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Nostalgia & History > An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon


Date: 02/21/21 11:48
An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: TCnR

Although they rarely ran on a Sunday many of my photos of OC&E were on extended weekends. I've been digging through the Logan slide box and found some slides I had not used for my PBase collection on the first pass a few years ago. I've been going back, adding photos and putting in history and explanations, using a number of resources for confirmation.  Oh, and kicking myself in the head for not going out on the Woods Line.

Something that's a bit of a conumdrum is this photo of an OC&E RS-12 in consist with a pair of SP Geeps. At that time they had quite a few operating locomotives so the Geeps seem to be out of place and have not been mentioned in any reference that I know of. The RS-12's were on the OC&E from 1979 to 1984, the 7909 paint looks pretty clean.

#1 weaving through the BN Klamath Falls yard moving a train of empty log cars, OC&E 7909 trailing two SP Geeps. At the time SP Geeps were used on the locals and on the Modoc at Wendel. This was well after Weyerhaeuser had taken over the OC&E operation. There would have been two slug sets plus the other three RS-12's available.

#2 trailing along behind, as cabeese tend to do, the OC&E 2004 caboose and a fire water car. Apparently they had two or maybe three ex SP cabeese, one painted for OC&E and one for the Weyerhaeuser Woods line. There's also photos on the web showing OC&E 2006, which is also on display in the area. Not sure when they purchased.

Thanks for looking and any additional info.
https://pbase.com/clivew/oregon_california__eastern






Date: 02/21/21 13:27
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: refarkas

Thanks for both of these fascinating photos. That caboose looks specially interesting.
Bob



Date: 02/21/21 14:28
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: retcsxcfm

I belive that the RS12's are exSAL.

Uncle Joe
Seffner,Fl.



Date: 02/21/21 14:41
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: TCnR

Yep, it's the Geeps on the OC&E train that are unaccounted for. Curious how long they were on the OC&E, was it caused by a derailment, or more log trains than planned, or work being done on particular locomotives, were they for the Sycan Turn only or did they go to the Woods, or ... whatever. Surprising amount of info out there on a RR that's been gone for such a long time. Jeff Moore's site and Jack Bowden's book have provided a good idea of what was going on, but thing's changed every so often.

#7908- Baldwin RS-12, c/n 75475, built 1952. Originally Seaboard Air Line #1466; to Seaboard Coast Line #207; to OC&E 1979. Sold to Escanaba & Lake Superior #207 1984.

#7909- Baldwin RS-12, c/n 75477, built 1952. Originally Seaboard Air Line #1468; to Seaboard Coast Line #209; to OC&E 1979. Sold to Escanaba & Lake Superior #209 1984.

#7910- Baldwin RS-12, c/n 75478, built 1952. Originally Seaboard Air Line #1469; to Seaboard Coast Line #210; to OC&E 1979. Sold to Escanaba & Lake Superior #210 1984.

#7911- Baldwin RS-12, c/n 75479, built 1952. Originally Seaboard Air Line #1470; to Seaboard Coast Line #211; to OC&E 1979. Sold to Escanaba & Lake Superior #211 1984.

http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/oce.html



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/21 14:50 by TCnR.



Date: 02/21/21 16:15
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: JDLX

There are a couple factors to keep in mind.  Weyerhaeuser practiced uneven age stand management in their "East Block" timber from when they started logging there in 1940 up until around 1970.  This involved selective thinning of their forests, which produced a fairly steady 8,000 loads a year to the OC&E through the 1960s.  Around 1970 Weyerhaeuser decided to transition their management on the East Side Block to even age stand management, in which the selective thinning would be replaced with patchwork clearcuts, which would then be replanted and intensively managed for rapid tree growth and higher yields.  Implementing this required Weyerhaeuser to clear cut basically their entire East Block in a fairly short time window, which together with the sawmill in Bly started substantially increasing traffic on the OC&E, up to 18,000 loads a year in 1970.  The OC&E had long been neglected by SP and GN, and neither parent wanted to invest the kind of money in the road required to bring it to a shape where it could handle the kind of traffic Weyerhaeuser was projecting, which is what prompted Weyerhaeuser to buy the OC&E in 1975.  Traffic exploded in the late 1970s, up to over 35,000 loads a year in the 1978-1979 time frame.  The Woods Railroad alone typically delivered 100 or more cars a day to the Sycan interchange, and Bly was good for another 40-80 cars a day of logs, lumber, and woodchips.  This was before Weyerhaeuser added the second tail track to the switchbacks on Bly Mountain, which limited trains west of Sprague River to no more than 45 cars.  And even with the extensive track rebuild Weyerhaeuser launched derailments were common, though a lot of them were due to Weyerhaeuser's fleet of old wood frame skeleton log cars falling apart on the road.  To handle all this traffic the OC&E typically called at least four road and three yard jobs a day, sometimes more, and even with the four RS-12s, the seven M-K rebuilds, and the Weyerhaeuser Baldwins off the Woods Line when they were available, they never had enough power in the late 1970s.  To keep the railroad going they leased a lot of power from SP, BN, and UP throughout the late 1970s, and that's likely what we are seeing here. There's a good chance OC&E may have only leased the two Geeps for a day or two to cover while the rest of their power were busy on the east end of the railroad, or perhaps were busy cleaning up a wreck, if they hadn't been involved in a derailment themselves. 

