|Before heading for the wye and the main line, the Heisler noses into the Coach Shed adjacent to the Engine House and pulls out the Em Eccles Jones Coach No. 20. This 1882 Pullman once plied the rails of the Sumpter Valley Railroad between Baker City and Prairie City. Now, almost completely restored, she's once again carrying passengers through a scenic valley nestled in the Blue Mountains.|
|Before coupling onto the rest of the train, more water and fuel need to be taken on. Here Lee is filling the tender from the water tank. Note how he's got a firm grip on the long spout. With a full tank and inattention to this detail, the spout will lunge upward smacking any body part that tries to block its path and drenching the hapless souls standing nearby.|
|Meanwhile, Don passes 4 foot lengths of wood to Jerry. Typically the tender is loaded to a cord of wood before each run and two cords are burned on the three daily round trips.|
|Coupled onto its train and awaiting for passengers to finish
at McEwen depot, the Heisler poses in this classic view with Elkhorn
in the background.
Note the depot sign says "Dredge." McEwen was called Dredge Depot (after the dilapidated dredge carcass next to it) for many years until the restored railroad finally reached the large dredge at Sumpter. This was in following the old practice of a depot following the gold dredge as it moved up and down the Valley. The name was changed to prevent confusion with the Sumpter Depot located near the partially restored dredge.
|The fireman's view over the tender at the excursion train heads up the track towards Sumpter.|
|Standing on the tender and looking back towards McEwen gives this picture of the top of the locomotive and passenger cars.|
|Train time at South Sumpter is definitely a Kodak Moment as
has completed its run-around move and the fire train has pulled into
At this time, the tracks didn't extend to the current location of the Sumpter depot.
|Departing South Sumpter the Heisler pulls the train across Saw Mill Gulch Road.|
|Yours truly finally gets a chance to get a picture of Jerry's
side" as he eases the train down the grade back to McEwen.
It is not standard practice to run with the firebox door open (bad idea -- cools the tubes). This was done on a downhill run while working almost no steam (and hence almost no draft) and just for this picture.
All images and text copyright 2000 by Larry Tuttle
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