Continuing with my effort to get through a number of my old photos from the past decade and do something useful with them, I’ve gotten the 2014 Sumpter Valley Railway Photographers’ Weekend shots processed and up. This was the end of the big fall trip in October 2014 that started on the Chelatchie Prairie and then the Oregon Coast Scenic. The SVRy’s Photographers’ Weekend that year was October 18-19, which landed perfectly after the other two charters. So many of us took it in as a bonus for the trip.
In an effort to do literally anything that wasn’t software development or a meeting this evening, I decided to dust off a couple trips I made down to the Texas State Railroad for a pair of photo trains – one in May 2012 while American Heritage Railways (the Durango & Silverton’s parent) was running the line, and another in May 2015 shortly after Iowa Pacific Holdings had taken over and returned some of the equipment to a more historic appearance. I’ve also included a brief history of the route, for anyone curious.
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.
Back in 2017, I had a week to kill between meetings in Birmingham (England) and Paris, so I decided to visit somewhere I’d always wanted to go – the Isle of Man. It’s a tiny self-governing British dependency in the middle of the Irish Sea, about halfway between England and Nothern Ireland. It’s also filled with historic railways.
The new trip report with dozens of photos of all the island’s operating heritage railways is posted over here.
It’s been quite a few years since I’ve actually posted any new photography from any railfan trips. Mostly it’s because I just run out of time. By the time I get home from the trip, there’s just enough time to dump all the images into my big storage server, maybe post one or two to Trainorders, and then crash so I can get up and go to work in the morning. And then life happens and I never get back to editing and publishing.
I’ve decided that’s going to improve, and as my first attempt, I give you the Lerro charter that happened on the Niles Canyon Railway out in California two weeks ago. Yes, that’s right, it’s only taken me two weeks to get this thing edited together and posted, and that includes inventing a workflow with WordPress that fits my new website.
The charter happened on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020, and the two stars of the show were Skookum, the only 2-4-4-2 logging Mallet in North America (and one of two anywhere), and Clover Valley Lumber #4, a 2-6-6-2 logging Mallet. After several trips where Skookum didn’t operate, I figured this was my chance – I’d finally see it do more than roll out of the engine house and back in.
I’ll give you a broad swath of the history of both locomotives and the route itself in the trip report. But if you like articulated steam, you’re going to like this one.