Since 2020 has been the year of “stuck at home, all day every day”, earlier this summer I finished restoring and installing my Union Switch & Signal H-2 searchlight in my back yard. I still didn’t have a good way to control it, however. When Iowa Scaled Engineering was sending off another set of circuit boards for fabrication, I decided to add a fun project to the order in addition to all the various new product ideas we were working on. What project? A WiFi-enabled searchlight signal controller, of course!
When I cleaned out my garage in January, I found a box of stuff that probably hadn’t been touched since my ex and I bought this place 15 years ago. At the bottom was a small Ziploc bag with eight rolls of color print film in it, shot but never developed. Now given that I stopped shooting film in early 2001, that gives you a minimum possible age for this stuff. Could there be any hope for this stuff? Back when I still shot film, heat was pretty much enemy #1 and I was extremely careful about keeping film cold if it wasn’t in the camera. This stuff, on the other hand, had been in a box in a hot garage for nearly two decades.
Two years and change ago, on April 14, 2018, Union Pacific moved former Rio Grande derrick 029 from the Forney Museum in Denver up to the new Moffat Road Museum in Granby, CO. The crane is a 120-ton steam-powered wrecking derrick built for the Denver & Salt Lake as their 10300 back in April 1913, and is still largely original. It was active on the Rio Grande until the mergers, and was never converted to diesel or electric.
Having not done any railfanning in over a year at that point, I thought it was time to pick up the camera and capture this “last run over home rails” event. The results of that trip are posted here.