06 September 2009

End of the season reflections

Here it is the end of the summer season already. I am still in West Linn, Oregon, but will be returning to Copper Center, AK in a few days. When I get there I will continue a process I have already started to park my various train consists for the winter and bring the locomotives back to the bar.

Here we have pictures of a few months earlier--probably mid-April--when I was getting ready for the FIRST run of the season. These were the trains lined up in the bar ready to make that initial trip to Cicely and beyond.

My first consists were all "short" cars, including a mixed freight consist.

Up front was my Great Northern mallet--my largest steam engine--all ready to go. In front of it was the Milwaukee Road "doodlebug." I run this one first as a dual car (a converted passenger car pulling another passenger car) to test out the line before I run the longer, heavier consists.

Here you see the Milwaukee Road doodlebug at the tunnel entrance ready to go:

Soon all of these consists will be shut down for the winter--four months of running followed by eight months of sitting in place waiting for another summer. This is a summer I will definitely miss. Weather-wise it was a great one starting with the last week in April (very early) and extending all the way through July at least. What a great summer it was !

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