Gheringhap Sightings w/e 25/7/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 18/7/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 20/6/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 11/7/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 2/5/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 16/5/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 23/6/2012
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 3/1/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 13/6/2015
Victoria, 3-10 to 8-10-2004
After looking around Wenatchee, I headed West on US 2. Both the road and railroad follow the Wenatchee River in to the mountains. About a fifth of the fruit traffic in the late 40’s originated on this stretch of Great Northern mainline from Leavenworth to Wenatchee. I stopped in Leavenworth, and had a look at the Amtrak station; which is not near downtown Leavenworth. I checked the schedule, and found the train stops during the day. Which is good, because this would be a lousy place to get off at 2 AM in February.
That is the same train I saw in Wenatchee. I noticed that BNSF trains seemed to spend a lot of time standing. This one started moving again while I was there. And I must say, modern locomotives are impressive. With DPU’s, the slack stays bunched, and there is no ponderous gathering of speed. The train just . . . goes.
Icicle Station is adjacent to the Amtrak facility. Christmas is a Big Deal in Leavenworth, and the Christmas Train is a popular attraction:
Back east to Alt US 97, then following the W – O north. I departed the highway south of Chelan (Shuh-lan) to see some non-railroad stuff (!), then back to Chelan. The railroad actually serves the town at Chelan Falls, which is a few miles and over some hills from the town proper.
Looking North at Chelan Falls. The arrangement of track and warehouses is about the same as its ever been, the major difference being the track between the main and siding has been removed.
Another view North, with the bridge over the Chelan River visible. I would say the siding is little-used, if the debris is an indication.
Between 1938 and 1957, one of the largest copper mines in the country sent ore concentrate to the smelter from Chelan. I wanted to see if any evidence of the trans-load operation remained, but could find none. The shipping process from minehead to railhead was involved, as I noted on my vacation post:
“The ore was concentrated at the mine, then shipped in 5-ton capacity open barrels. These were trucked (1 barrel for a flatbed truck, 2 barrels for a semi-truck) down a steep grade 10 miles to Lucerne (3500′ to 1100′), where the barrels were loaded onto a barge, then shipped 45 miles down the lake to Chelan. Loaded again onto trucks, the barrels were transported 4 miles down another steep grade (1100′ to 750′) to the railhead on the Columbia at Chelan Falls, where they were finally dumped into converted boxcars for the trip to the smelter in Tacoma. I understand that labor was relatively inexpensive at the time, but that is a resource-intensive logistical chain.”
The converted boxcars were 40′ truss rod boxcars that had the doors sealed (but not removed), and roof hatches installed, through which the ore barrels were dumped. The cars were originally equipped with K-brakes, and I do not know at the moment whether they were converted to AB-brakes. The cars weren’t interchanged, so there wouldn’t be a pressing need to do so. At any rate, a made-for modeling industry.
North of the warehouses is bridge 38.4, here seen from Powerhouse Park:
The bridge from the road, from South to North:
A telephone pole near the center of the span had these adornments, for some reason:
I’d been studying this branch line for a couple years, and it was cool to see things ‘in the flesh’, so to speak. Accounts from crews working the W – O mention how dark Chelan Falls was, and after being there, I can see why. There is a fair amount of residential space in the area now, but that wasn’t the case 70 years ago. Spent the night in Chelan, prior to heading up to Omak the next day.
This article first appeared on greatnorthernproject.wordpress.com
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