Monday, December 8, 2008

1/4 mile before the tunnel on the upgrade

Here is a 2006 picture showing the abandoned grade just before the tunnel. Bridge #8 was located just a few hundred yards up ahead. From my research, this bridge was only in place for a couple decades before it was removed and replaced with fill instead. The view from this spot is amazing as you look out across Moses Coulee.

End of an era in Douglas County

Cover of the "TRAINS" Magazine that featured last train on MB Line. July 1985

Add ImageLast train just west of the famous "Double Bridge" heading towards Malaga. (2) BN GP39-2's #2730 and #2738, (40) 40' box cars and (1) caboose where hauled out. Photo by T.O. Repp

Locals gathered at Douglas to see last train off. Photo by T.O. Repp

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Change of line

Perfect example of where after the 1948 flood GN moved the grade. Here in this picture, I'm standing on the relocated grade on the west and can see the 1909-1948 grade on the east side. Just around the bend was bridge #28 which was removed and never replaced in 1949 when the line was reopened. After I took this picture, I hiked over to the old grade and found one old tie with a plate and spike still intact. Telegraph poles still litter the ROW. Some even have wire hanging from them. Looking on the down grade. 2008 photo

East of Withrow Wa in 1983

You can see the Withrow Grain Elevators in the distance.

Shot of entire train in Moses Coulee 1983

Leading the Way

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ridin' the brakes

John Henderson snapped this shot a little south of the tunnel looking back towards Palisades. In the distance the loaded unit train has its brakes working overtime to keep things under control. 1983 photo


Lonely stretch of track just north of the Douglas. 1983 photo

Early morning jaunt up onto the plateau

Up grade shot of short train exiting north end tunnel portal

BN #1754 in Alstown

October 28, 1983.  Photo by John P. Henderson

New alignment

After the '48 flood bridge #18 and #19 were taken out and the line relocated. Today you can still see the old grade between these two bridges.

2007 picture looking on the down grade

Tunnel collapse

These pictures where taken in 2000 when part of the tunnel on the old Mansfield Branch caved-in. Douglas County Maintenance Crews spent some time filling the sink hole some 15 years after the last train passed through it.

The shortest railroad

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Pages out of a book profiling the history of the Big Bend Area. Called "Beginnings" .

Various pictures of the Waterville Railway Co. Depot

Construction on the MB Line

According to the Waterville Museum, this picture shows construction of the MB Line. Probably around 1908 or '09.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Box cars litter siding

1983 photo showing NP, CB&Q, GN and BN box cars filling up the siding at Douglas on an early morning. Business seems to look good according to this photo. Almost two years to the day, the train would make its final run and 9 years after that, the depot would be burned down. A large crib grain warehouse would be torn down and lumber sold not long after the depot was torched. Thus completely eliminating any sign of railroading in Douglas, WA.

Early days of the Douglas Depot

One woman, two men and a young boy pose for this picutre while they wait for the train in Douglas. Date 1911

1920's Time Table

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bridge #25 on the up grade

Here is a picture I took a rainy day on April 1, 2006. This shows where bridge #25 used to cross Douglas Creek. All that remains is a large concrete abutment at the south end, 2 frame bents, cut off pile bents and a long wooden retaining wall that holds back the road grade at the north end between this bridge and bridge #26. From the looks of it, this bridge must have been susceptible to scour by the way GN/BN reinforced it. The creek was running pretty good during this time of year from the snow melt, but during the summer and fall months it is bone dry.

The Wenatchee Daily World: 1957

1957 shot showing the MB Line running underneath the SR28 overpass. Back then I guess it was called US2.

'48 flooding in Moses Coulee

This photographter was standing on bridge #3 when he snapped these pictures while the water was still high. My grandma told me in the summer of 1948, Douglas county received a couple inches of rain in a couple of hours causing a massive flood. Everyone refers it as the '48 flood. Must have been a sight to see.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The heart of Moses Coulee

Looking down the tracks with bridge #3 in view. 1983 photo

Simple map of the MB

This is a map I created using AutoCAD and Photoshop. It is not very detailed compared to the other map I posted.

Alstown action

BN geeps on mainline with empty box cars from the trip up on the siding. I don't have very many memories of this line when it was in operation because I was only 5, but the memories I do have are in Alstown. My dad used take us on Sunday drives and would sometimes let us play on the box cars.
One time in the late winter of 1985-86, my dad and mom took my brother and I down the tracks from Alstown to the tunnel. We did it on snowmobiles. I can still remember crossing over the trestles and watching the water rush underneath. Arctic Cat Panther 440's carried us all the way down and back never touching snow at all. Just ties. Fun times......

Mainline merging

MB train merging back onto to the BN mainline at Columbia River. 1983

Just South of Touhey, WA

Tracks out in the middle of sagebrush. This picture is taken looking southwest down the rails with Touhey just behind the photographer John P. Henderson. 1983

South of Appledale

This picture appears as if it is traveling on the upgrade, but really its on the downgrade. This train is about 1 mile south of Appledale and traveling at a speed of 15 mph. 1983

Tie plate

This is one of about three single shoulder tie plates that I found while hiking between Slack Canyon and Alstown. This particular plate was manufactured by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1924 and it's the only one that was in mint condition. The rest had blow torch marks.

BN action in Douglas, WA

Burlington Northern working in 1983 at the facilities of CWGG. Sad it's gone......