Category Archives: Photography

CORP Job #701 ~ Weed to Black Butte

Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad (CORP) has an Engine  in Weed, CA  (GP38-3 #3809) that switches the local mills, and trades out cars with the Union Pacific RR  from the junction at Black Butte, CA.

CORP runs on the older, more mountainous, former Southern Pacific Siskiyou Line, Union Pacific runs on newer, less mountainous,  former Southern Pacific “Natron Cutoff” mainline. The two meet near Weed, CA at Black Butte, just off of the South Weed exit of I-5. There is an old water tower there and there used to be an old water spout for filling the tenders, until a misfortunate accident involving an Amtrak train and some cars fouling the main line, causing the Amtrak to derail and wipe out the old spigot.

Read more about the history of Black Butte Yard/Jctn.  here

It is a rare thing indeed to actually see the job #701 in action when you have to travel 80 miles and only get down there once or twice a year or so. Northern California recently had storm after storm dump tons of snow in the area, and I was anxious to get down there and get some train/snow shots (actually, my Jeep was threatening to cut me off if we didn’t go play.) It was just by luck that I was there about 5 minutes before it arrived at Black Butte. It must first climb around a steep grade to get there and I could hear the horn and laboring prime mover.

I knew right away what it was, as earlier in the day, I had seen the load and engine waiting at the Weed yard.

(above)  taken at Weed Yard

(above) Arriving at Black Butte.

(above) backing train to existing load. Mount Shasta, (middle) Black Butte, (right)

(above) Old water tower, CORP employee SUV, he ran around throwing switches for them, probably no conductor on board.

Up until this point it was not a great day for spotting trains. I stopped at Yreka Western RR on my way down there, no action, just a few of the engines sitting at the depot. Then I went down to Dunsmuir where the snow was deeper but no trains. Just the snow removing equipment sitting idle in the yard.  (below)

I did see a train however, just as the CORP train got next to the mainline, backing it’s load, a south bound mixed freight rolled through with two helpers on the end.

Florence~Bandon Oregon

We recently got out of the heat (100+) and went to the coast at Florence and Bandon, Oregon. The weather was perfect. We did all the usual touristy things, tried not to spend too much money. I have pics here: Webshots. I made a mosaic of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse near Port Orford, Oregon. It is comprised of nearly all the photos taken on the trip!

There are three links, first is to see it screen size untouched, second is to see it screen size tweaked, third is blown-up to see the individual pics that make up the mosaic. You may have to click within the pic to: enlarge ~ screen size depending on your browser settings.

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mosaic made with “AndreaMosaic

Train Chasing in Dunsmuir

I took last Friday and went to Dunsmuir, Calif. Former major hub for the Southern Pacific Railroad. It is now used by the Union Pacific Railroad. I arrived in time for a crew change…

I later chased this train, a high priority one called the “Z” to train buffs south a few miles and got a couple shots

On the way back from chasing the train, I stopped at the Railroad Park Resort. This place is amazing, there are old cabooses that look brand new, tastefully made into motel suites. There is a resturaunt in some old dinning cars, a gift shop and a very inviting crystal clear swimming pool. All with a magnificent view of the Castle Crags.

More pictures can be seen on my website Tunnel13.com

Chinese New Year~Year of the Rat

Today in Jacksonville, Oregon we went to the Chinese New year parade. The entire town of Jacksonville is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it had a deep relationship with the Chinese in the 1800’s during it’s gold rush. It’s good to have a place like this so close to where you live.

It’s always been a special town to me, growing up and now. As kids we always had a “field trip” to it’s historic museum, sack lunch in the park etc. In 1972 the movie “The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid” was filmed here almost entirely.

These days they host the world famous Peter Brit Music Festival. Musicians consider it an honor to play here.

