loco] is on the bench, so the Shay had to cover for active service. Everything needs weathering, and I have to make up some crews for the loco’s & rolling stock. But after close to three years, it nice to see a train finally run on the pike.”

Well John has produced something I have never seen before, night time picks of a G-scale layout. Check ‘em out:

DSCN1885

DSCN1875

DSCN1864

DSCN1860

DSCN1853

DSCN1849

DSCN1815

DSCN1809Thanks Frank. Great pics John.

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Roots of Motive Power (in Willits, California) Annual Open Day

Club members Dan Fessler and Mike Aplet and I made a pilgrimage to Willits a week or so ago to attend the annual open day at Roots of Motive Power. Roots is a museum of working and non-working steam powered machines that worked in the logging operations when steam was king. Dan took his super duper hypersonic camera so I left my Kodak Brownie camera in my pocket! So, credit to Dan for the pics below:

Roots of Motive Power Sign

Roots of Motive Power Sign

Roots has a one mile circle of standard gauge track on which their Mason County Logging Co. 2-6-2 was happily taking visitors for rides under the VERY hot sun (90 plus).

#7 at work

#7 at work

Head on shot of #7

Head on shot of #7

We found that Roots had a new arrival – a Shay that belonged to the Robert Dollar Logging operations.

Robert Dollat Shay

Robert Dollar Shay

Patent sign on the Robert Dollar Shay

Patent sign on the Robert Dollar Shay

Dan’s camera managed to withstand the shock of taking a photo of me ……..

Me standing beside a ginormous steam roller

Me standing beside a ginormous steam roller

The hit of the show for me were these Sterling logging trucks which had been wonderfully restored.

Sterling logging trucks

Sterling logging trucks

There were three old CWR (California Western Railroad) pieces of equipment languishing at Roots. Sadly, they were all in sad disrepair.

CWR 2-6-2 #14

CWR 2-6-2 #14

Inside of the old CWR Caboose

Inside of the old CWR Caboose

Nearly hidden at the back of the lot was CWR Diesel #53

Nearly hidden at the back of the lot was CWR Diesel #53

Ravel, one of our layouts most frequent and knowledgeable visitors was there with his mum and Dan snapped Ravel in front of the Heisler that was having difficulties.

Ravel beside the Heisler

Ravel beside the Heisler

Great visit.

Posted in Mendocino Coast, CA , Local History, Steam ups, Exhibitions | 2 Comments

R H & D R loco lent to R & E – which translated means that the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway lent a locomotive to the Ravebglass and Eskdale Railway

When we got back to Ravenglass we dived into the gift shop where my first acquisition was a Ravenglass and Eskdale DVD. Then I saw this amazing pottery train thingy:

9 inch pottery train model

9 inch pottery train model

Back view

Back view

I sneaked a peak at the bottom to see the price and promptly, very carefully, put it down. 200 pounds or $375. This guy caught my eye:

Angus cow

Angus cow

My wife’s, “And what are you going to do with that?” caused me to, reluctantly, relinquish him.

So we went back to the car and started up ready to troll off to Manchester to see relatives there and have chips and fish – hake being the choice of fish. Just as we were about to pull out a gigantic lorry pulled into the parking lot with a steam engine loaded on the back.

Lorry with steam engine on board

Lorry with steam engine on board

How many times in my life was I going to see a steam engine being unloaded from a lorry?  So, after a few minutes of cajoling, bribing and pleading wife Sarah agreed that I could watch them unload.

The first item off of the lorry was a boiler which had just been re-tubed. The new boiler was to be fitted into the engine that had just pulled us from Dalegarth. This meant that the Ravenglass and Eskdale would be down to a bare bones number of locos for daily operation and the busy season started in a week or so. Hence the decision to borrow a loco from the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.

Slowly, carefully up

Slowly, carefully up

Ever so gently down and off to the engine house

Ever so gently down and off to the engine house

Next off was the tender …….

Tender being wiggled onto the tracks

Tender being wiggled onto the tracks

Next came the really tricky part. The loco weighed a tad over five tons and the crane was rated for five tons when the boom was fully extended. So, lifting her up was ok …..

Lifting her up

Lifting her up

Swung up off the lorry and over the fence

Swung up off the lorry and over the fence

We were collectively holding our breath whilst watching the boom at this point.

With the boom fully extended up over the wall and the path beside the rails she is gently placed on the track

With the boom fully extended up over the wall and the path beside the rails she is gently placed on the track

The lorry driver and everyone about (except my wife who sat oblivious knitting in the car) uttered a VERY audible sigh of relief when the thumbs up sign came from the track crew that it was mission accomplished.

I got back in the car and wife Sarah said, “What was so special about that?”

Sometimes it is better to remain silent.

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