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Steam & Excursion > A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific Style!


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Date: 12/17/12 04:45
A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific Style!
Author: LoggerHogger

I love this photo for all that is included in it.

The year is 1937 and the place is Crescent Mills, CA on the WP Highline. A couple of Railfans were obviously chasing WP baby mallet #209 and her freight train as it headed north towards Bieber out of the Feather River Canyon. They spot thier first chance to get a good shot of the train as they enter the small town of Crescent Mills. With no time to spare, they quickly speed ahead of the train and slam on the brakes at the first wide spot they reach. Their car with the passenger door wide open, was quickly parked and they both bailed out to try and catch this photo. One of the occupants threw his sweater on the hood of the car in the rush to set up for the photo.

The late afternoon sun is setting across the hills above Crescent Mills as the freight makes her way through this small mountian town. To the left of the big mallet sits the much smaller and older 2-8-0 #1 of the Indian Valley RR. This line once stretched from the Englemman Mine in the hills above Crescent Mills to the connection with the WP at Paxton. The Indian Valley RR is in it's last year of operation by the time this photo was made. Baldwin originally built 2-8-0 #1 in 1891 for the D&RGW who later sold her to the IV in 1916 when the IV began service.

As the freight passes them, they both pile back into the car and it is off to the next spot!

Some railfan grab shots turn out better than others. In my book, this one is a winner!

Martin



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/12 06:22 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 12/17/12 05:34
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: ut-1

Interesting, thanks for posting.



Date: 12/17/12 06:13
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: refarkas

This image by itself is great, but it takes on another dimension of reality by your commentary. I could almost see this happening in my mind.
Bob



Date: 12/17/12 06:29
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: YG

Normally the rule is, "don't get the car in the picture."

But in this case, especially with your commentary, it makes a terrific image!

Steve Mitchell
http://www.yardgoatimages.com



Date: 12/17/12 07:09
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: nomosantafe

LoggerHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I love this photo for all that is included in it.
>
> The year is 1937 and the place is Crescent Mills,
> CA on the WP Highline. A couple of Railfans were
> obviously chasing WP baby mallet #209 and her
> freight train as it headed north towards Bieber
> out of the Feather River Canyon. They spot thier
> first chance to get a good shot of the train as
> they enter the small town of Crescent Mills. With
> no time to spare, they quickly speed ahead of the
> train and slam on the brakes at the first wide
> spot they reach. Their car with the passenger
> door wide open, was quickly parked and they both
> bailed out to try and catch this photo. One of
> the occupants threw his sweater on the hood of the
> car in the rush to set up for the photo.
> ......................


>
> As the freight passes them, they both pile back
> into the car and it is off to the next spot!
>
> Some railfan grab shots turn out better than
> others. In my book, this one is a winner!
>
> Martin


Great photo, thanks for sharing.

Been there , done that! (jumped out of the car, car in photo - not the steam engine :->)

BTW - The car looks like a 35 or 36 Chevrolet. For us guys that like old cars, this is a double feature.

Nomosantafe
Fort Worth, Texas
"Where the West Begins"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/12 07:11 by nomosantafe.



Date: 12/17/12 07:16
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: LoggerHogger

Randy,

Thanks for the ID of the car. I guessed the year but had no clue on the make.

While our modes of transportation and photography may change and improve over the years, we still find ourselves in the situation that we have to bail out quickly and hope that luck is on our side.

Martin



Date: 12/17/12 07:28
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: Frisco1522

This kind of stuff is too rare on TO! It's the reason I keep rejoining in hopes of seeing great scenes from the past of steam.
It certainly isn't to look at red nosed diesels.
Still think we need a "Like" button on here.



Date: 12/17/12 08:04
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: zephyrus

That is just an amazing shot. IIRC, the IV would have ended at Crescent Mills at this point. The southern end of the line had been abandoned and the interchange moved.

Thanks for posting!

Z



Date: 12/17/12 08:19
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: TonyJ

Oh how many of us have done the same thing.



Date: 12/17/12 08:44
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: LoggerHogger

Yes Gene, by 1937 the IV terminated right were you see IV #1 parked in the photo. They interchanged with the WP at Crescent Mills. They still had their enginehouse and turntable at Paxton.

Martin



Date: 12/17/12 10:54
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: asheldrake

Yes, a great shot and interesting story you spun Martin. I for one like pictures that include some other "stuff" that gives the picture some context like this one. The open car door and sweater are added frosting on the cake. Arlen



Date: 12/17/12 12:10
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: chakk

And guess on what the paint color of the car would be?



Date: 12/17/12 12:17
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: a737flyer

Really great picture. Given the area that the WP operates in, the large blade on the nose of the locomotive is understandable, but was that large plow common on other WP machines?

Choice of colors in the 1937 Chev was Black, Black, or a lovely Black!



Date: 12/17/12 12:44
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: msharps

Fantastic! I appreciate the story behind the shot which demonstrates that some things never change. The car really anchors the shot.



Date: 12/17/12 13:23
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: Notch16

Chevy offered a few more colors than black in 1936. Teensy photo from an eBay advert.

Based on how many colors here are in a similar tonal range for black-and-white film, I'd say determining the color of the '36 Chevy in the shot is about impossible. (Does look like one color overall, though, and would that make it a 'Standard' rather than a 'Master Deluxe'?) The locomotive, though, is probably black. :-)

They call the Chev's grille a "fencer's mask"...

~ BZ




Date: 12/17/12 14:32
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: tomstp

Martin, you sure have been posting some good ones lately.



Date: 12/18/12 00:59
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: poffcapt

refarkas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This image by itself is great, but it takes on
> another dimension of reality by your commentary. I
> could almost see this happening in my mind.
> Bob


Yah, done it myself, but not for a number of years.

Barry



Date: 12/18/12 04:36
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: hiline

Great shot! As I often look out across my property at the Water tower here in "Bieber", I've wondered and thought what it was like when A WP Baby mallet made it's way down the grade and onto the the valley floor to meet the GN and exchange trains. Bieber had quit a servicing facility that I'll bet turned, watered, and fueled this locomotive in the picture,before returning south. Thank's Martin for another look way back at the WP!!!



Date: 12/18/12 10:17
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: zephyrus

a737flyer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Really great picture. Given the area that the WP
> operates in, the large blade on the nose of the
> locomotive is understandable, but was that large
> plow common on other WP machines?

I'd have to check my books and notes for more details, but those monster plows were commonly seen on the WP "Little Wamps" (2-6-6-2s) and their 2-8-2s. Some of them later migrated to a few of the WP F-units and even some of the GPs. I have seen photos of WP GP7 707 sporting a very similar plow. Keep trying to convince the powers what be in Portola to hook 707 up again with a replica plow, but the operating guys just recoil in horror. :-)

Z



Date: 12/18/12 11:41
Re: A Great 1937 Railfan Grab Shot - Western Pacific St
Author: sagehen

I've taken grab shots at that same location - WP diesels, of course, and Perlman green had taken over by the time I got there.

So interesting, Martin! Are you working on the first volume of many books yet?

Stan



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