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Steam & Excursion > CK&S - An All Geared Engine Shortline With Snow Plows!


Date: 12/06/12 19:25
CK&S - An All Geared Engine Shortline With Snow Plows!
Author: LoggerHogger

In 1929 the timber south of Condon, Oregon was finally tapped. The first plan was to put a sawmill in the town of Condon as it was already on the end of of the UP Condon Branch running South off the UP on the Columbia Gorge along the Columbia River in Oregon State.

However, the Condon Town Council feared the sawmill in town would create a "bad moral environment" for the town and refused to let the mill be built there.

The owners of the timber lands decided to build the mill 24 miles to the south and closer to the timber itself. At this point they would build a mill and company town known as Kinzua. They also knew this would require the building of their own common carrier shortline railroad to connect the mill with the UP at Condon.

Thus was born the Condon Kinzua & Southern Ry Company.

This shortline boasted a 2-truck Shay as it's only permanent motive power beginning in 1929. The first photo shows Shay #1 at Kinzua in 1947. Photo by Bob Hanft.

She was supplemented and then replaced with a Oregon's only West Coast Special Heisler in 1936 in the form of Kinzua Pine Mills #102. That engine is shown in the next post.

I have included a photo of Kinzua Pine Mills Shay #3 since she would, on occasion, pinch hit on the CK&S for #1 when she was down for repairs. Otherwise #3 was on the log haul along with Heisler #102 on the 30+ miles of logging railroad that left the mill at Kinzua and went into the timber. The logging engines were lettered for the parent company to the CK&S, Kinzua Pine Mills.

Please note that both Shay #1 and #3 are fitted with snowplows! Below I have also posted a photo of CK&S Heisler #102 - she ALSO sports a snowplow! This is somewhat rare for geared engines but was needed for the snows that could hit this high desert Eastern Oregon line.

Also on the roster was CK&S Motor #5. This motor was built originally for the Willimina & Grand Rhonde Ry in Oregon's Willamette Valley. She then went to the CK&S to serve as the passenger engine for that line. She is now back in Willamina on display.

Martin



Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/12 06:02 by LoggerHogger.








Date: 12/06/12 19:26
Re: CK&S - An All Geared Shortline & Shays With Snow Pl
Author: LoggerHogger

Here we see the second steam engine to serve the Condon, Kinzua & Southern Ry in Oregon's Eastern High Desert.

#102 was built by Heisler in 1929 at the end of the company's major sales. She was a West Coast Special. This meant she was superheated with piston valves and had all the modern features needed to compete with Lima's Pacific Coast Shay.

Heisler built her for "stock" (no pre-buyer) and shipped her to their West Coast Sales agent, The Whitney Engineering Co. of Tacoma, WA. She sat their till 1935 and Heisler made Whitney buy her themselves. Then in 1936, Whitney was able to sell this new engine to Kinzua Pine Mills at Kinzua, OR.

At Kinzua the big 90-ton Heisler worked both the logging spurs and as the shortline engine for the CK&S RR until the arrival in 1951 of a 70-ton GE diesel. After that, #102 was used once a month when the diesel was down for inspection and when the diesel was in for repairs.

We now run #102 as West Fork Logging #91 at Mineral, WA on the Mount Rainier Scenic RR.

Events started to catch up with the railroad in the mid-1970's. The recession of the period forced Kinzua Corporation- corporate successor to Kinzua Pine Mills- to close the Kinzua mill for a six week period at one point. Track conditions on the railroad were getting terrible, with almost the entire line restricted to 10 mile per hour operation or less. Worse yet, the light rail and sharp curves found on the CK&S proved unable to handle the ever increasing size and weight of railcars coming into use at the time. Trains continued to run from Kinzua to Condon five days a week, with the UP running a local down to Condon to effect interchange between the two roads on a three day per week schedule. UP closed their depot in Condon in November 1975, partially due to the significant drop in carloadings coming off of the CK&S.

The end of the line came in late 1976 after the railroad was cited for fifty eight violations of Federal track standards, with a subsequent order from the Oregon Public Utilities Commission to perform major track upgrades. The remaining life of the Kinzua mill and the revenue potential of the railroad did not justify the costs of performing the required work. On 26 October 1976 Kinzua Corporation issued a notice to all remaining employees on the Condon Kinzua & Southern that rail operations would be terminated as soon as possible. The last revenue train over the line, consisting of three loads of woodchips and four boxcars loaded with lumber, made the trip to Condon on 19 November 1976, and the railroad was done for.

Operations of the Kinzua mill closed for good shortly after the last train ran, with all operations of the company shifted to the mill in Heppner. The Interstate Commerce Commission granted permission to abandon the Condon, Kinzua & Southern on 14 October 1977, and the rails were removed shortly afterwards. Kinzua became a virtual ghost town by the following year, and by 1979 all buildings in the old town had been either demolished or were destroyed in an arson-caused fire. Following the removal of all buildings the Kinzua Corporation planted 40,000 Ponderosa Pine seedlings in the old townsite. Today little is left at the old site of Kinzua to show the activities that went on there for a half century.


Martin



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/12 19:49 by LoggerHogger.








Date: 12/06/12 20:23
Re: CK&S - An All Geared Shortline & Shays With Snow Pl
Author: lynnpowell

I visited Kinzua a couple years before the CK&S shut down to photograph the GE 70-tonner. Wow, that road into Kinzua was something else!!! One thing of interest in Kinzua was a watertank along the tracks by the mill. It consisted of what appeared to be the tender from a 3-truck Shay mounted on top of several of pine pilings! Would this tender be from #3, or from another locomotive?



Date: 12/06/12 23:27
Re: CK&S - An All Geared Shortline & Shays With Snow Pl
Author: up833

Even Condon is a long way to anyplace.
Roger B



Date: 12/07/12 06:36
Re: CK&S - An All Geared Shortline & Shays With Snow Pl
Author: fehorse1

The 100-ton boxcar really was the straw that broke the camels back. Shortlines such ass this laid with 56-60 # rail really didn't have a chance. The V&S in the western part of the state was in the "same boat" ! And it really made me wonder at the time - did the Oregon Public Utilities Commission really understand the timber industry??



Date: 12/08/12 17:55
Re: CK&S - An All Geared Engine Shortline With Snow Pl
Author: nomosantafe

LoggerHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Also on the roster was CK&S Motor #5. This motor
> was built originally for the Willimina & Grand
> Rhonde Ry in Oregon's Willamette Valley. She then
> went to the CK&S to serve as the passenger engine
> for that line. She is no
>
> Martin


Is this the same car?

I photographed it in Willamina, OR 6/28/2012

Nomosantafe
Fort Worth, Texas
"Where the West Begins"








Date: 12/08/12 19:12
Re: CK&S - An All Geared Engine Shortline With Snow Pl
Author: LoggerHogger

Randy,

Yes that is the same car. I had not seen it since the Willamina folks fixed it up. I did not know they added all the windows. That may be correct for it however.

Martin



Date: 12/08/12 21:30
Re: CK&S - An All Geared Engine Shortline With Snow Pl
Author: lwilton

Martin, your original post seems to stop in the middle of a sentence when you were talking about this car.



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