Monday, September 26, 2011

Burlington Northern Railroad speeder at work in 1982

Here's a frosty video of Burlington Northern Railroad employee Gary Meek from around 1982. At the time this news report was filmed, Gary was a track inspector for the railroad. His territory spanned some 60 miles from St. Paul to Hastings, Minnesota.

Riding the rails year-round, Gary rode a speeder over his area of responsibility each workday. Inspections were critical in winter because the rail contracted in the extreme cold, which caused the track bolts to snap. He certainly served a critical safety function.

I enjoyed the video because it shows the railroad speeder in action. Note the use of the setout at the beginning of the video. Gary turned the speeder 90 degrees with a pair of lifting bars. The El Dorado Western will build a similar setout in due time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kalamazoo Model 57A speeder

Here's a video of the Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Railroad Speeder No. 4 that I uploaded to YouTube this afternoon.

The Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Speeder No. 4 is one of the most useful artifacts on the El Dorado Western Railroad. Originally purchased by the CP and LT Railroad, which ran from Placerville to Camino, California, today the EDWR uses to shuttle railroad volunteers from the depot in the town of El Dorado to the work site. It frequently pulls a Southern Pacific push car to and from the work site. And since July 2011, the railroad has coupled it to the former Richmond Pacific Railroad Fairmont A-4D gang car on Sunday afternoons.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Work day on the El Dorado Western

Yes, we were working on the railroad this morning. With Bob McCormack's backhoe, the crew is continuing to replace ties on the curve at the depot in the town of El Dorado. While the work is hot and dusty, we enjoy the outcome.

Come out and support your local home grown railroad. El Dorado County's own railroad has extended its operating schedule through December. Trains will operate from the El Dorado depot every Sunday, weather permiting.

Trail rides begin at noon and continue to leave the depot every half hour until 4 p.m. You may ride the rails for a $5 donation (age 9 and above).

DIRECTIONS: Take Pleasant Valley Road (west- or eastbound) to Oriental Street (across from the El Dorado Post Office). Turn onto Oriental Street and follow the signs. There is plenty of free parking at the Community Center. The ticket booth is located at the recreated train depot.

See you there ... highball!