I do have a page showing some of the leased power in the late 1970s on the referenced website at the following:

http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/oce/LeasedPower.html

I've also attached a John Henderson image of an OC&E freight with a leased UP unit included in the consist. 

As for cabooses, Weyerhaeuser bought four steel cars from the SP along with the rest of the railroad.  They likely picked up a couple more shortly afterwards, as OC&E cabooses 2001-2006 are documented through photos.  Weyerhaeuser bought at least one for use on the Woods line, attached also is another John Henderson image of the WTCX #49-34, the number nominally indicated a 1949 purchased or acquisition date as per the numbering scheme Weyerhaeuser employed on at least some Klamath equipment.  At least one car, numbered WX-082, lasted until at or near the end of operations.  I'm pretty sure Train Mountain has at least a couple of the old SP cabooses in their collection, plus the one at the Klamath Falls trailhead.  

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV 






Date: 02/21/21 16:22
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: JDLX

Some idea of the chaotic nature of OC&E operations can be had through some of the train orders George Landrock provided that are on the website as well.

http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/oce/OCE0020.JPG
http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/oce/OCE0025.JPG
http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/oce/OCE0027.JPG

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV

 



Date: 02/21/21 18:44
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: GN599

Thanks Jeff you nailed the commentary for these great scenes! I believe one of the UP units was an "Omaha GP20" and there was an ex-GN GP9 or two that turned up during those busy times. Also Weyerhaeuser reassigned the "other" U25 rebuild from WA to Klamath, the 310. Did the Baldwin RS12 come with the air throttle? And if so I've always wondered if the Seaboard converted them or if Weyerhaeuser did the work.



Date: 02/21/21 19:24
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: TCnR

Apparently I don't have dates for the Bly Mill closing or building the second track on the switchbacks, which seems to coincide with the downturn and moving the Baldwins out. Don't remember seeing the borrowed power very much, my visits were mostly 1980 to 1985. I have some of the magazine articles in storage, suppose it's time to dig those out and see what else I missed. Still in awe of 100 car log trains.
Thanks for the info.



Date: 02/21/21 21:24
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: JDLX

The RS-12s came from SAL with the ability to mu with EMDs, that plus the long experience of the Sycan shops with maintaining Baldwins were their principle selling points to Weyerhaeuser.  And Clive, traffic went into a steep decline after 1980, down to 14,276 loads in 1982.  The corresponding reduction in traffic likely meant they no longer needed to regularly lease the foreign power by the time you arrived on the scene.

As near as I can tell Weyerhaeuser shut the Bly mill down in 1986.  I'm not sure exactly when they added the second tail tracks, but it happened sometime in the early 1980s time frame.  

Timelines of some other noted events, the #310 arrived from Longview in 1979.  Weyerhaeuser experimented with running it and a GP35 on their Longview main line, but quickly determined the string of switchers gave better performance than the road units.  Weyerhaeuser bought the first two ex-BN GP-9s around 1983, they replaced the Baldwin switchers upon arrival.  For a little while in 1983/1984 the Woods Railroad ran with the two Geeps spliced by one or two RS-12s, after selling the Baldwins and rewiring the Geeps they were able to run the log trains with the two Geeps spliced by the former OC&E slugs.  They later picked up a third GP-9 from BN.  Attached are a couple Charles Heimerdinger Jr. images, one of the WTCX GP-9 #312 as part of an OC&E freight, and the second of the #312 and #311 spliced by the two slugs, and then a John Henderson image of the #310 in Klamath Falls. 

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV.     



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/21 21:28 by JDLX.








Date: 02/21/21 23:16
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: TCnR

Pretty wild stuff. That first photo looks like somewhere on the Woods Line, that would explain loads on the front and empty log cars behind. The hills and meadows don't look like the OC&E route either. Maybe I can drive that road this summer, without the log truck competition.

Big SP plows on BN GP's, 310 painted all over with the same color paint, never saw that any of that.
t4p.

