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    • October 10, 2019 9:28 PM EDT
      • Maryland, USA
         
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      Western Pacific RR Museum

      I visited the WPRR museum in Portola, CA today. Very few people there, and it was a bit chilly and windy. But no prob; and they had power, because they get it from Nevada. 

       

      They have a big collection, almost all outdoors. A lot from the WP (which got folded into the UP in the 80's), but since they have space, numerous donated pieces from other RR's. It's a long yard, maybe 12 tracks wide, and quite filled with equipment. I'll show some of my fave's, roughly in the order I took the pics.

       

       A critter:

       

       

      I thought this sign was interesting, as I walked into the museum ticket office:

       

       

      Love this, I started a similar model for the V&T, but have been neglecting it:

       

       

      Their only steam loco is this WP one, housed in their small barn.

       

       

      Lots of diesels and cabeese, many of which were open.

       

       

      When in Truckee, I was bummed to see that the rotary there had been moved. Well, here's where they moved it to! It's SP MW 8221. The cab doors were locked, but it was great walking around her.

       

       

      A Western Scraper tilt-dump hopper (similar mechanism as the Bachmann 4-wheel "ore cars").

       

       

      A UP wedge plow made from a tender:

       

       

      The WP was known for its "California Zephyr," and this is one of several of those cars which ran on "The Feather River Route."

       

       

      Lots of donated equipment...

       

       

      A big UP crane and tender car. A plaque on the crane says it was originally steam driven, later converted to diesel.

       

       

      A tiny self-propelled yard crane:

       

       

      After wandering around the yard I went back to the ticket office / gift shop, and just out of curiosity asked about the train-driving program that first sign talked about. A man standing there says he was doing it that day; costs $250 for an hour. He was doing it with his daughter and her son. And then he offered to take me with them, since it was good for a party of 5. I said sure!  Here's the loco they were running that day, and it's one of 3 that are still certified to go out on the real track. This is the one that fetched that big rotary from Truckee not too long ago.

       

       

      Anyway, the gentleman (Lester) didn't want to drive the loco, just had his daughter do it. Under the instruction of a veteran engineer (Charley -- ask for him if you go here), you get 5 out-and-backs on a 1 mile of track. On lap 4, they all said I should do it. So I drove a real loco for 2 miles today! Brake, reverser, throttle, bell, whistle, all that. Proper bell / whistle / braking over the one grade crossing; reversing; the whole nine yards. I wasn't as good as the daughter, she took to it immediately. But what a hoot! 

       

       

      After all that (an hour's cab ride all told), I followed the engineer as he powered the loco down and checked levels & etc. He asked if I wanted to see the cab of the rotary, and you bet! So he unlocked it and let me climb up and prowl around in there for a good fifteen minutes while he went to do something else.

       

       

      When Charley came back, he handed me a certificate saying I'd been checked out on that EMD, haha! 

       

      So a great day all round. This weekend I'll get a V&T hat at the depot (I'm in Carson now), and send it to Lester -- the gentleman who paid the the loco running lessons. He didn't want to take payment from me, but he saw my hat and said it would sure be nice to have one of those. So I'll get that out to good ol' Lester soon.

       

      ===>Cliffy

       

      This post was edited by Cliff Jennings at October 28, 2019 12:02 PM EDT
    • October 10, 2019 9:42 PM EDT
      • Southern Oregon
         
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      Good for you Cliff!!!

      Portola is a great place, always loved their hands on approach to being a museum.

      When we used to do the "Railroad Days" in Dunsmuire, CA, Portola would always bring over a large amount of their equipment

      to display and play.

    • October 10, 2019 10:25 PM EDT
      • Pleasanton, CA
         
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      Love it!

       

       

      And this!

       

       

      Very fun!

       

    • October 11, 2019 9:14 AM EDT
      • Maryland
         
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      Very cool Cliff!  What a great day

       

      Oddly enough, I saw an identical snow plow made from a round tender sitting with a steam engine in a park in Laramie, WY when I was there in September.  Interesting

       

      Jerry

    • October 11, 2019 10:08 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      You look right at home..................... 

       

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 11, 2019 11:18 AM EDT
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         Are you Union yet?

       

        

       

       

      ____________________________________

    • October 11, 2019 2:15 PM EDT
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Cliff, very, very cool!

       

      The WP museum in Portola is near the top of my to-do list. I want to ride that SP "Kodachrome" GP9 like you did and see the WP Zephyr. I use to watch that Zephyr passenger train go right by my Grandmother's house in Sacramento when I was a kid in the 60's. And that SP bay window caboose brings back a lot of memories too! I assume you've already been to the Sacramento Railroad museum - the highlight there is the SP Cab Forward locomotive.

       

      I live near the Niles Canyon Railway in the Bay Area and they have some vintage engines and rolling stock too, including an SP GP9 and SD9, an SP Krauss Maffei ML4000, and a WP F-7 and GP7 engine. Worth the trip to see their collection and ride the train(s) if you have time.

       

      https://www.ncry.org/

       

       

       

       

    • October 11, 2019 4:10 PM EDT
      • Maryland, USA
         
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      Thanks for all the nice comments guys!

       

      You bet, Michael, CSRM is amazing, I was just there in March. Their Big Boy is awesome, but I have to say my faves are their V&T pieces, i think Inyo, Genoa, Bowker and an early Kimball passenger car. I'll have to check out NCRY, thanks.

       

       

      Rick, I think they still bring equipment to Truckee for RR Days there, and one or two other towns, but I can't recall which ones were mentioned. I guess WPRM is rare in that they have road-certified locos that can go out to other communities and retrieve donated equipment.

       

      I'll have to stop by NSRM (Nevada State Railroad Museum) and check out their posing of 2 locos for the Promontory sesquicentennial. I think Inyo and Dayton? Anyway, over the years, these have been routinely used for recreations of that event in numerous places, since the original Jupiter and UP 119 were scrapped early on. Also, coach 17 is the only surviving piece of rr equipment from the original event, and it's just starting to be restored at NSRM.  

       

      The V&T conference is going great, and my mini lecture on Derrick 50 last night is over and done with. The model survived the trip and is set up in our "vendor room." So it's all downhill from here, and I'm happily attending lectures and blowing money on books, woo hoo! 

       

      This post was edited by Cliff Jennings at October 15, 2019 11:11 AM EDT
    • October 23, 2019 9:44 PM EDT

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      Awesome!!  

       

      The Nevada Northern RR museum in Ely, NV has a "Be the Engineer" program too. You can operate either steam or diesel, or both. 

       

      "...CSRM is amazing, I was just there in March. Their Big Boy is awesome..."

       

      They have a Big Boy? 

       

       

    • October 23, 2019 11:18 PM EDT
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Ray, I think Cliff meant the Southern Pacific AC-12 cab-forward at the Sacramento Railroad Museum. 

    • October 24, 2019 12:21 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Michael Kirrene said:

      Ray, I think Cliff meant the Southern Pacific AC-12 cab-forward at the Sacramento Railroad Museum. 

      Or maybe:

      Image result for bob's big boy logo

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • October 24, 2019 5:30 PM EDT
      • Maryland, USA
         
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      You are all correct! California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) at Sacramento. 

    • October 28, 2019 12:06 PM EDT
      • Becker, Minnesota
         
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      Way to cool Cliff! Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

      I just watched a YouTube video of a guy running the same engine there. I added it to my railroad bucket list. 

      ____________________________________

      - Eric

       

      Greater Minnesota Railroad (GMRR)

      "An Adventure in Garden Railroading"

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