Southern Pacific #18 – May 2020

First off we hope everyone out there is staying safe during these unusual times. Things have obviously been quiet in Independence; the ECM has been closed as well.

Despite the lack of physical work, we have done a little dealing with the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. The NCNGRR has purchased our former Rio Grande stock car #5771. We acquired the stock car in 1997 with the intent of using its frame and hardware as a riding car for use with #18. Since we now have 2 original SP boxcars that are being restored for service we decided to let the stock car go. The NCNGRR intends to use the bones of the car to reconstruct a NCNG flatcar, #185. The flatcar once carried a tank #919. That original tank has recently been found and subsequently acquired by their museum.

In addition to the stock car, the NCNGRR will supply the CCR with a #8 – 90lb frog and switch points that will help tremendously with achieving the proper angle on our west switch for the museum extension track. Move of the car to Grass Valley will likely occur later this year. We at the CCR always enjoy working with other groups and being able to help each other preserve our respective heritages.

With these slow work times we will start a new series for the next few months called “Remember When”. This will feature a photo of some aspect of the #18 restoration and a fun story associated with it. So without further adieu…….

Forest Newman looks over the grinder.

The contraption that Forest Newman is looking at in the photo was once a radial arm saw. Marty Westland designed the device to grind the valve surface on the engineer side. Marty constructed it at his shop in Ely, Nevada. When Dave and Forest went to Ely to pick it up, Marty drew out how to set it up on a napkin at a restaurant, Marty then proceeded to keep the napkin diagram. Back in Independence – without the napkin – the installation seemingly went well until Marty arrived a day later – with the napkin – and informed us it was installed upside down. Once turned right side up it worked amazingly well. Thanks Marty!

Stay safe out there and check back next month!

Southern Pacific #18 – March and April 2020

March started with what turned out to be an extremely productive weekend. We had awesome weather until an approaching storm made its way over the Sierras on Sunday and sent us all home.

Focus was on clearing the right of way to what will ultimately be the end of the track at the museum picnic grounds. Numerous wagons and artifacts were moved to open up the right of way. In addition, the entire yard had some long overdue house keeping take place. Seven large trailer loads of scrap and debris were hauled off to the dump; it looks like a new yard!

In addition to all the clearing and cleaning we spiked down about 75 feet of rail. The one thing that did not get completed was the switch to the new main line. A new tighter frog will be required to complete it.

Thanks to everyone who helped and we look forward to next time!