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.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

UP train at Oakland Camp

A westbound Union Pacific train slides past Oakland Feather River Camp at Mile Post 285.3 on the Canyon Subdivision (Western Pacific Feather River Route) on Sunday, May 5, 2013. The consist is made of covered bottom dump hopper cars. Up to a dozen westbound trains pass the camp on a typical day. The Western Pacific carried campers from Oakland to the camp on the California Zephyr beginning in 1924. The old Spanish Creek station was located about one-quarter mile from me (behind the camera). The Union Pacific acquired the WP in 1983.

Progress on the CPLT caboose rebuild

These images show the progress on the standard gauge Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Caboose No. 2. El Dorado County's only home-built and operated caboose, is now being re-constructed at the Freight Station in Shingle Springs.

The caboose is being reconstructed at Shingle Springs. It's El Dorado County's only caboose (to our knowledge), having been built in 1930s from parts of an earlier boxcar caboose. The project is going very well. The car is being built over the track to allow for setting on wheel trucks when ready.
The wood working crew on the El Dorado Western Railroad. These are the type of guy's that worked in the car shop for Mich-Cal Lumber Company at Camino and the California Door Company at Diamond Springs. The kind of guy's who converted a boxcar into a passenger/freight car for the CP&LT around 1900, and then took it apart and built it into a proper caboose that ran until the 1950s.