Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fairmont A-4D motorcar

The El Dorado Western Railroad recently acquired a Fairmont A-4D gang car from the Richmond Pacific Railroad in Richmond, California. Although we don't know what year the motor car was built, the A-4D series were constructed between 1968 and 1984 by Fairmont Railway Motors in Fairmont, Minnesota.

The crew unloads the motorcar off of the trailer today. The A4 is completely operational and only needs painting and other minor work. The Ford four cylinder engine is rumored to be a Pinto engine.

In a week, the crew has scraped most of the orange paint off of the frame and body. The car will be painted a bright yellow (to match the Trackmobile) once it's ready.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Along the Right of Way with the El Dorado Western Railroad

This is next installment of a periodic column that Keith Berry is writing for the Windfall, the weekly classified newspaper in El Dorado County. This article was written at the end of February.

The El Dorado Western was approved last fall to commence restoration of the rail corridor and track structure. Given the rainy winter weather, we have had about 16 weeks so far toward bringing the railroad back to life.

Recognizing that all labor in this project is by El Dorado County Historical Museum volunteers, we are very pleased to report that approximately 25 volunteers are working during an average of five days per week to achieve over 500 hundred hours of service per month! Different volunteers work different days, as some are in school while others have weekday jobs. All together, were making steady headway against the massive overgrowth of brush and removal of rotted track ties.

Our strength is in having volunteers willing to get out and do heavy work as they feel comfortable, go home and rest, and return the next day to start again. So, you may see a few or a lot of us anywhere along the railroad, and we would ask that anyone walking along the tracks be aware that rail equipment may come along. Of course, we go slowly, we have the headlight on, and we enjoy meeting everyone out enjoying the right of way.

We do thank everyone who has offered to keep an eye on things, and who helps to discourage those who would dump trash, tires, and junk on our community property. We have mowed much of the open space at El Dorado where the regional Railroad Park is planned. Happily, this immediately turned a large weed patch into a great exercise course for the dogs. Of interest is the device which allows the owner to really rare back and throw the ball out there for their canine athlete to race after, subdue, and return. We’ll mow again when the spring grass takes off, let the games continue, the area is there for everyone, two or four legged.

Several have inquired as to the old ties. Unfortunately, the ties were removing are so rotted that they are pretty much goners. We will use some of these ties for other track work; the remainder will be hauled away from the public use area of the corridor. Please note that as you see us burning brush, we never burn railroad ties. Eventually, once we have enough, they will be transferred to treated material recycling. All track materials are the property of El Dorado County.

We enjoy meeting people out there, and having the opportunity to discuss our work efforts and present the overall plan for the El Dorado Western Railroad. We understand that were re-introducing a living railway, and that involves a change from the last 22 years of dormancy. The crew wishes to thank all those offering encouragement and support for getting the train running soon. We especially thank those who are now establishing supportive membership to directly assist in the funding of new track ties and related materials.

Come Out in June for Ice Cream, Stage Coast Rides and Train Rides

Our first community-wide Fund Raiser, "One Tie at a Time," is now scheduled for Sunday, June 26th. If you donate to the purchase of a tie, you will be treated to Ice Cream, a Stage Coach ride, and introductory ride on the railroad. How about that for a way to come out and get acquainted!

Please contact our Blog for stories, photos and reports on our activity.

See you along the track,

Keith Berry