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Old Salem, North Carolina

We went to Greensboro, North Carolina to visit my wife’s folks for Christmas. It is about 30-45 minutes from Winston-Salem, NC and we went to Old Salem the day after Christmas to look around the old town that dates back to colonial times, the mid 1700’s, before we were even a country! It is similar to Colonial Williamsburg in that there are people in period dress working various shops. I’m born and raised in Oregon, so the oldest buildings around my area, Jacksonville, OR are from the mid to late 1800’s so this was a special treat for me.

When we arrived in town you could clearly see the R.J. Reynolds tobacco plants right next to the edge of downtown. Just a stones throw away is the old town.

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There is a parking area and a main entry area with lunch bar, gift shops and tickets. You go over a modern but old looking covered bridge into old town.

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Bridge into town………………. Gunsmith …………………..Public well

speaking of public well, we learned that Old Salem had one of the first public water complete with under ground plumbing, Water came to strategic spots around town like above, and to some kitchens!

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Horse drawn carriage ………. old watering trough …..”Single Brothers House”

The town was founded by people of the “Moravian” religion. Young boys lived at home and went to school, young girls were schooled at home. Older boys 14 yrs and up lived at the “Single Brothers House” and schooled and learned a trade there until old enough to marry. Older girls lived in the “Single Sisters House” until old enough to marry. The horse drawn carriage above is right in front of the Single Sisters House.

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neat old doorway …………….Old walls and walks ………bakers

The neat crooked old doorway goes into the young boys school. There are neat walls and walkways every where. We went into the old bakery and watched them make bread. The special of the day was the most incredible loaf of onion bread I’ve ever eaten, and only $4.50 for a 1 lb. loaf! After it cooled slightly, she slopped on some melted butter all over the loaf then bagged it up to sell. my reaction was OMG!!! when we tried a sample, and we bought a loaf for dinner.

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some old buildings…….. Notice there are cars? yes you can drive through town and there are people living in most of the homes along the streets.

All in all it was a pretty good day trip. I have never seen stuff that old (except for when I was stationed in Germany) and still standing and people living and working there. Nothing was “re-constructed” only, originals were remodeled.

Yreka Western Railroad

We recently took a day trip and rode on the Yreka Western Railroad steam excursion train that goes from Yreka, CA to Montague, CA and back. The YWRR is a short line working railroad as well as a tourist line. It serves (lately) only two mills, taking plywood veneer, wood chips and landscape bark to Montague for drop off and pick up by the Central Oregon and Pacific RR, CORP, located along the famous (former) Southern Pacific RR Siskiyou Line. It used to serve several mills along the line until recent mill closures reduced it’s revenue.

The railroad had recently fallen into financial problems, the steam engine needed repairs, the track needed repairs and to top it all off, the Main line served by CORP had been closed for almost 2 years due to a fire and collapse of Tunnel 13 on the Siskiyou Line. Only southbound loads were taken. But now things look good for the line, slowly gaining revenue and tourists, now that the #19 is back in working order

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We started our journey at the YWRR Depot / Yard here is the #19 waiting to pull forward and hook up to the excursion train.

You can wander around the yard and explore if you’re careful.

The #19 was the star in the movie “Emperor of the North (Pole)” staring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Keith Carradine and more about depression era bum’s hitching rides on a train that was guarded by an almost evil conductor (Ernest Borgnine) and was filmed in Cottage Grove OR

The trip is about 7 miles long but takes about an hour and a half because the train moves very slow due to poor track conditions. Be prepared to sit back, enjoy the scenery, watch wildlife and relax!

In Montague we had lunch at the “Dutchman” and it was wonderful. Clean decor, great food. We then walked up to the old Montague Depot, now a museum that houses almost exact replicas of how life was for the station master and his family, who lived upstairs. Afterward we walked down the street to a “tea room” and got drinks and cookies for the ride back. The people in this town sure depend on the tourists, and were almost devastated when the excursion train wasn’t operating.

If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop in Yreka CA, explore the old historic mining district, eat at one of several great restaurants and ride the train!