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Steam & Excursion > By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This Railroad!


Date: 01/08/20 01:55
By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This Railroad!
Author: LoggerHogger

While there was plenty of steam power still working all across the nation in 1950, there were certain railroads that were moving faster than others to replace their steam motive power with diesels.  One of the railroads that started early and moved quickly in this transition was the Western Pacific.

The accountants at the WP figured early on that the "Wobbly" could improve it's financial picture if it could eliminate the costly maintenance and operational costs associated with it's steam power as well as reaping the enormous fuel savings and lower manpower costs that diesel motive power brought.  All these factors allowed the WP accountants to convince the WP Board Of Directors to make the capital investment starting in the late 1940's into a total conversion away from steam to diesel power by the early 1950's.

Railfans became aware of the fast pace of the WP's conversion to diesel power and took every oppurtunity to get their last wook at WP steam through excursions such as this one that stopped at Oroville, California on May 14, 1950.  The attached flyer tells the story of this 3-day excursion behind steam on the WP and 2 other railroads.

It was trips like these that helped cement in our memories, WP steam power at it's finest.

Martin



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/20 02:15 by LoggerHogger.






Date: 01/08/20 04:39
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: PlyWoody

That sure was an amazing weekend trip at any price.  I sure hope you can post some of the photos out on the logging line at the camp and photos of the log trains.  How many log cars did a CV log train usual have and how many trips did they run a day?  That is a area that has never been well published about, including the 3' gauge Feather River Lumber Co. a few miles west.  FRL Co. was built by and owned by George A. Laws who first had his  private log railroad just 3 miles south of Chama, NM.  He used Shays from Argentine Central and Unitah RR.  Is the 2-6-6-2 #4 the one that is still running running in Niles Canyon?  I believe this Clover Valley Lbr. Co. was purchased by the the same Feather River Lumber Co. that was abandoning their narrow gauge.  Did these logging operations over lap in the Plumas National Forest? 
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/20 06:24 by PlyWoody.



Date: 01/08/20 07:16
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: Frisco1522

What an event that is.   $32 for the whole trip in a lower berth plus dinner in the diner.  I don't have a calculator for inflation, but it would be a steal even at today's prices.
They would come close to selling out, but there would be 94,785 people chasing with a percentage of them bitching about some irregularity in the consist or something not painted right.
Is this a great country or what?



Date: 01/08/20 08:36
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: wingomann

PlyWoody Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That sure was an amazing weekend trip at any
> price.  I sure hope you can post some of the
> photos out on the logging line at the camp and
> photos of the log trains.  How many log cars did
> a CV log train usual have and how many trips did
> they run a day?  That is a area that has never
> been well published about, including the 3' gauge
> Feather River Lumber Co. a few miles west.  FRL
> Co. was built by and owned by George A. Laws who
> first had his  private log railroad just 3 miles
> south of Chama, NM.  He used Shays from Argentine
> Central and Unitah RR.  Is the 2-6-6-2 #4 the
> one that is still running running in Niles
> Canyon?  I believe this Clover Valley Lbr. Co.
> was purchased by the the same Feather River Lumber
> Co. that was abandoning their narrow gauge.  Did
> these logging operations over lap in the Pluma
> NF? 

Yes, the 2-6-6-2, Clover Valley #4 is the one in Niles Canyon now.



Date: 01/08/20 09:27
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: PHall

Two of the roads that dieselized the quickest were the Santa Fe and the Western Pacific.
Both ran through deserts where good water was expensive and hard to find.
And people wonder why they brought so many FT's...



Date: 01/08/20 09:51
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: Elesco

Another factor in dieselizing quickest was that it seemed to happen with roads that were, or had been, in weak financial condition.  I suspect it was due to their steam fleets being largely old, outdated, and fully depreciated with respect to tax deductions.  Low traffic volume may also have been a factor, wherein the high fixed cost of steam infrastructure, including water and maintenance shops, was not adequately supported by revenue.

The New Haven and Monon come to mind.



Date: 01/08/20 13:19
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: johnsweetser

PlyWoody wrote:

> Did these logging operations over lap in the Pluma NF? 

Pluma NF = Plumas National Forest
 



Date: 01/09/20 06:29
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: PlyWoody

Talk about nit-picking, One missing 's'.  The correct spelling is in the flyer.   Why don't you answer the question or let it pass?  



Date: 01/10/20 16:53
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: chico

wow.

40,000 steam engines in the US (give or take) 1939

 



Date: 01/11/20 23:12
Re: By 1950 Steam Scenes Like This Were Pretty Rare On This RR
Author: Evan_Werkema




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