Portland & Western Railroad
Eugene Hauler
With Lou Thelen and Toby Van Alvorst

Part 2:  Building the Hauler

 
P&W Fuel Pad with Wings Arriving at the P&W offices at 7 AM, we learn that the inbound MRVWP off the UP, which had been delayed the previous day, had been brought in by a UP crew and the power tied down on the fuel pad.  As luck would have it, the north facing unit was an SD-70M "Wings".  A run over to the engine shops found the UP 4045 with its nose sticking out of the fuel pad shed and in the company of the ex-MoPac caboose (used on the Corvallis Local to shove into Dawson) and a former C&IM SD-9 (called a "John Deere" by WP crews).
Lou & UP 4045 In the course of the next couple of hours, the yard crew brought  the power and a single car to the depot while we obtained a track warrant and other paperwork and waited.  Eventually, we head out to our train and get this picture of Lou looking out the cab window.  Lou is by no means a small man, but he looks almost overwhelmed by the size of the SD-70M.
Wings and Amtrak The cars for the Eugene Hauler have been left by the Toledo Hauler and the Westsider at Ashahr and Corvallis Jct. on the Toledo Line.  Getting from the Albany Yard to the Toledo Line requires crossing the UP main. Of course, this involves waiting for a break in UP traffic, including this Amtrak Eugene-Seattle train.  Here Lou waves to the Amtrak crew as he prepares to line us onto the UP after the passenger train clears.
Through Albany's old residential district Across the UP main and on our way towards Corvallis Jct., we pass through an older residential section of Albany. 
Crossing the Willamette River Crossing a short trestle on the way out of Albany, we head over the Willamette River on this multi-section through truss bridge. 
Toby at throttle of UP 4045 The cab interior of the new SD-70M's is quite spacious as evidenced in this view of Toby at the throttle. 

We drop our car from Albany at the end of the consist at Ashahr and continue on to Corvallis Jct. where we pick up part of our train and move our grips, lunches and radio from Wings to another SD-70M, SP 9820.  Heading back to Ashahr, we finish assembling our train, perform our air test and notify the UP dispatcher that we're ready to go to Eugene.

SP 9820 Including the power, our 106 car train stretches over 7100 feet.  We are stuck at Ashahr until the UP authorizes us on the main at Albany since this is the last place where we can sit and not block any grade crossings.  In the hour's wait at Ashahr, the rain stops and the clouds clear allowing an inspection of  the power for our train. 
SP 9820 from the rear In the lead is the SP 9820, still looking good, fairly clean and untouched by any of the infamous UP yellow "patches". 
SP Tunnel Motor 8532 In the middle of our power consist is an old SP warrior, SD-40T-2 No. 8532.  Cleaned of much of the grime that characterized SP power in the pre-UP era, the locomotive looks well worn but will prove mechanically sound on the run ahead.
UP 4045 & Power Consist Now in the trailing position is "Wings". 

Total power consist:  3 units, 11,000 HP, 217 feet, 594 tons.  Just about right for our 10,000 ton train and the 0.1 to 0.2 percent grade to Eugene.

Part 3
CTC Main to Eugene
Lou hiballs the Hauler down the Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) main line to Eugene with a wait in the siding at Alford for the Coast Starlight and a freight.
All Pictures and Text © 2001 by Larry Tuttle

Special thanks to Lou Thelen, Toby Van Altvorst and the Portland & Western Railroad

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