Southern Pacific #18 – October and November 2020

October finally brought a small group together to do a little work in Independence. A pleasant, yet very hazy, weekend was the backdrop for things. Keeping Inyo Counties social distancing rules in mind, a group of only 7 of us came together to extended the track another 60 or so feet towards the museum. The future end of the track is actually in sight and a couple hundred feet away, in a straight line!

While track work was occurring Dave and Craig got our WW2 era bulldozer going to move a dirt pile in our path. It was quite a site to see that machine pushing dirt around; and yes, rumor has it that our very machine was used in John Wayne’s The fighting Seabees.

With track work well underway #18 was fired up for the first time in 2020 to provide a little training for a couple of folks on the fire up and shut down procedure. We all took it for a trip up and back while generally having a grand time.

Looking ahead, assuming circumstances will allow, our hope is to have a larger gathering after the first of the year with a focus on completing the museum extension track, switch, and performing the annual inspection on #18. Hope to see everyone in the Eastern Sierra’s!

The best little motel anywhere! Rays Den. Owner Linda Ellsworth has been a huge supporter of our group throughout the project.