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Steam & Excursion > A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo!


Date: 01/10/17 02:50
A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo!
Author: LoggerHogger

One of the favorite little railroads for those of us in the West was the short 5.5 mile long Rogue River Valley Railroad that ran between Jacksonville, Oregon and nearby Medford from 1891 to 1935.  This quaint little railroad was made famous by the small motive power they used over the flat terrain connecting these 2 Southern Oregon towns and the colorful family that owned and operated the diminutive operation.

A favorite story of the little line involves it's long time owner Mr. Barnum:

During a trip back east, Mr. Barnum, one of the many owners of the RRVRR, asked the Pennsylvania Railroad for a pass, as was customary during the day between railroad officials. The PRR, after investigating the RRVRR and finding it to be only 5 miles long, asserted that the owner of such a small railroad was not justified in asking for a pass from one that had 14,000 miles of tracks. Mr. Barnum replied, "Your railroad may be a lot longer, but ours is just as wide." And with that, Mr. Barnum got his pass.

The little line even spawned a song describing what it was like to ride the shortest of shortlines:

“In dark ages since many years have passed,
Six miles an hour was considered pretty fast;
But now in nineteen hundred nine
That’s some speed on Barnum’s line!
Same old wheezing engine and car
Starts for J’ville with an awful jar;
Foxy Barnum rents his whole depot
And makes us wait out in the snow.
It’s just that same old train
that is runningIn just that same old jerky way;
No wonder we are always kicking
At the price we have to pay;
Oh won’t you tell me when we’ll get there?
Oh won't you use a little more wood?
Railroad c’mission comes to Jacksonville,
Calls in Barnum; also John and Will.
Asks them questions, tells them what to do;
Goes away, thinks its labors through.
They didn’t mind the old c’mission,
They go right on the same old way.
Same little Station, folks raising Cain;
Same busted schedule; same old train."

In this 1930 photo we see RRVRR #6 about to depart Medford in 1930.  This little 0-4-4T was built by Baldwin in 1882 for the Manhattan Ry of New York.  She came to the RRVRR in 1907 and served this famous little shortline until the rails were pulled up in 1937.

This ends the story of one of the West's most colorful albeit shortest little railroads.

 
Martin



Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/17 03:12 by LoggerHogger.






Date: 01/10/17 03:26
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: refarkas

Amazing image and backstory.
Bob



Date: 01/10/17 04:10
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: rrman6

Interesting shots!  Looks like the man and his team are stirring up some dust while dragging the street beneath the signage in background.



Date: 01/10/17 05:45
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: Lighter

What is the story on the SP boxcar?  A lot of ventilation. 
Also, the locomotive seems to have an air pump, but it looks like the air is not connected to the boxcar.



Date: 01/10/17 07:07
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: TonyJ

Fine story Martin. I've not seen that wonderful photo before. Looks like a a SP ventillator car behind No. 6, and to spot the Barnum & Bailey billboard is an added bonus. I believe the last time the B&B train came to Medford was around 1947. And of course old Rogue Valley Railroad 2-4-2T #1 survives today as an 0-4-0T.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/17 07:09 by TonyJ.



Date: 01/10/17 07:52
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: BAB

Produce car and are for vetalation also there is someone riding on the rear of the engine probalby just switching the car.
-------------------------------------------------------
> What is the story on the SP boxcar?  A lot of
> ventilation. 
> Also, the locomotive seems to have an air pump,
> but it looks like the air is not connected to the
> boxcar.



Date: 01/10/17 09:57
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: TAW

LoggerHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> During a trip back east, Mr. Barnum, one of the
> many owners of the RRVRR, asked the Pennsylvania
> Railroad for a pass, as was customary during the
> day between railroad officials. The PRR, after
> investigating the RRVRR and finding it to be only
> 5 miles long, asserted that the owner of such a
> small railroad was not justified in asking for a
> pass from one that had 14,000 miles of tracks. Mr.
> Barnum replied, "Your railroad may be a lot
> longer, but ours is just as wide." And with that,
> Mr. Barnum got his pass.

The Pennsy guy missed it. Their railroad was wider as well as longer. The Pennsy proclaimed itself the Standard Railroad of the World. Therefore, they had to do things differently than anyone else so that everybody else could be wrong (I think that Englewood could probably relate how that pervaded PRR). PRR gauge was 56 3/4".

One night Wabash CD-14 went in the ditch at Clarke Jct. doing a Really Good Job. It was my first wreck as Chief (there's a story there). I went out there after work to see what was going on. As I waked along the track to the biggest pile of wreckage, I almost fell over something in the dark that was a little less then waist height. It turns out that it was a boxcar buried with only about 3 feet of it sticking out of the ground.

The derailment occurred on the switch of the B&OCT outbound / PRR eastbound wye. As usual, the mechanical and track guys were all trying to blame the other discipline for the wreck. That is when the PRR track guy put his gauge bar on the B&OCT side of the switch and it didn't fit. He announced to all present that he found the cause of the derailment, bad B&OCT track. The B&OCT guy went into the wye, put his gauge bar on the rails and announced that it was the PRR track that was bad. That led to an argument that led to a fight that led to a Kung Fu battle with gauge bars. It was a sight to behold.

TAW



Date: 01/10/17 10:47
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: spnudge

Martin,
Didn't Dave Wilkenson have a small engine from that pike? I know he trucked something up from Calif., years ago for some thing in Medford.

I may be thinking of something else. Tony, your up on that stuff, any idea?

Nudge



Date: 01/10/17 10:56
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: LoggerHogger

Nudge,

You are referring to the old Shortline Enterpirse's former RRVRR #1.  She know is privately owned and back in Jacksonville on a piece of track on the old RRVRR right-of-way.  Here is how she looks today in Jacksonville.

Martin



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/17 10:59 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 01/10/17 11:43
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: px320

Here is RRVRYCo No.1 on Short Line Enterprises leased portion of the Santa Fe Cucamonga-Foothill Spur in April of 1971




Date: 01/10/17 12:17
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: LoggerHogger

Stan,

I love the brass eagle on the sand dome!

Martin



Date: 01/10/17 14:07
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: px320

We put an eacgle on the sand dome of our locomotives as a matter of identity on our two most important steam locomotives.

​Here is a shot of 4-4-0 No. 8 while filming sandburg's Lincoln in Alta loma in June of 1974.




Date: 01/10/17 15:26
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: nycman

Great stuff.  Sespe was at one of the CSRM railfairs, '91 I think.  Re the song:  Protesting was much more civil back then than it is today.



Date: 01/10/17 16:39
Re: A Lot Of Character In This Railroad Is Captured In This Photo
Author: SierraRail

Rogue River #1 also spent some time in Sierra Railroad's Jamestown, Calif. roundhouse back in 1978.




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