Wednesday, June 04, 2014

2014 El Dorado Western Railroad timetable

Here's the 2014 spring, summer and fall timetable for train rides offered on the El Dorado Western Railroad. The railway is completely operated with volunteer labor, men and women who give their time as a public service to citizens and visitors to El Dorado County. The line runs on the historic Southern Pacific Placerville Branch between Shingle Springs and Diamond Springs. We'll see you on the train!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The CPLT caboose is almost ready

The Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe caboose is really shaping up. All the iron work is going onto the body. The steps are major achievement by our woodworkers. Roof catwalks, interior ladder, end wall grab irons and end deck handrails are next. 

Note ladder guards in place. We need an  additional retainer to pull guard in tight. The lettering will be white. 

Now we're ready to build a complete train on the track, couple it to a steam locomotive and run east to El Dorado, just 9 miles from this location at Shingle Springs.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Progress on the CPLT caboose

The Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Railroad caboose project team has been very busy, making use of the dry fall months. The project is in the final completion phase, leading to raising the car body up on the wheel trucks. The major projects have included the installation of roof flashing, installation of the metal roof and installing the cupola windows and wall siding.

A caboose does not make a good boat, the cupola is mostly windows and the cupola wall is single sided. This lends itself to being a challenge to weather seal around the base of the cupola and windows. A quality roofing job was completed by Mott Roofing, with great detail made to flashing the cupola walls to main roof, and insuring a good drip edge around the car body.

The metal roofing is an exact match to the original metal roofing. Completing the roofing ahead of the rains was quite a relief. Other projects have included finishing the freight door hardware, and weather stripping the freight doors using re-purposed cloth fire hose. New drip guards were also fabricated to prevent water dripping down behind the freight doors.

Other metal work included making up new exterior wall retaining straps, roof catwalk supports, freight door latches, and cupola window retaining hooks. All existing metalwork was carefully stripped, repaired, and painted leading to installation. Current work is underway to install new wood/steel bolsters in the wheel trucks, finish installation of exterior grab irons, and develop a lifting plan to raise the car body.

All wood team, metal team, support team, and external professionals are thanked for their untiring contribution to bring El Dorado County's only in county built and operated caboose back to operational status.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Winter timetable for the El Dorado Western Railroad

The railroad offers great family fun for all ages. Please turn out and support the "oldest railroad line west of the Mississippi River" and ride a piece of history. Effective November 3, 2013 to March 2, 2014, the El Dorado Western Railroad will operate on its winter timetable. We'll see you on the train!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

CPLT caboose ready for painting

Here's a note from Keith Berry:

The Camino, Placerville, and Lake Tahoe caboose will be primed and painted over the next two weeks. The exterior will be a dark green, as determined form original paint chips. Once painted, the grab irons will be bolted onto the car. The cupola and freight doors remain to be completed. The wheel trucks are a current focus to insure they are ready when the car body is completed.

All volunteers working on El Dorado County's only home built-home and operated caboose are to be thanked for their efforts, time and determination to recreate this piece of local history.

As a side note, we have recently received a photograph showing the caboose at Camino after being significantly damaged from collision with an unknown source. Thanks to this event, the caboose was not sold to another railroad once the CPLT began using a diesel locomotive, which led to the caboose being stripped of its trucks, couplers and air brake equipment.

Thankfully, it was sold to a private party in Camino, then to another private party in Shingle Springs for a kids playhouse. The collision saved the caboose and (indirectly) led to it's donation to the museum, and now it's recreation on the El Dorado Western Railroad. Another photograph shows a much bolder white lettering on the sides and above the entry doors on each end.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Taking a day off

News from the Feather River Division of the El Dorado Western Railroad:

The downside of working six twelve-hour days each week is you get little time to yourself. We try to get away for dinner one or two evenings each week. Since our Sunday is day off, we assemble with the local saints for worship, then drive off to the former logging town of Greyeagle for lunch and time on the Internet. Sunday's drive was unique.

My wife and I work along the former Western Pacific Railroad Feather River Route. The line's current owner, the massive Union Pacific Railroad, has been running a lot of freight traffic over the rail line while the Donner Route has been closed. The railroaders among the staff at Oakland Camp (the housekeeping supervisor and myself) have enjoyed watching (and listening when we're busy) to trains each hour.

Catching three trains on a day off was exciting. I'll let the photographs tell the story.

As we drove east toward Blairsden and Greyeagle, an eastbound UP high-railer caught my attention at the Spring Garden siding. Thinking I could snap a photo as it crossed the bridge at Blairsden, we sped east on Highway 70. Instead of the track inspection vehicle, this local freight train appeared. My guess is that the high-railer took the siding.
The local took the hole (or siding) once he crossed the bridge. The waiting westbound intermodal freight was the superior train. As soon as the local cleared the main, the westbound gave two long blasts on the horn and proceeded west toward Keddie and the Feather River.
I took this photo as the westbound freight passed over the bridge at Blairsden.
Later in the day, Debbie and I saw this westbound coal drag as we returned to Quincy and the camp. With sufficient time to drive to the Williams Loop, we drove west. At the Loop, I photographed the train as it wound around under itself. Here the lead locomotive is ready to exit the loop and continue its westbound journey toward the canyon.