+ Interesting history but no mention of the Mill:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bly,_Oregon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/21 23:26 by TCnR.



Date: 02/21/21 23:26
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: Fiftyfooter

This thread keeps getting better and better, U Guys Rock!



Date: 02/21/21 23:32
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: TCnR

Changing the search phrase around, Google finds: The Mill at Bly from Oregon DEQ, dismantled 1986:

https://www.deq.state.or.us/Webdocs/Forms/Output/FPController.ashx?SourceId=2265&SourceIdType=11

1948 ground level photo:

https://digital.ucdavis.edu/collection/eastman/D-051/B-6/B-6381



Date: 02/22/21 13:58
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: JDLX

On that first photo, its definitely on the OC&E, my thought is in the run up towards the switchbacks on Bly Mountain.  There's a curve in that stretch that matches up pretty well.  Charles got the same train in a couple other places along the line, including the attached at a bridge east of Olene, showing it indeed had some eastbound log loads in the consist.  No idea why this would be unless for whatever reason Weyerhaeuser was shipping logs from Klamath to the Bly mill.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV 




Date: 02/22/21 14:55
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: haneckow

There is a pretty good chance the shot with the two Southern Pacific GP-9Rs was taken in the summer of 1980.  I took this picture at the OC&E yard on August 17 1980.  SP 3784 and 3412 are the two Geeps. SP 3412 is one of the two SP units in your photo, I bet 3784 is the other. I've seen pictures of the same two units on the line that were dated September 1980.

Even after the OC&E got its own power in 1976, SP and BN units made regular appearances.  Those appearances decreased in the 1980s.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/21 15:00 by haneckow.




Date: 02/22/21 16:43
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: TCnR

Good stuff. Great photos.

Haneckow's SP GP photo also shows a BN branded log car, black side sills with yellow stakes. I just spotted some of those in my photos as well.

The slope looked too shallow, but here's the loops on the Klamath Falls side and there's that same angle of slope. This slide does have a date, October 1984.

+ That half loads photo east of Olene photo has me confused. I've been trying to find out if that peak in the background has a name.
 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/21 17:01 by TCnR.




Date: 02/22/21 18:32
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: PVSfan

This brings back memories of dual OP&E/OC&E excursions along about 1983 or 1984.



Date: 02/22/21 22:38
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: JDLX

Doesn't look like it has an official name.  On the attached topo that prominent knob is immediately south of "The Gap" at Olene, the top of the knob is marked as "Olene" with the little triangle and the 5,173 foot elevation marker.

I'm also about 99.9% sure I nailed down the location of the photo both you and Charles shot, it's actually immediately below the west switchback.  The attached snip from Google Earth is a bit broader view, I've included a bit of the highway and the tail track of the switchback with the log flat on display on the left side of the screen.  Otherwise everything fits.  

Thanks!

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV 






Date: 02/22/21 23:25
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: TCnR

Yep, agree it's really close to the same spot. I was shooting with a 105mm so there's a little compression, looks like I was a little higher up and could see into the meadow. I would think he had a bunch of photos at the switchback numbered after that one, so that should add to the confidence.

Thanks for that Olene location id, I have a photo at the same spot and could not get oriented, the eastbound logs made my head hurt.

I notice those are real skinny logs, maybe heading for the chipper at the Bly Mill. Don't know why they wouldn't chip them at the big mill though. The photo at the lower loop certainly looks like eastbound logs. btw I notice the Trail appears to take a straightline short cut from the meadow to the pass without going around the lower loops. Hopefully I can check this out soon.

Looking through Google satellite photos I found a caboose on display behind the Cimmaron motel at the old wye, which is now a trailhead parking lot. There's a photo of an ex SP caboose in bad shape on the web, not sure if they are the same or not.

Thanks for the info, that clears up a lot of details that had been out of place.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/21 23:43 by TCnR.



Date: 02/23/21 07:40
Re: An OC&E kinda day - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Author: JDLX

You're welcome.  That eastbound log movement definitely was weird.  I don't have any explanations. 

As for the caboose in Klamath Falls, it was the OC&E 2006.  In 1994 it was with the WTCX 101, the old BNMW passenger car, and a couple steel frame skeleton log cars down where the #101 is still parked, I shot the first photo here of it then.  I don't have time this morning to dig out the print and get a better scan.  As the trail developed they moved the car to the one leg of the wye where it now is and repainted it, it was lettered for the OC&E on one side and OC&E Woods Line State Trail on the other.  By 2016 they had repainted it to the boxcar red with no lettering.  The car has a few interpretive signs mounted in the windows on the deck side.  The two log cars that had been in Klamath in 1994 are now at Collier Logging Museum in Chiloquin. 

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV








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