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Steam & Excursion > We Are Very Fortunate This Was Not This Locomotive's Last Run!


Date: 01/04/19 02:23
We Are Very Fortunate This Was Not This Locomotive's Last Run!
Author: LoggerHogger

There we all to many steam locomotives that were called upon to make ceremonial steam runs for various railroads at the end of the steam era that were made famous by their last trips, but still fell victim to the scrappers torch.  Among these notable engine is Northern Pacific #2626. Southern Pacific #2475. Simpson Timber #9 and the list goes on.  It seems that even the notoriety these steam locomotives gained on their "farewell trips" was not enough to spare them in the end.  Fortunately for us, there were a few exceptions to this trend.

It was on May 26, 1956 that SP&S 4-8-4 #700 was freshened up and used on what appeared at the time to be her very last steam operation when she ran a round trip from Portland, Oregon to Wishram, Washington and back. On that day, she was in fine splendor as she pulled her 21-car train through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge with a sold-out crowd of over 1,300 passengers on board.  We see her in the first photo on one of her stops to allow photos of the eventful day.

The second photo of #700 shows how she could have still been lost for all time.  This photo was taken on January 4, 1958 in Vancouver, Washington, some 61 years ago today.  #700 is cold and lifeless as she sits in a deadline of SP&S steam motive power that will soon fall to the scrappers torch.  #700 seemed to be headed the way of NP #2626 and all the other famous "last run steamers" who would not make it out of the 1950's alive.

Luckily, #700 was chosen in April 1958 to join a pair of other mainline steam locomotives to form the basis of a railroad display in Portland's Oaks Park.  From there, in 1977, thanks to the vision of the late Chris McClarney, the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association was formed with the sole purpose to rescue #700 from the park and return her to steam once again.  Chris's plan worked, and thanks to all the hard work of the PRPA member over the past 40+ years #700 resides today in the Oregon Rail Heritage Center in Portland, Oregon as an operable locomotive with decades of operating service behind her since leave in Oaks Park.

#700 is one of those few steam success stories that is to be cherished.


Martin



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/19 02:52 by LoggerHogger.






Date: 01/04/19 02:52
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: E25

Amen to that!

I rode that train at age 14. I believe that my father (in the suit and brim hat aligned with the firebox) and I (aligned with the rear driver) are both in your photo.  Definitely a "blast from the past."

I believe the location is at Cook.

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/19 02:56 by E25.



Date: 01/04/19 05:30
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: DaveL

Smoley Hokes.......Do you steam guys ever Sleep???
Thanks, Martin and Greg, for "the rest of the story". Really good stuff!!

Dave
 



Date: 01/04/19 05:53
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: LoggerHogger

> Smoley Hokes.......Do you steam guys ever
> Sleep???
> Thanks, Martin and Greg, for "the rest of the
> story". Really good stuff!!
>
> Dave

There is no rest for those of us dedicated to preserving steam railroading.  :>)

Martin 



Date: 01/04/19 08:59
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: BoilingMan

Fighting the good fight, 'eh?
SR



Date: 01/04/19 10:23
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: fehorse1

Simpson's #9 lasted a couple years after the last steam run.  There is a picture of her in the company magazine pulling in a diesel that had derailed out on the line.  That was about 1958.

Pete



Date: 01/04/19 10:58
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: nycman

700 came close to leaving us in March 1947, hitting a rock slide along the Snake River and ending up derailed and half buried in the dirt there.  Having ridden behind her a lot since 1996, I am glad she survived.



Date: 01/04/19 20:06
Re: We Are Very Fortunate This Was Not This Locomotive's Last Run
Author: hawkinsun

It's a beauty,  and I'm glad I got to chase her on her trips to Spokane and into Montana.  Crazy driving, but fun.   We'd sure love to see her over here again.

Craig Hanson
Vay, Idaho



Date: 01/05/19 02:05
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: Jim700

nycman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 700 came close to leaving us in March 1947,
> hitting a rock slide along the Snake River and
> ending up derailed and half buried in the dirt
> there.  Having ridden behind her a lot since
> 1996, I am glad she survived.

A picture to illustrate Jim's post.




Date: 01/05/19 11:15
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: Goalieman

I never fail to be amazed by the fact that those unfortunate steam locomotives that “went to ground” in one form or another, survived and returned to service. While I realize this is in large part due to the “X4 engineering” involved in their design, it still fascinates me. Looking at #700 on her side, half buried in stones or #706 in an earlier thread, also on her side, and then seeing pics of them in service after the event, amazes me. While not suggesting that the work to bring them back was easy, those before and after shots should be in the dictionary on the “They don’t make them like they used too” page. IMHO.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/06/19 15:20
Re: We Are Very Fortunate That This Was Not This Locomotive Last
Author: Copy19

Thanks to “Jim700” who treated me to a visit to the Brooklyn roundhouse and the 700 more than a few years ago now when I was out in Portland on railroad business. 

JB - Omaha



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